The 8 Forms of Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of Wealth

Close-up Of Laxmi Statue Against Red Brick Wall
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The Hindu goddess of beauty, wealth, and fertility, Lakshmi takes many divine forms. Just as the Mother Goddess Durga has nine appellations, her daughter Lakshmi manifests in eight different ways. 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.

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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. She 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 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, in which the right hand is held upright, and the varada mudra, in which the right palm is held out with the fingers pointing down.

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
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Dhana means wealth in the form of money or gold. At an intangible level, it may even mean inner strength, willpower, talent, virtues, and character. Thus, 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 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
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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 an abundance of food all year-round. Dhanya-Lakshmi is shown adorned in green garments and with 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 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
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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 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
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This form of Lakshmi, as the name suggests (Santāna means 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 carries a child, who is holding a lotus flower.

Santana-Lakshmi Prayer Song 

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
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As the name suggests (Veera means valor or courage), this form of Goddess Lakshmi is the bestower of courage, 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

Jayavaravarshini, Vaishnavi, Bhaargavi Mandhrasvaroopini, Manthramaye, Suraganapoojitha, Sreeghraphalapradha Jnaanavikaasini, Shaastramathe, Bhavabhayahaarini, Paapavimoochani Saadhujanaasritha Paadhayuthe, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Dhairyalakshmi, Jaya, Paalayamaam
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Vidya means knowledge as well as education, not just degrees or diplomas from the university, but real all-round education. Thus, 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. She is four-armed, carrying two lotuses on both hands. The other two hands are in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

Vidya-Lakshmi Prayer Song

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

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