A Goddess dedication
Initiate, Sisters in The Goddess Tree
|In Hindu mythology, there is one who is so well
know that she is the deity of six qualities, and be compared to the
Virgin Mary and Kwan Qin in her own way. Lakshmi was the last
deity to come from the churning of the Ocean of Milk. In Sanskrit,
Lakshmi translates to “aim or goal”. She is favored in the home,
specifically by women, however men pray to her also as she is the
mediator for Vishnu, and is said to grant forgiveness on his behalf.
Legend says Vishnu wished for immortality and that the churning of the sea produced Amrit. To achieve this goal, the gods took one side and demons the other in a form of tug of war. Vishnu atop a mountain which was the churning pole and Vasuki the snake was used in much the same way as the bow fire starting tool. This ocean was said to grant immortality to those who drank from it, along with many other celestial objects, thus bringing this great lady Lakshmi and her brother the moon.
Most images of this lady depict her with four arms, representing the four directions of space and the four ends of human life: righteousness, genuine desire, wealth and liberation from birth and death. However, she is the bearer of eighteen arms (although not always depicted so), each holding a sacred item as she rests upon a blooming lotus flower; a string of mala beads, battle axe, mace, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, water pot, cudgel, lance, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine cup, trident, noose and the discus sudarsana. It is said that her skin varies in colors of pink, gold and white. Pink to depict mother divine, gold meaning universal shakti, and white for earth mother. Lakshmi is said to be mother earth for the material world and energy, but she is also the spirit keeper of the spirit world and energies. She is also believed to be the mother of the universe. She is Vishnu’s power, as she mediates for him to the mortal world. And it is by her compassion that she can be compared to Kwan Qin and the Virgin Mary.
A deity so common in the Hindu culture, people look to her for wealth, prosperity in both spiritual and material gains, light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, courage and generosity. And she is said to grant the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. She is also said to bring good luck and protection to all devotees of hers.
This deity shares many names in the Hindu world, some of them are:
Malahalakshmi, Bhargavi, Prakruti, Vikruti, Vidya, Padma, Kamala, Padmapriya, Padmamaladhara devi, Padmamukhi, Padmakshi, Padmahasta, Padmasundar, Vishnupriya, Ulkavahini, Rama, Indira, Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Lalima, Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Bhumi Devi, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya and Aiswarya. She is also referred to as Jaganmaatha ("Mother of the Universe").
To honor the goddess, many Hindu women partake in a fasting ritual that is observed for 16 consecutive days which begins Sept 4 and ends Sept 19, 2011. Each year this date changes following the lunar calendar. During this fast, participants are only allowed to consume fruits, milk and sweets. If one is unable to do all 16 days, they may do three days, marking the first day, the eighth day and the sixteenth day. A good deal of preparation takes place for this fast. A thread is tied on their wrist which has sixteen knots in it. After the sixteenth day, Lakshmi is said to be ready to enter the home and bless one with wealth and abundance.
Lakshmi is worshiped year round but Hindus host the month of October as her month. During Diwali (The festival of Lights) which many honor from mid October to mid November, families light small clay lamps with oil, to signify the end of the battle in their homes for her blessing.
She is often depicted as having pink or coral complexion and donning a robe of vibrant red and gold signifying wealth and abundance. Lakshmi is associated with the herbs Mugwort and Wormwood. She is also said to be associated with the Tulasi Tree which is the tree of life, as well as the bilva tree. Also in depictions she is either noted with an owl in the background or an elephant. She is associated with elephants, owls, the moon, the ocean, coins, rice, holly basil, the lotus flower and water, along with malachite, pink tourmaline and aquamarine. She is said to love the smell of pretty flowers and water, including the fertility of a powerful rain. She is also said to relate to primal elements as well as cow dung and odor.
One of the Hindu/Buddhist traditions is the use of a string of mala. These beads are synonymous with the rosary. This strand of 108 beads plus on anchor bead is used in conjunction with prayers. There is a mantra referred to as Shring or Sring manta. The toning of the words creates a resonance within the body that lines our kundalini up with balance and harmony. Thus making it easier for us to draw things we desire to us. This mantra below, it is said, is used to draw blessings of peace, harmony and prosperity to you. When used twice to three times a day, many claim that it has noticeable effects in one to two weeks. With each bead of the mala string, the mantra is recited; one bead equals one run through of the mantra, until all 108 beads have been recited.
SHRING HRING KLEENG
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