Friday, April 21, 2017

Goddess Lakshmi Sawari Owl at Babosa Dham



Many of the main Indian Gods and Goddesses (Devas and Devis) have their own vehicles, mounts or vahanas that comprise various types of animals and birds. While this seems peculiar at first glance, there is a deep inner significance behind their choosing particularly those vahanas 


The significance of the Owl 

The Owl, or the Ulooka in Sanskrit, is Devi Lakshmi's vahana. Though this bird appears to be the unlikeliest vehicle for the extremely lovely Goddess, there is a deep spiritual significance as to why she selected this creature as her mount.
The Ulooka is a bird that sleeps during the day and prowls through the night. This is because it can only see in the dark, and goes blind in the day. This partial blindness in the creature is actually indicative of a sadhaka's (seeker) tendency of going toward the pursuit of secular instead of spiritual wealth. 

The owl, in the Bhagavad Gita, is likened to an enlightened sthita prajna (the one who remains unwavering to any situation, whether it be happy or sad). Goddess Lakshmi is also said to be the mistress of spiritual wisdom. 

By keeping the owl as her vehicle, she teaches us to open our eyes to the light of the wisdom residing within us. This Karunamayi (compassionate One) Mother, hence, symbolically keeps ignorance under her control. 


In India, a white owl is considered companion and vāhana (Vehicle of god/goddess) of Lakṣmī, the goddess of wealth, Some sculptures depict lakshmi with an owl as her vaahana (carrier). This oddity can be appreciated when the symbology is unravelled. In Sanskrit, Uluka stands for an owl. Uluka is also one of the names of lndra, the king of gods, personifying wealth, power and glory. Thus, Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, could not have found a better person to ride on, than the king of gods. This comparison of Indra's glory to a partially blind and uncouth bird warns the seekers of secular instead of spiritual wealth. When the owl is compared to the sthitha prajna, the enlightened person described in Bhagavadgita (Ch.2.69), the symbol means that Lakshmi is the mistress of spiritual wisdom. Another interpretation is "Shut not thy eyes to the light of wisdom from the Sun of knowledge". Out of consideration for mankind, the all compassionate mother has kept this personification of ignorance under her control. 
Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word 'Lakshmi' is derived from the Sanskrit word "Laksya", meaning 'aim' or 'goal', and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual.

Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favorite of women. Although she is worshiped daily, the festive month of October is Lakshmi's special month. Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the full moon night of Kojagari Purnima.

THE LAKSHMI FORM

Lakshmi is depicted as a beautiful woman of golden complexion, with four hands, sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud, which stands for beauty, purity, and fertility. Her four hands represent the four ends of human life: dharma or righteousness, "kama" or desires, "artha" or wealth, and "moksha" or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

The cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, suggesting that those who worship her gain wealth. She always wears gold embroidered red clothes. Red symbolizes activity and the golden lining indicates prosperity. Lakshmi is the active energy of Vishnu, and also appears as Lakshmi-Narayan - Lakshmi accompanying Vishnu.

Two elephants are often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. This denotes that ceaseless effort, in accordance with one's dharma and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.



A MOTHER GODDESS

Worship of a mother goddess has been a part of Indian tradition since its earliest times. Lakshmi is one of the mother goddesses and is addressed as "mata" (mother) instead of just "devi" (goddess).

As a female counterpart of Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi is also called 'Shri', the female energy of the Supreme Being.

She is the goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace, and charm.

A DOMESTIC DEITY

The importance attached to the presence of Lakshmi in every household makes her an essentially domestic deity. Householders worship Lakshmi for the well-being and prosperity of the family. Businessmen and women also regard her equally and offer her daily prayers.

On the full moon night following Dusshera or Durga Puja, Hindus worship Lakshmi ceremonially at home, pray for her blessings and invite neighbors to attend the puja. It is believed that on this full moon night the goddess herself visits the homes and replenishes the inhabitants with wealth. A special worship is also offered to Lakshmi on the auspicious Diwali night.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

New Bhajan - Mujhe Raas Aa Gaya

मुझे रास आ गया है, तेरे दर पे सर झुकाना मुझे रास आ गया है, तेरे दर पे सर झुकाना, तुझे मिल गया पुजारी, मुझे मिल गया ठिकाना ...