||For the Goddess in You
A Quarterly Column
by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Be Still, and Celebrate with The Goddess of Good Fortune
This is my favorite time of year because the Lakshmi comes alive during the Hindu holiday of Deepavali (or Diwali). Each year, around the new moon in October or November, Hindu people celebrate this
Goddess of Fortune and invite Her into their homes, attempting to secure Her favors for the year to come. This year, in most places in the United States, it begins on October 30 and runs through November 2, with Deepavali day falling on November 1, eve of the new moon.
Lakshmi is such a special Goddess. She’s magical, and practical. Her mate is a God and her best friend, a guy. She is a living Goddess, worshipped around the world. In these times of challenge as in all times
of challenge, she can be a comfort and a healer; she brings a sense of greater fortune even in the darkest moments. She is a powerful cosmic connection; a divine female who looks like us, and offers a sense of courage, of hope, of power.
As the Hindu Goddess of Good Fortune and Beauty, she represents and is seen as the personification of abundance, prosperity, wealth, well-being and harmony. She is actively worshiped daily by millions of Hindus,
and interfaith practitioners of Goddess spirituality, around the globe. Because of her popularity she is considered a universal Goddess. Yet Deepvali is her special holiday because it is a holiday of lights, and represents a sweet, soulful and prosperous time when people
dress up and celebrate in the name of the Goddess of Fortune.
On the night before Deepavali Day children often light off firecrackers and sparklers, and in some parts of India, adults bang pots and pans to scare off Lakshmi’s dark sister, Alakshmi. Then women line their
windows and door ways with tiny lights (deepa) that are offerings to Lakshmi, to help her find her way to their abode.
One Deepvali Day Lakshmi is honored with worship such as Homan, Abishekam and Puja. And later that day the Sarada Puja to bless account books for the year is offered, followed by a
Lakhmi-Kubera Puja, to Goddess of Fortune and The God of Wealth. For two days, people participate in additional pujas and “Annakut Utsavam,” where people bring sweets to the temple or make offerings in their homes to Lakshmi and her beloved Vishnu. In the temples the food is
stacked and overflowing around holy icons and the priests hand out blessed sweets to children and especially needy devotees. They are accepted gladly, in two hands, and a respectful bow of the head. People often kiss or pray over this blessed food, called prasad,
before eating it and taking in the energies of the Goddess and her mate.
Lakshmi is a goddess who brings all good things to light and to life! She has one of the most colorful creation myths of all the deities in the Hindu pantheon. It is said Goddess Lakshmi was born, fully-grown,
on a pink lotus that rose from the milky sea. She was immediately be-decked, be-jeweled and worshipped by the gods and sages. They prayed that she would come to their abodes, and to their worlds, for they believed that where Lakshmi is you will also find riches and
Three millennia later, she remains the symbol of all things fortunate, and she is a highly sought after and beloved female deity.
Lakshmi, like many Hindu deities, is often pictured as a beautiful Indian woman with big dark eyes and with four arms. Clad in sari, in a form that is very feminine and full, she sits or stands on her lotus pink
throne. She usually has two lotuses in either of her back hands. Her front arms typically offer a protective blessing, as well as blessings known as "boons," or favors from the God/desses. Her ability to enhance our good fortune is in life is symbolized by the gold coins seen
pouring from her hands, back into the ocean of life.
Need help with finances, a job, success, happiness and love? Lakshmi is a Goddess you can turn to. It is the Hindu tradition to evoke the Lord of Obstacles, Ganesha, to clear the path to success. Ganesha removes
obstacles so Lakshmi can deliver fortune into your life. While there are specific chants and prayers to evoke Ganesha, some people call to him with the simple chant: "Om Ganesha, Om Ganesha, Om Ganesha."
Lakshmi and Ganesha are cohorts, who often work side by side. This is indicated by the frequency with which you see their icons and pictures together. Lakshmi's mate, however, is the God Vishnu -- known as the
Great Preserver, who comes to earth in the form of important avatars, such as Krishna. Lakshmi reincarnates with him in all human lifetimes and because of this is also seen as a role model for undying love.
It is believed that those who pay attention to the Goddess of Fortune every day develop a clear channel of communication with Her. You may also want to view this as simply focusing energy on that which you are
choosing to create in your life.
Lakshmi exists in a dimension far beyond our human struggles and sadness. From where she sits on her Sacred Lotus, she can guide us to greater fortune, deeper love relationships and more joy. Because she is also
considered a Great Mother Devi (Goddess) she can guide us from darkness, into the light. In fact, if you allow Lakshmi to be present in your life, you just might find she elevates you to a higher state of being and living. And in that state you will begin to see that
you can create anything!
How To Invite Lakshmi Into Your Life
Attend a Lakshmi Puja: In the culture from which Lakshmi hails, she is treated with great reverence and devotion. In the United States, it is very easy for anyone to attend, or even sponsor (request) a
Lakshmi Puja, which is a form of formal worship to the Goddess. Anyone of any faith can have a Hindu priest perform a puja at a temple or private home. You can also attend what is usually called a Sri MahaLaxmi or Sri MahaLakshmi (meaning Mother Lakshmi) abishekam, which is
the sacred purification and washing of the Goddess with milk, yogurt, honey and more. The 108 names of the Goddess are chanted and prayers are uttered repeatedly during a Lakshmi worship service and devotional songs are sung. Puja sponsorship usually begins at $51 (Hindus
never end a number with “0”).
Order a Puja on-line: Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, Indian temples bring your prayers to the Goddess and bring the blessings of the Goddess to you when you order a puja on line through
www.saranam.com , an organization that places puja orders for people from around the world, and typically cost at around $59 (the prices are in rupees on their website, so clarify before you buy).
You can request to be part of the worship services at Ashta Lakshmi Temple, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu; at MahaLakshmi Temple, in Mumbai, Maharashtra; or in one of 150 temples. They Fed Ex you a DVD of the worship service, as well as the prasad (dried flowers, cum-cum,
sandlewood ash, etc).
Pray to Her: Since you may not get to attend a Hindu worship service to honor the Goddess, it is important that you know Lakshmi can hear your prayers from wherever you may be. To evoke Her energy of good
fortune, light a green candle in Lakshmi's honor. Think for a moment about what good fortune means to you. Perhaps you may find that good fortune begins with a sense of peace and well-being within and has little to do with material goods or money. Or maybe you have a
financial issue which, once resolved, will make you feel more fortunate. Although you can certainly pray to win the lottery, you may find more immediate results if you pray for whatever cash is needed to meet your financial obligations and whatever support you need to make
your most heartfelt dreams come alive. Evoke Ganesh by repeating "Om Ganesh" three times. Then ask the Goddess for her help. Petition her as you would any deity (“Dear MahaLakshmi, please help me with ….. ) or, in Her spiritual presence, make a declaration (“I
am ready to find the job (mate, apartment, car) that is perfect for me, now”)
In these challenging times, you can also pray to her for peace and well-being for all. Good Fortune on all levels, spiritual and material, is her domain.
Celebrate Lakshmi’s Sacred Holidays in 2005
(Dates can sometimes vary in different locations)
Navaratri, October 3-12 2005: The Goddess Lakshmi is celebrated in image, song, worship and prayer in October during the sacred Hindu holiday honoring The Mother, called Navaratri. This nine day
celebration also honors the Goddesses Durga and Saraswati, (and in some locals Goddesses Kali and Parvati), from October 3 through October 12th in the United States. Lakshmi’s special days of honor – Sri Lakshmi Pooja -- are October 6 through October 8.
Deepavali, October 30-November 2, 2005: Worshippers around the world clean their homes spotless and light oil lamps to invite the Goddess to their abode on this holiday. The celebration begins on October
30 and runs a few days, through to November 2 this year. Lakshmi is honored in all day pujas on Deepavali day, November 1.
May MahaLakshmi Assist You In Making Dreams Come True!
© Copyright 2005 Rev. Laurie Sue
Brockway. All Rights Reserved.
Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:
July-September 2005 - "The Zen Way To Bridal Balance"
January-February 2005 - "Goddess Reflections"
2004 - "My Enduring Relationship with the Man of
August-September 2004 - "Move Forward … Make Change …"
2004 - "Meet the Amazing Alexander Kent Garrett"
2004 - "13 Steps for Making Your Romantic Dreams
2003 - Bring Light and Healing to Your Family
for the Holidays
2003 - "Even In Midlife,
We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother"
2003 - "The Secret to Serenity"
2003 - "A
Gathering of Goddesses: Our Girlfriends Keep Us Real"
2003 - "Love Has Its Own Schedule"
2003 - "A Spring Time Reawakening To Soulful Love
and Self Love"
2003 - "Marry Yourself First..."
2002 - "Who is the Goddess?" & "The
2002 - "How to Clear Your Love Clutter"
2002 - "How to Mourn a Broken Heart and Lost
2002 - "Relationships That Nurture and Inspire
Growth of the Soul
2002 - "Finding Peace in a Turbulent World"
2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and
2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"
2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are
2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"
2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other
2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"
2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"
2001 - "Getting to Know
the Goddess of Good Fortune"
2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"
2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"
2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"
2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"
May 2001 - "Someday
Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"
2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love
2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"
2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a non-denominational wedding
officiant, who regularly marries couples in love. She is
also widely recognized as a bridal stress expert devoted
to helping brides-to-be tap into their inner power and
poise. She is co-facilitator of The Bridal Survival Club
for The New York Wedding Group and author of WEDDING
GODDESS: A Divine Guide To Transforming Wedding Stress
into Wedding Bliss (Perigee Books, May 2005). Visit
her at www.WeddingGoddess.com.
TO SOULFUL THOUGHTS