Thereafter Dhanvantari emerged from the sea. Dhanvantari is the doctor of gods.
He had a sacred pot in his hand. There was ambrosia in it. Both the Asuras and
the Devas wanted the ambrosia, but finally Vishnu with a slight of hand managed
to give the immortal nectar to the Gods and the Asuras where defeated. Thus the
churning of the ocean resulted in the immortality of the Devas and was the reason
for Lakshmi's emergence.
|DHANVANTRI WITH THE NECTAR
Lakshmi's greatness has been well expressed in books like
the wife of Vishnu, is herself representative of Vishnu's power. Indra praised
"We bow to you, O Mother of the Universe. You are the
means for the fulfillment of all work. You purify the universe. You bestow wealth
and intelligence. You are also Saraswati the embodiment of all knowledge. You
are the self-education, which results in salvation. O Mahadevi, disciples acquire
all - wife, children, house, friend, money and corn - by a glance from you. O
Mother, you and your husband Narayana have encompassed the world. People have
health of body and happiness by your kindness. You are the mother of the universe;
Vishnu is the father. Bereft of your kindness people will lose strength, cleanliness,
virtue and the good characteristics. All these are obtained by your grace. Mother,
never abandon us."
Then Lakshmi said: "Indra, I am pleased at your devotion. Seek any boon
you desire." Said Indra, "Goddess, if I have deserved your kindness,
do not go away abandoning me. Apart from that, bless those who recite devotedly
every day the prayer I just recited." Lakshmi said, "Be it so," and
|LAKSHMI - PADMA
Lakshmi's influence covers many branches of knowledge. Speech,
morality, wisdom, satisfaction, music, religious offering, brilliance, wealth,
strength, creation, river, and cattle - all these have their source in Lakshmi. The legends state
that all women of the world are forms of Lakshmi. At the time of marriage, our
people honor the bride and the bridegroom as having the appearance of Lakshmi-Narayana.
Born seated on the lotus flower, she is also called PADMA. She as the most faithful
companion of life has always appeared as Vishnu's partner in every incarnation
of his. She is the pinnacle of chastity. When Vishnu came on earth as Vamana
(the Dwarf), Lakshmi came to earth as a Lotus (PADMA or KAMLA); when he came
here as Parashurama, Lakshmi followed him as his wife DHARNI; when Vishnu appeared
incarnated as Rama, she came here as Sita; and when Vishnu appeared as Krishna,
Lakshmi came in two shapes, earlier as Radha and later as his wife Rukmini. According
to ancient legends, she resides in the chest of Vishnu. Therefore, Vishnu is
called Srinivasa. One in whom 'Sri' (Lakshmi) resides is Srinivasa.
Lakshmi has other names like LOKA MATA (World's mother),
CHANCHALA (the fickle fortune), JALADHI-JA (the ocean-born) and HARI PRIYA (beloved
of Vishnu). Lakshmi
is worshipped with the names of MAHALAKSHMI, VARAMAHALAKSHMI,
DHANALAKSHMI and AMRITALAKSHMI during observance of religious rites.