Shubha Deepavali - Happy Deepavali on behalf of the executives and members of The Hindu Society of Berbice, Sri Krishna Mandir.
This holiday is not only associated with a much festive atmosphere where people exchange gifts and celebrate with lighting rows of diyas decorating their homes and businesses, it's the holy occasion of worshiping and adoring the Goddess Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.
Who is Maha Lakshmi?
Goddess Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu (Lord of Protection Maintenance & Preservation). To go hand in hand with Lord Vishnu's act of maintenance and preservation, Goddesses Lakshmi is the possessor of every form of wealth. The word Lakshmi could have its origin from the sanskrit terms lakshyam meaning goal lakshanam meaning aspect; characteristics laksha meaning Lakh, 100,000 in number, also sight laksham meaning target Thus Goddess Lakshmi is the source of wealth, fortune, prosperity, love and beauty. In the avatarams of Lord Vishnu, Lakshmi took various forms to accompany him - Sita with Rama, Rukmini with Krishna. She is the possessor of great beauty and is depicted in standing as well as in the seated postures, always on a lotus. In her hands she holds two lotuses and wears a garland of lotus. She is often depicted clad in a red saree. She is accomapnied by two (sometimes four) elephants on either side either garlanding her or spraying water from pitchers. She has four arms. The two upper arms are holding lotuses, while the lower arms are normally in abhaya and varada mudras. She has on her lap, a pot overflowing with gold and other riches. She is also depicted sometimes holding the amirtha kalasam (pot of ambrosia) and bilva fruit.
Ashta Lakshmi are her eight forms which are the commonly worshipped aspects. In each form, she bestows one form of wealth to her devotees.
1) Adi Lakshmi: Mother Lakshmi resides with Lord Narayana in the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana. She is known as Ramaa, means bringing happiness to the mankind. She is also known as Indira (who holds lotus or purity in the hands or heart.) Divine Mother’s this form is normally seen serving Sri Narayana. Lord Narayana is omnipresent. Adi Lakshmi or Ramaa Lakshmi serves Sri Narayana is symbolic of her serving the whole creation. Though Sri Narayana is attended by innumerable devotees, still she personally loves to serve the Lord. Actually mother Adi Lakshmi and Narayana are not two different entities but one only. Many a place we see her form sitting in the lap of Sri Narayana.
2) Dhanya Lakshmi: Dhanya means grains. This includes all kind of purified food containing all essential vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, carbohytrade and so on. With the grace of mother Dhanya Lakshmi one gets all essential nutrients grains, fruits, vegetables and other foods.
3) Dhairya Lakshmi: This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of infinite courage and strength. Those, who are in tune with infinite inner power, are always bound to have victory. Those who worship mother Dhairya Lakshmi they live and lead a life with tremendous patience and inner stability.
4) Gaja Lakshmi: In the holy book of Srimad Bhagavata the story of the churning of the ocean by Gods and demons is explained in detail. Author, the Sage Vyasa writes that Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan). So she is known as a daughter of the ocean. She came out of the ocean sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and also having lotus flowers in both hands with two elephants by her sides, holding a beautiful vessels filled with milk and pouring it over Sri Lakshmi. Many a time we see Sri Lakshmi standing in the lotus and elephants are pouring nectar over her. During the festival of the lamps or the Deepavali along with Sri Lakshmi the Ganapati or the Elephant God also gets worshipped; that signifies the protection from evils as well as abundant grace and blessings for additional prosperities!
5) Santan Lakshmi: In the family life, the children are the greatest treasure. Those who worship this particular form of Sri Lakshmi, known as a Santan Lakshmi, are bestowed with the grace of mother Lakshmi and have wealth in the form of desirable children with good health & long life.
6) Vijay Lakshmi: Vijay is victory. Vijay is to get success in all undertakings and all different facets of life. Some are strong physically but weak mentally while others are economically rich but poor in their attitude and cannot exert any influence. Vijay is to have all encompassing victory. Vijay is to rejoice glory of our real nature – Vijay is to conquer the lower nature. Vijay is the victory in external and internal wars and of course eternal wars! Hence those, with grace of mother Vijay Lakshmi, have victory everywhere, at all time, in all conditions. Victory to Vijay Lakshmi !!
7) Dhana Lakshmi: Dhana is wealth. But as per Rigved’s Purush Shukta Dhana is not only a wealth in coins and currency. Even Sun and moon, fire and stars, rains and nature, oceans and mountains, rivers and streams, all these are our wealth, so are the progeny, our inner will power, our character and our virtues. With the grace of mother Dhana Lakshmi we will get all these in abundance.
8) Vidya Lakshmi: Vidya is education. Education is not mere studies to receive the degrees and diplomas certificates from the educational institutes or universities. Education, which cannot give peace to the soul or cannot give the knowledge of the Self and the inner satisfaction, is not education. Education, which cannot wipe the tears of others, known or unknown, is not education. Education is the understanding the situation and silence or art of living and leading the life that can make the life, the Life Divine, where the ultimate Goal of the life is the God-Realisation.
Maha Lakshmi is the source and provider of the following enumerated well-known sixteen types of wealth and many more. (1) Fame (2) Knowledge (3) Courage and Strength (4) Victory (5) Good Children (6) Valour (7) Gold and other gross properties (8) Grains in abundance (9) Happiness (10) Bliss (11) Intelligence (12) Beauty (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation too (14) Morality and Ethics (15) Good Health (16) Long Life. These are known as Daiveem Sampath or Divine wealth which is available to every human being as stated in Srimad Bhagvad Gita chapter 16.
Diwali Sandesh 2006
Diwali is a time for one and all to rekindle that lamp of faith. Sometimes it's our unrealistic desires (wants) that prevents us from growing spiritually and materially. I'm not saying that having desires is bad, but there are some serious draw backs to having too many. For example, when a desire is fulfilled, it can either lead to satisfaction and contentment which is good, or lead to greed, wanting more. When a desire is not fulfilled, one becomes a victim of anger, depression, disbelief and hurt. So therefore it's important to keep track of our wants.
One poet wrote: "Maine har charaag bujhaa diya, to maine aik charaag jalaa diya"
I have extinguished the flame of all desires, but i've kept the flame of faith in my life.
Please remember, Diwali is our thanksgiving, both to Bhagvaan and to society. We encourage all to get involved more in community seva (selfless service) and add more ghee (oil) in your lamp of faith, strengthen your faith, have faith in your faith.
Maha Lakshmi on the night of Diwali, which is considered to be the darkest night of the year, shines through all of us through our attitude and aptitude in life.
"Jyot jage mandir mein, masjid roop chiraag ka, church mein candle jyoti har ghar mein iska vaastaa"
She is the flame of the diya in the temple, She is the flame of lamp in the mosque, She is the flame of the candle in the church.
All of mankind is bound by faith. Let faith dispel the darkness of ignorance and let us be more tolerant, friendly and compassionate.
The Hindu Society of Berbice, Sri Krishna Mandir wishes you, your family and friends a very happy Diwali. May your noble desires be fulfilled, may you grow from strength to strength, prosperity to prosperity, joy to joy and continue to experience all that which is good.
Jai Sri Krishna
Jai Maha Lakshmi Maa
Pandit Rajin Balgobind