The story of Goddess Lakshmi
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Hinduism is a religion that celebrates the pursuit of wealth. The story of how Goddess Lakshmi emerged during the churning of the ocean is an interesting one.
Once, sage Dhurvasa, had a garland of flowers that never wilted and he wanted to present that garland to God Indra. God Indra, in all His arrogance, gave the garland to His white elephant, Airavata, who threw the garland on the floor. Outraged at this act of disrespect, Dhurvasa cursed God Indra that all the Devas would lose their power and that Goddess Lakshmi would no longer stay in heaven. The result of this curse was that the world became a dull, lifeless place, with no energy and prosperity and with people’s greed overtaking their goodness. God Indra, realizing His mistake, went to God Brahma for help, who in turn guided Him to God Vishnu. God Vishnu, told the devas to use Manthara Parvata, the mountain, to churn Ksheersagar, the ocean of milk, to obtain the nectar of immortality, so that the devas would regain their lost strength. He told them to take the help of the Asuras, since the devas were so weak and told them to take Vasuki, the king of the serpent’s help, to use as a churning rope.
God Vishnu took the Kurma (tortoise) avatar to support the mountain while the ocean was being churned. The devas and the asuras churned the ocean for about 1000 years before the ocean’s treasures came to the surface. One of the treasures that came out of the ocean, was Goddess Lakshmi, standing on a lotus flower. She was immediately accepted by God Vishnu as His consort and thus, she returned to heaven.
The lesson that we can all take from this story is that Goddess Lakshmi will not be present at a place where there is arrogance; She encourages hard work and sincerity and She will only show Herself in the presence of these two virtues.
A huge list of Lakshmi temples, right here at http://www.ishtadevata.com/lakshmi.html
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