Qualities and Symbolism of Sri Lakshmi Devi

Mother Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word laksya which means ‘aim’ or ‘goal.’ In this light, Sri Lakshmi Devi embodies sublime beauty, siddhi, peace, strength, balance, auspiciousness, opulence and wisdom. Mother Lakshmi is also called ‘Shree,’ the female energy of the Supreme Being.

Shama Shama is the calmness of mind. It also means that the mind should be overflowing with noble and divine thoughts and emotions.
Dama Dama is self-control of the senses. To reach a goal such as finishing your work, you have to work hard and ignore all distractions.
Uparati Uparati or Uparamaa means self-withdrawal. It can also be understood as renunciation from things that we do not need. Self-withdrawal is the ability to understand that no material object can give us pure and lasting joy. Only spiritual objects give us true sustaining happiness.
Titiksha Titiksha is the frame of mind in which a person is able to withstand opposites in life, or endurance. Some examples of opposites are happiness and sadness, hot and cold, and anger and calmness. A happy mind accepts things the way that they are.
Samadhana Samadhana is the tranquility of the mind and perfect concentration. This ensures that everyone has the ability to concentrate on his or her sadhana.
Shraddha Shraddha is the faith in the teachers, scriptures, and oneself. You should believe in the things that the teachers say, and also believe in the goals that the teachers point you towards.
Elephants The elephants represent the ceaseless effort that leads you to material and spiritual wealth and prosperity.
Four Hands Lakshmiji’s four hands represent the four ends of human life. These are dharma (righteousness), kama (desires), artha (riches), and moksha (liberation).
Lotus If you look at a picture of Lakshmi, you will see two lotuses: one she sits on and one that she is holding. The lotus symbolizes truth, auspiciousness, and beauty. Even though the lotus is in the water, it does not get wet. This means that our mind should stay the same no matter what the conditions of the world outside are like.
Suvarnahasta The Suvarnahasta are the hands of Mother Lakshmi that shower out gold. They symbolize that where Lakshmiji resides one will find prosperity. Although the hands shower gold, the true wealth that it symbolizes is that of the inner golden spiritual values – timeless and universal.

Vinay Pattalachinti is a student in the 5th grade Bala Vihar class of Chinmaya Mission Phoenix (www.chinmayaphoenix.org). Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar classes are conducted every Sunday at Sierra Vista Academy in South Scottsdale. He wrote this article as part of his Bala Vihar curriculum.