with anne baird
LAKSHMI: Goddess of Wealth, Prosperity and Beauty
Winter is fading away. Snowdrops and daffodils are springing up,
reminding me that new life is beginning.
At this time of new beginnings, I like to think of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Prosperity and Beauty. My True Love and I have just moved into a bigger apartment to accomodate our growing card line. I pray that Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Prosperity and Beauty, will support us in this great but costly adventure!
Lakshmi was born in the sea. Lord Vishnu, her husband-to-be, discovered her, along with fourteen other treasures, when he dove to the bottom of the ocean in his avatar as a turtle seeking the nectar of immortality. The most precious of the treasures he found was Lakshmi. Vishnu married her in Heaven, and many times over on Earth.
Their union is passionate and productive. She is the female energy of Lord Vishnu, the incarnation of feminine beauty, grace and charm. She provides the wealth and abundance that maintain and preserve his creation. The divine couple travel everywhere on the back of mighty Garuda, the eagle.
Beloved by women who think of her as “mata” or mother, Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families. She is always shown as a beautiful woman dressed in red, the color of energy and activity. Her dress is encrusted with rich gold embroidery, symbolizing the prosperity she brings. Her four hands represent the four ends of human life: “dharma” (righteousness), “kama” (genuine desires), “artha” (wealth) and “moksha” (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).
Her right, rear hand holds a lotus bud, symbol of beauty, fertility and spiritual power. The left holds a bilva fruit, reminding us that wealth and spiritual purity are the fruit of righteous labor. The shower of golden coins from her left, front hand depicts the prosperity that Lakshmi bestows on her devotees. Her right, front hand is raised in blessing for all who seek her.
An elephant attends her, watering her bilva fruit in its golden vessel. Two carved elephants frame her, kneeling on pillars. Elephants symbolize the power and fame that come with worldly wealth. The shower of water stresses that material and spiritual wealth are earned by continuous effort, and that the fruit of such labors is to be shared. Lakshmi mirrors the lotus flower on which she stands. Rooted in mud, the gorgeous blossom floats on the water, unsullied by the soil from which it draws life.
Lakshmi has attained perfect equilibrium between the physical and spiritual world. She leads us toward th golden balance, where we share as well as receive both material and spiritual gifts. May she be with you in all your new beginnings!
about anne baird
Anne Baird is a freelance writer and the Artist and owner of GODDESS CARDS. Her line grew from a birthday card she created for her daughter, Amanda, who was disheartened at being Rubenesque in the "Land of Thin" (LA). That seminal card evolved into a long line of love notes and affirmations for ALL women.
GODDESS CARDS have been endorsed by 5 centers specializing in treating women with body and self-esteem issues. The respected Renfrew Center Foundation, based in California, has listed her as one of 3 artists "promoting healthy body images."