What are the Eight Forms of Goddess Lakshmi?
Ashtalakshmi or ‘Eight Lakshmis’ are the eight special classical forms of Lakshmi, the goddess of Hindu wealth. They are the eight sources of wealth and symbolize the various powers of Goddess Lakshmi.
Photo credit:Hindu Cosmos
Ashtalakshmi or ‘Eight Lakshmis’ are also a group of minor forms of Lakshmi. The word ‘wealth’ given by Ashtalakshmi means prosperity, fertility, good fortune or good luck, good health, knowledge, strength, progeny and power. Ashtalakshmi or ‘Eight Lakshmis’ are Adilakshmi or Mahalakshmi (Primeval Lakshmi or Great Lakshmi), Dhanyalakshmi(Grain Lakshmi), Veeralakshmi or Dhairyalakshmi (Valour Lakshmi), Gajalakshmi(Elephant Lakshmi), Santanalakshmi( Progeny Lakshmi), Vijayalakshmi or Jayalakshmi (Victory Lakshmi), Dhanalakshmi(Money Lakshmi) and Vidyalakshmi (Knowledge Lakshmi).
These forms of goddess Lakshmi are worshipped simultaneously in a temple.
According to Shri Ashtalakshmistotram, the brief descriptions of Ashtalakshmi or ‘Eight Lakshmis’ and stotrams are presented below.
Adilakshmi or Mahalakshmi (Primeval Lakshmi or Great Lakshmi)
Adilakshmi or Mahalakshmi is an ancient form of goddess Lakshmi and the incarnation of Mother Lakshmi as the daughter of sage Bhrigu. She is also known as ‘Sagarkanya’. According to Hindu mythological story, Adilakshmi appeared during the churning of the cosmic ocean and accepted Shri Vishnu as her husband. She holds a Padma (lotus), a flag, Abhaya Mudra (the fear dispelling gesture) and Varada Mudra (the favourable Mudra or gesture)in her four hands.
Adilakshmi or Mahalakshmi Stotram:
sumanasa vandita sundari mādhavi, candra sahodari hemamaye
munigaṇa vandita mokśhapradāyani, mañjula bhāśhiṇi vedanute |
paṅkajavāsini deva supūjita, sadguṇa varśhiṇi śāntiyute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, ādilakśhmi paripālaya mām ‖
Dhanyalakshmi is the giver of agricultural wealth. She is worshipped in the farmer’s house. Dhanyalakshmi is the presiding deity of agricultural crops like rice, pulses, paddy, wheat etc. By the grace of this goddess, the field is filled with crops due to the tireless work of the farmer. Farmers pick crops at home and see Lakshmi’s face. Field filled with crops is the symbol of this Lakshmi. Goddess Dhanyalakshmi has eight arms. She holds Padma (lotus), mace, grain, sugarcane, banana, and Abhaya and Varada Mudra in her hands.
ayikali kalmaśha nāśini kāmini, vaidika rūpiṇi vedamaye
kśhīra samudbhava maṅgaḻa rūpiṇi, mantranivāsini mantranute |
maṅgaḻadāyini ambujavāsini, devagaṇāśrita pādayute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, dhānyalakśhmi paripālaya mām ‖
Veeralakshmi or Dhairyalakshmi (Valour Lakshmi)
Veeralakshmi or Dhairyalakshmi gives the devotee heroism on the battlefield and courage in difficult times of life. By the grace of this goddess, frustration, laziness etc. are removed. When there is a struggle between religion and iniquity in the mind of the Niskam devotee, it gives the devotee the strength to destroy the ungodly Ripus(six senses) with courage, vigor and power. Veeralakshmi or Dhairyalakshmi holds Shankha (conch shells), chakras, bows and arrows or sword, palm-leaf book or nectar and Abhaya and Varada Mudra in her hands.
Veeralakshmi or Dhairyalakshmi Stotram:
jayavaravarśhiṇi vaiśhṇavi bhārgavi, mantra svarūpiṇi mantramaye
suragaṇa pūjita śīghra phalaprada, GYāna vikāsini śāstranute |
bhavabhayahāriṇi pāpavimocani, sādhu janāśrita pādayute
jaya jayahe madhu sūdhana kāmini, dhairyalakśhmī paripālaya mām ‖
Gajalakshmi is the giver of wealth in the forms of cattle and elephants. In addition, the income from the rearing of these cattle is also considered as the grace of Gajalakshmi. In the ancient period, the development of civilization happened through animal husbandry, plowing, chariot pulling etc. According to Swami Chidananda, Gajaakshmi also gave royal power. According to Hindu mythology, Gajalakshmi gave Devaraja Indra back his lost wealth from the depths of the sea. According to Basudha Narayan, “Gajalakshmi means Lakshmi worshipped by elephants”. This goddess sits holding two lotuses in her two hands, Abhaya and Varada Mudra in the other two hands and keeping two elephants on either side.
jaya jaya durgati nāśini kāmini, sarvaphalaprada śāstramaye
radhagaja turagapadāti samāvṛta, parijana maṇḍita lokanute |
harihara brahma supūjita sevita, tāpa nivāriṇi pādayute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, gajalakśhmī rūpeṇa pālaya mām ‖
Santanalakshmi( Progeny Lakshmi)
Santanalakshmi is the goddess who gives birth to offspring. By the grace of this goddess the parents gain the happiness through progeny. Santanalakshmi is the benefactor of the children. This goddess holds a Padma (lotus), a mangalkalas (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it),shields and swords, Abhaya and Varada Mudra in her hands. The goddess also holds a child in one hands. It is symbolical. It means the goddess takes care of the child with one hand.
ayikhaga vāhini mohini cakriṇi, rāgavivardhini GYānamaye
guṇagaṇavāradhi lokahitaiśhiṇi, saptasvara bhūśhita gānanute |
sakala surāsura deva munīśvara, mānava vandita pādayute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, santānalakśhmī paripālaya mām‖
Vijayalakshmi or Jayalakshmi (Victory Lakshmi)
Vijayalakshmi or Jayalakshmi is worshipped to get victory at the end of the war. This goddess bestows spiritual bliss on a devotee when he (the devotee) attains good fortune by defeating the Ripus (six senses). Vijayalakshmi is remembered for the victory of a devotee not only in war but in all walks of life. The goddess holds a Shanka (conch), Chakra (wheel), a shield, a sword, a Padma (lotus), a dice and Abhaya and Varada Mudra.
Vijayalakshmi or Jayalakshmi Stotram:
jaya kamalāsini sadgati dāyini, GYānavikāsini gānamaye
anudina marcita kuṅkuma dhūsara, bhūśhita vāsita vādyanute |
kanakadharāstuti vaibhava vandita, śaṅkaradeśika mānyapade
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, vijayalakśhmī paripālaya mām ‖
Dhanalakshmi gives all material happiness and prosperity to the devotee. Dhana Lakshmi is the provider of gold, money etc. When this goddess is pleased, she gives money, wealth and even spiritual wealth to the devotee. Goddess Dhanalakshmi holds Shankha (conch shells), chakras, bows and arrows and amulets or amritakumbha in her hands.
dhimidhimi dhindhimi dhindhimi-dindhimi, dundhubhi nāda supūrṇamaye
ghumaghuma ghuṅghuma ghuṅghuma ghuṅghuma, śaṅkha nināda suvādyanute |
veda pūrāṇetihāsa supūjita, vaidika mārga pradarśayute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, dhanalakśhmi rūpeṇā pālaya mām ‖
Vidyalakshmi (Knowledge Lakshmi)
Vidyalakshmi is the giver of wealth in the form of knowledge of art and science.
She has a resemblance to the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of arts, crafts and knowledge and the consort of Lord Vishnu. She holds a book, a peacock feather as a pen and Abhaya and Varada Mudra.
praṇata sureśvari bhārati bhārgavi, śokavināśini ratnamaye
maṇimaya bhūśhita karṇavibhūśhaṇa, śānti samāvṛta hāsyamukhe |
navanidhi dāyini kalimalahāriṇi, kāmita phalaprada hastayute
jaya jayahe madhusūdana kāmini, vidyālakśhmī sadā pālaya mām ‖
Additional Forms of Goddess Lakshmi
Some Ashtalakshmi lists also include the following additional forms of goddess Lakshmi:
Saubhagyalakshmi is the giver of good fortune.
Rajyalakshmi is the goddess who blesses the ruler and basically stays in the palace.
Varalakshmi is the goddess who gives beautiful blessings.
Aishwaryalakshmi gives prosperity to the devotee.
Source of stotram:viganam.org