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Lakshmi From Mythology


Not that there is anything like a common mythology amongst the diverse peoples of India,so its no surprise that most of us should be quite ignorant of common tales from elsewhere.

As Lakshmi is a pretty popular and widely accepted in Indian homes,its enlightening to study her tales to get insights into how others might think about wealth.

So here’s a round up of Lakshmi stories by Devdutt Pattanaik.Enjoy!

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Diwali Thoughts


 

Happy Diwali !

Here are some profound thoughts on commerce and wealth drawn from mythology to reflect on this Diwali.

I’ll be sure to follow-up with an English synopsis ASAP.My apologies to all readers who don’t speak Hindi.

The Pallava’s Lakshmi


Lakshmi, her imagery and the way we tell stories about her are  India’s way of communicating ideas about wealth, good fortune and prosperity.

Now close your eyes and try to bring up the topmost mental image you have of Lakshmi. In these days of internet conveyed pop-culture, its probably something like this:

wealthymatters

Perhaps your Lakshmi wears a green sari, that’s more common in some regions. Perhaps pink as the Chinese today make fibre images that way to match the pink lotus! Read more of this post

Lakshmi, Saraswati And Wealth


wealthymatters

The common belief is that Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) and Saraswati (goddess of knowledge) always fight and avoid staying in the same place. This is based on the observation that rich businessmen tend to be uneducated and educated people tend to be poor. This is also based on the assumption that Saraswati is the goddess of education, learning and training. This understanding of Saraswati is rather pedestrian, and lacks insight. Read more of this post

Lakshmi And The Owl


wealthymattersIn Orissa and Bengal, Lakshmi images include a white owl. In local belief, white owls have come to be associated with auspiciousness and good luck because of their association with the goddess. Who is this owl? Scriptures do not clarify.

Some say, Lakshmi rides the owl; others believe the owl simply accompanies her, while she rides on a elephant, the latter being a more appropriate vehicle for the goddess who is associated with wealth, power, and royal splendour.

Owls are solitary creatures, who sleep all day and prowl at night. Because of their nocturnal activity and screeching call, they have been associated with bad luck and death, leading to the conclusion that she is Alakshmi, Lakshmi’s elder twin, the goddess of strife and misfortune. But because of its round eyes that never move and stare straight ahead, the owl has been associated with wisdom . The term “lord with circular eyes” (Choka-dola) is used to refer to Jagannath, the form of Krishna-Vishnu worshipped in Puri, Orissa, leading to speculation that the owl actually represents Lakshmi’s consort, Vishnu. Favoring this line of thought, is the fact that in Hindu mythology, the vahana or vehicle of a deity is always male, not female. But the idea that Lakshmi would ride her own husband, though acceptable to feminists, is abhorrent to traditionalists. They insist that the owl accompanies the goddess; she does not ride it. If she does not ride the owl, then it could be  either Vishnu, or Alakshmi. Read more of this post

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