Ashtalakshmi: The Eight Forms of Lakshmi

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Introduction

ExoticIndia.com

Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has many iconic manifestations. Just as the Mother Goddess Durga has nine appellations, her daughter Lakshmi has eight different forms. This concept of Goddess Lakshmi in her eightfold form is referred to as the Ashta-Lakshmi.

Lakshmi is also considered a Mother Goddess when it comes to providing wealth in its 16 forms: knowledge, intelligence, strength, valor, beauty, victory, fame, ambition, morality, gold and other wealth, food grains, bliss, happiness, health and longevity, and virtuous offspring.

The eight forms of Ashta-Lakshmi, through their individual nature,  are believed to fulfill these human necessities and desires. 

The eight divine forms of Goddess Lakshmi or Ashta-Lakshmi include:

1. Aadi-Lakshmi (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana-Lakshmi or Aishwarya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya-Lakshmi (Goddess of Food Grains)
4. Gaja-Lakshmi (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana-Lakshmi (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera-Lakshmi or Dhairya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya-Lakshmi (The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya-Lakshmi or Jaya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Victory)

In the following pages meet the eight forms of Lakshmi and read about their individual nature and forms.

Listen/ Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Aadi-Lakshmi

Aadi-Lakshmi or "Primeval Lakshmi," also known as Maha-Lakshmi or "The Great Lakshmi," is, as the name suggests, a primeval form of Goddess Lakshmi, and is regarded as the daughter of sage Bhrigu and wife of Lord Vishnu or Narayana.

Aadi-Lakshmi is often depicted as the consort of Narayana,  living with him at his home in Vaikuntha, or sometimes seen as sitting in his lap. Her serving of Lord Narayana is symbolic of her service to the entire universe. Aadi-Lakshmi is portrayed as four-armed, holding a lotus and a white flag in her two hands while the other two are in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Variously known as Ramaa or the bestower of happiness, and Indira, holding close to her heart the lotus as a symbol of purity, Aadi-Lakshmi is the first of the eight forms of the Ashta-Lakshmi.

Aadi-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Sumanasa Vandhitha, Sundhari, Madhavi Chandhrasahoodhari, Hemamaye, Munigana Vandhitha, Mookshapradhayini Manjula Bhaashini, Vedhamathe, Pankajavaasini, Dhevasupoojitha Sadhguna Varshini, Shanthiyuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Aadhilakshmi, Jaya, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Dhana-Lakshmi

Dhana means wealth in the form of money or gold; at an intangible level it may even mean inner strength, will power, talent, virtues and character. So the name Dhana-Lakshmi represents this aspect of the human world, and by her divine grace, we can get an abundance of wealth and prosperity.

This form of Goddess Lakshmi is portrayed as six-armed, wearing a red sari, and holding in her five hands a discus, a conch, the holy pitcher, bow and arrow, and a lotus while the sixth arm is in abhaya mudra with gold coins rolling from her palm.

Dhana-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Dimidhimi Dhimdhimi, Dhimdhimi Dhimdhimi Dhumdhubhinaadha Supoornamaye, Ghumaghuma Gumghuma, Gunghuma Gunghuma Shankhaninaadha Suvaadhyamathe, Vividha Puraanyithihaasa Supoojitha Vaidhika Maarga Pradharshayuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Shri Dhanalakshmi, Paalayamaam 

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Dhanya-Lakshmi

The third of the eight forms of Ashta-Lakshmi is named after "Dhanya" or food grains--full of natural nutrients and minerals required for a healthy body and mind. On one hand, Dhanya-Lakshmi is the giver of agricultural wealth and, on the other, the all-important nourishment for human beings.

With her divine grace, one can be ensured abundance of food all year-round. Dhanya-Lakshmi is shown adorned in green garments and as having eight hands carrying two lotuses, a mace, a sheaf of paddy, sugarcane and bananas. The other two hands are in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Dhanya-Lakshmi Prayer Song 

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram , dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Ayikali Kalmashanaashini, Kaamini Vaidhika Rooopini, Vedhamaye, Ksheerasamudhbava Mangala Roopini, Mandhranivaasini, Manthramathe, Mangaladhaayini, Ambulavaasini, Dhevaganaashritha Paadhayuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Dhaanyalakshmi, Jaya, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Gaja-Lakshmi

Gaja-Lakshmi or "Elephant Lakshmi," who was born out of the churning of the ocean--the fabled Samudra Manthan of Hindu mythology, is the daughter of the ocean. Myths have it that Gaja-Lakshmi helped Lord Indra regain his lost wealth from the depth of the ocean. This form of Goddess Lakshmi is the bestower and protector of wealth, prosperity, grace, abundance and royalty.

Gaja-Lakshmi is depicted as a beautiful goddess flanked by two elephants bathing her with water pots as she sits on a lotus. She wears red garments, and is four-armed, holding two lotuses in two of her arms while the other two arms are in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Gaja-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Jaya, Jaya, Dhurgathi, Naashini, Kaamini Sarva Phalapradha, Shaastramaye, Rathagajathuraga Padhaathi Samaavrutha Parijanamanditha Lokamathe, Hariharabhrahma Supoojitha Sevitha Thaapanivaarini, Paadhayute, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Shri Gajalakshmi, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Santana-Lakshmi

This form of Lakshmim, as the name suggests (Santāna = offspring), is the Goddess of progeny, the treasure of the family life. Worshipers of Santana Lakshmi are bestowed with the wealth of good children possessing good health and a long life.

This form of Goddess Lakshmi is depicted as six-armed, holding two pitchers, a sword, and a shield; one of the remaining hands is engaged in abhaya mudra, while the other holds a child, who significantly is holding a lotus flower.

Santana-Lakshmi Prayer Song 

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Ayi, Gaja Vaahini, Moohini, Chakrini, Raagavivardhaini, Jnanamaye Gunagavaaridhi, Lokayithai Shini Sapthaswara Maya Gaanamathe, Sakala Suraasura Dheva Muneeshvara Maanavavandhitha Paadhayuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Santhaanalakshmi, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Veera-Lakshmi

As the name suggests (Veera = valor or courage), this form of Goddess Lakshmi is the bestower of courage and strength, and power. Veera-Lakshmi is worshiped to gain valor and strength to overpower formidable adversaries in war or simply to overcome the difficulties of life and ensure a life of stability.

She is depicted wearing red garments, and is eight-armed, carrying a discus, a conch, a bow, an arrow, a trident or sword, a gold bar or sometimes a book; the other two hands are in abhaya and varada mudra.

Veera-Lakshmi or Dhairya-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Jayavaravarshini, Vaishnavi, Bhaargavi Mandhrasvaroopini, Manthramaye, Suraganapoojitha, Sreeghraphalapradha Jnaanavikaasini, Shaastramathe, Bhavabhayahaarini, Paapavimoochani Saadhujanaasritha Paadhayuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Dhairyalakshmi, Jaya, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Vidya-Lakshmi

"Vidya" means knowledge as well as education--not just degrees or diplomas from the university, but real all-round education. So, this form of Goddess Lakshmi is the giver of knowledge of the arts and sciences.

Like the Goddess of knowledge--Saraswati--Vidya Lakshmi is depicted as sitting on the lotus, wearing a white sari, and is four-armed, carrying two lotuses on both hands, with other two hands being in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Vidya-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The lyrics of the hymn or stotram dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Pranatha Suresvari, Bhaarathi, Vaargavi, Shokavinaashini, Rathnamaye, Manimaya Bhooshitha Karnavibhooshana Shanthisamaavrutha Haasyamukhe Navanithi Dhaayini, Kalimala Haarini Kaamyaphalapradha, Haasyayuthe Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Vidhyaalakshmi, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)

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Vijaya-Lakshmi

"Vijaya" means victory. So, this form of Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes victory in all aspects of life--not just in war but also in life's major struggles and little battles. Vijaya-Lakshmi is worshiped to ensure all-round victory in every aspect of life.

Also known as 'Jaya' Lakshmi, she is shown sitting on a lotus wearing a red sari and as having eight arms carrying a discus, a conch, a sword, a shield, a noose, and a lotus. The remaining two hands are in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Vijaya-Lakshmi Prayer Song

The  lyrics of the hymn, or stotram, dedicated to this form of Lakshmi are: 

Jaya, Kamalaasani, Sadhguthi Dhaayini Jnaanavikaasini, Gaanamaye, Anudhina Marchitha Kunkuma Dhoosara Bhooshitha Vaasitha, Vadhyanuthe, Kanakadhaaraasthuthi Vaibhava Vandhitha Shankara Dheshika Maanyapadhe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Vijayalakshmi, Paalayamaam

Listen / Download - Ashta-Lakshmi Stotra (MP3)