How about another story this week? With the stresses of exams and the end of the semester, I thought that it would be a fun post! This is the story of the Goddess Lakshmi and how she came to be. The drawing shown this week is my recreation of one by Bijay Biswaal, done completely in ink. Enjoy!
Each and every deity in Hinduism has significant importance. The Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes good luck and is the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
The story begins with a meeting between Sage Durvasa and Lord Indra, the God of weather. Sage Durvasa offered a garland of flowers to Lord Indra who took the garland and placed it on the forehead of his flying elephant, Airavat. The elephant took the beautiful garland of flowers and threw it down on the earth. Durvasa got angry at this disrespectful treatment of his gift and cursed Lord Indra, saying that his kingdom would be ruined in the same way that the flower garland was ruined when it was thrown. At this point in the story, it is important to understand that these sages were very easily angered and often times full of excessive pride.
Following this encounter, Sage Durvasa walks away and Lord Indra returns to his kingdom where changes have already started to take place. The gods and people are losing their energy and vigor, the crops and plants are starting to die, citizens are foregoing any charity work, their minds are becoming corrupted by darker forces. With the Gods getting weak in the kingdom, the demons and demonic forces invade, defeating them. It is said that this is the reason that good and evil reside in us all.
After being defeated, the Gods went to Lord Vishnu, the ruler of the universe, to ask for help. He suggested that the churning of the ocean would restore the power back to the Gods by providing them with the antidote that would make them immortal once again. Thus, the churning of the ocean began. Think of this as a literal game of tug of war between the Gods and Demons. From this churning, the Goddess Lakshmi rose out of the waves seated on a full-blown lotus. The Gods got their power back and fought the demons again, and this time, they were successful.
I hope that each of you has a great end of the semester and may the Goddess Lakshmi grant a bit of luck on all of your exams. As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!
Looking forward to next Sunday!