Incarnations of Goddesses Laxmi
Goddess Laxmi is the Hindu Goddess who governs all form of wealth, success and prosperity to those who worship her. As the Consort of Lord Vishnu, who is the god of preservation, Laxmi Devi is the goddess of health and beauty.
Goddess Laxmi has a fair complexion with four arms, seated on a lotus, dressed in fine garments and precious jewels. Her expression is always calm and loving sits in the lotus. The meaning of the lotus in relation to Shri-Laxmi refers to purity and spiritual power.
Goddess Laxmi is worshipped by those who wish to acquire or to preserve wealth. It is believed that wealth goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or where the people are lazy.
Birth of Goddess Laxmi:
When the gods were in a race against the demons to obtain amrit (the nectar of immorality). The demons consulted Vishnu who was on earth as Kurma, in a tortoise avatar. They decided they would churn the oceans for the amrit. They created to churn by the threading the serpent Vasuki around Mount Mandara. Kurma dived to the ocean floor and balanced Mount Mandara on his back.
In the grip of Kurma’s cosmic clutch, the mountain could not sink into the ocean bed. The gods churned and received the Nectar of Immortality from Laxmi Devi and then fourteen treasures came to their hands. Then goddess Laxmi choose lord Vishnu as her consort. Vishnu carried Laxmi from the ocean into his heaven. Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar. He is accompanied by an avatar of Laxmi in her different incarnations.
According to the mythology, along with various legends, Goddess Laxmi was born in various names. More than incarnations there are instances when Laxmi took various forms in order to fulfill the wishes of the one’s who worshipped her.
Primarily goddess Laxmi has eight kinds of wealth associated with her as :
Adi Lakshmi [The main goddess]
Dhanya Lakshmi [Granary wealth]
Dhairya Lakshmi [Wealth of courage]
Gaja Lakshmi [Elephants, symbols of wealth]
Santana Lakshmi [Wealth of progeny]
Vijaya Lakshmi [Wealth of victory]
Vidya Lakshmi [Wealth of knowledge]
Dhana Lakshmi [Monetary wealth]
Goddess Laxmi was the consort of lord Vishnu and married to lord Rama, in her incarnation as Sita, in the incarnation of lord Krishna to Rukmini, lord Venkateshwara to Alamelu.
Incarnated as Vedavati:
In this form of Vedavati, goddess Laxmi has taken birth into the house of king by name Rathadhwaja who worshipped Laxmi. Once Rathadhwaja was defeated in war and lost the kingdom. Rathashwaja had two sons Kushadhwaja and Dharmadhwaja. They observed rigorous penance, meditating for Laxmi. When she appeared they prayed, “Bless us so that we get back our kingdom. Grant us a favor by being born as our daughter.” Laxmi granted the boons. They bravely fought, won the kingdom again and were living happily.
And Goddess Lakshmi, in fulfillment of the boon granted by her, entered the womb of Malavati in subtle form and was born as a daughter. The parents named her ‘Vedavati’.
Vedavati grew up to be a beautiful, virtuous girl. She came of age. Both gods and demons came forward to wed her. She undertook a rigorous penance praying for Vishnu’s becoming her husband. The penance dragged on for a long time. One day a voice from heaven was heard: “Vedavati, you have to be born again. In your next birth, Vishnu will also be born and he will become your husband.” Even then, Vedavati continued her penance without losing heart.
Incarnated as Sita:
After the birth of Vedavati, goddess Laxmi took the birth of Sita the daughter of king Janaka. King Dasharatha was ruling over Ayodhya who had four wives and lord Vishnu was born to one of his wife named Kausalya and became famous as Sri Rama.
Then King Janaka, having admired Sri Rama’s valor, gave Sita in marriage to Sri Rama.
Incarnated as Tulasi:
Goddess Laxmi was born to Dharmadhwaja’s wife Madhavi. Her parents named her Tulasi. The child was very beautiful and got married Vishnu. Vishnu told her: “You leave this body and stay with me. Let your body become a river by name Gandaki. I will became a Saligrama stone and will reside in Gandaki River. Let your hair grow into a plant, become famous as Tulasi and be worshipped by people. I love a garland of Tulasi petals.”
Tulasi’s body flowed after becoming river Gandaki. Narayana became a stone and was residing in it. Tulasi plant was born from the hair of Tulasi and became sacred.
Incarnated as Rukmini:
In the kingdom of Vidharbha lord Vishnu was born as Sri Krishna for killing Kansa and with a view to establishing righteousness. When he was thus born as Krishna, Lakshmi was born as Rukmini, daughter of Bhismaka. She was beautiful and virtuous. Rukmini’s marriage with Shishupala was fixed. But Rukmini, having heard of Sri Krishna’s good character and greatness, had mentally accepted him as her husband. She sent a messenger to Dwaraka with the message that she would marry Krishna; and if not possible, she would give her life.
Sri Krishna had already heard of Rukmini’s character, virtue and beauty. He wished to marry her. Therefore, he immediately boarded a chariot and came to Bhishmaka’s town. In the capital of Vidarbha all arrangements were being made for Rukmini’s marriage.Rukmini completed worship of Gowri and came out of the temple. Instantly Sri Krishna brought his chariot, made her mount it and drove away towards Dwaraka. Thereafter the marriage of Sri Krishna and Rukmini was celebrated grandly at Dwaraka.
Incarnated as Padmavati:
When Laxmi left the heaven for dishonoring her when the great sage Bhrigu in anger kicked at Vishnu’s chest where she resides and not punishing him for such an act. Then Lord Vishnu became sad. He went from Vaikuntha to Tirupati and settled in Venkatadri under the name of Venkatesha.
Akasharaja, the king of Chola country, had no children then he found a female child lying in lotus. A voice was heard from heaven saying, “O King, this girl is very fortunate. Bring her up considering her as your daughter. With pleasure the king gave the child to his queen Dharanidevi. The child was named ‘Padmavati’.
Padmavati was brought up with great affection and she grew up into a woman bright as the moon in the first phase of the month. When sage Narada saw her and said, “O Mother, I know who you are. You are truly goddess Laxmi. As you could not bear the separation from Vishnu, you have been born thus and come here.
Lord Vishnu, is in the form of Venkatesha, is suffering due to the separation from you and living in Tirupati. Within a few days you two will be married,” and went away. One day when she was amusing herself in the garden Venkatesha came there and saw her. They became acquainted and love grew between them. When Akasharaja came to know of this, he gladly agreed to their marriage. With the invitation of lord Venkatesha, Brahma and other gods attended the wedding.