Thursday, September 15, 2011

KNOW ABOUT ASHTALAKSHMI

DIFFERENT LOOKS OF MATA ASHTALAXMI   

The Ashta Lakshmi are all depicted seated on a lotus.
  • Adi Lakshmi : Four-armed, carries a lotus and a white flag, other two arms in Abhaya mudra and varada mudra.
  • Aishwarya Lakshmi : Four-armed, in white garments, carries two lotuses, other two arms in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.
  • Dhana Lakshmi : Six-armed, in red garments, carries chakra (discus), shankha (conch), kalash (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it) or Amrita kumbha (a pitcher containing Amrita - elixir of life), bow-arrow, a lotus and an arm in abhaya mudra with gold coins falling from it.
  • Dhanya Lakshmi : Eight-armed, in green garments, carries two lotuses, gada (mace), paddy crop, sugarcane, bananas, other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.
  • Gaja Lakshmi : Four-armed, in red garments, carries two lotuses, other two arms in abhaya mudra and varada mudra, surrounded by two elephants bathing her with water pots.
  • Santana Lakshmi : Six-armed, carries two kalashs (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it), sword, shield, a child on her lap, a hand in abhaya mudra and the other holding the child. The child holds a lotus.
  • Veera Lakshmi : Eight-armed, in red garments, carries chakra, shakh, bow, arrow, trishul (or sword), gold bar or book ?, other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.
  • Vijaya Lakshmi : Eight-armed, in red garments, carries chakra, shakh, sword, shield, lotus, pasha, other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Rise and worship

The rise of the Ashta Lakshmi is directly proportional to the rising popularity of Ashta Lakshmi Strotam. Around 1970s, a leading Sri Vaishava thelogian called Sri U. Ve. Vidvan Mukkur Srinivasavaradacariyar Svamikal  published a poem called Ashta Lakshmi Strotam dedicated to the eight Lakshmis. Narayanan comments: “Although these attributes (which represent the wealths bestowed by the Ashta Lakshmi) of Sri (Lakshmi) can be found in traditional literature, the emergence of these eight (Ashta Lakshmi goddesses) in precisely this combination is, as far as I can discern, new.”
The Ashta Lakshmi are now widely worshipped both by Sri Vaishnava and other Hindu communities in South India. Occasionally, the Ashta Lakshmi are depicted together in shrines or in "framing pictures" within an overall design and are worshipped by votaries of Lakshmi who worship her in her various manifestations. In addition to emergence of Ashta Lakshmi temples since 1970s, traditional silver articles used in home worship as well as decorative jars ('Kumbha') now appear with the Ashta Lakshmi group molded on their sides. Books, popular prayers manuals, pamphlets sold outside temples in South India; ritual worship and "a burgeoning audiocassette market" are also popularizing these "new" eight forms of Lakshmi.

Temples

  • Ashtalakshmi Kovil, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India: The Ashta Lakshmi Kovil, built in 1974, is the first shrine dedicated exclusively to the Ashta Lakshmi where Lakshmi is given greater importance than Vishnu. It has eight small shrines arranged in clockwise direction, dedicated to the Ashta Lakshmi and then a ninth shrine dedicated to Vishnu and Shri-Lakshmi together, unlike the traditional separate shrines.
  • Ashtalakshmi Temple, Vasavi Colony, Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Ashtalakshmi Temple, Sugar Land, Houston, Texas, USA
  • At the entrance - leading from Vittavasal Street to Meenakshi Temple, Madhurai, a mandapam (Hall) called Ashta Lakshmi Mandapam is dedicated to the Ashta Lakshmi, the statues of which support the roof on either side.

1 comment:

  1. chanting mahalakshmi stotram once a day has really changed my life! Thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete