6. Learn All You Can About Her
Learn Everything You Can About Lakshmi
Wisdom and intellectual development are important aspects of Lakshmi's culture. While Saraswati is the official goddess of holy wisdom, Lakshmi is also celebrated as an important goddess of knowledge. Vidya is the word for knowledge, and in her aspect as Vidya-Lakshmi, she is said to cultivate intellectual development and encourage learning. It is believed that this leads to wisdom, skills, and abilities that can empower an individual's success on all levels.
Taking the time to learn more about Lakshmi is a wonderful way to honor her while expanding your spiritual and intellectual abilities. Her history is vast and has so many layers and interpretations, and it is satisfying to begin to gain a greater and clearer understanding of her. For eons, people have done their best to keep her in their lives. As you study her, you will find that there are so many ways in which she can be celebrated by devotees.
You can find almost anything in books and online. There is a wealth of information out there that covers so many aspects of Lakshmi and the culture she hails from, as well as many offerings on general goddess worship that may be helpful in your quest to get closer to Lakshmi.
Look for books on the history of Hinduism and on worship traditions. Learn about the philosophical schools of Hinduism and the tenets of the faith. Seek books about Hindu goddesses. You will find that Lakshmi's presence has been there from ancient times and she is imbedded in many holy books and stories. It can take several lifetimes to learn it all. But start by studying the aspects that are of the greatest interest to you.
For example, perhaps you will learn best from the Hindu scriptures or by searching the Internet for prayers, poems, and stories. Maybe you will find it most inspiring to learn about goddess spirituality practices that can be applied to Lakshmi or go to traditional worship services that are devoted to her. There are Hindu temples in many cities now. People who honor the Hindu tradition have been making homes in the United States and many countries and bringing traditional worship with them. If it is difficult to travel to a local temple, there are many ways to observe the worship of Lakshmi online or in videos, through live virtual events, and by sponsoring a puja in India and receiving a video of the service.
Get to know her culture, her history, and any spiritual practices, prayers, or rituals associated with her. Discover some prayers or mantras in Sanskrit and learn how to pronounce them. Take courses that are related to her culture. She hails from a religion over five thousand years old, so there is much to discover!
The more knowledge you acquire about her, the more you will find ways to connect with her. Learn how she is celebrated and how she is described by different authors and experts. There are several important Lakshmi-specific books that are available and she is also included in many books about Hindu goddesses and holidays. Some books are a bit more conversational than others, and some are scholarly and religious books from India. Here are some books that can be a starting point:
- Devi: Goddesses of India by John Stratton Hawley and Donna Mary Wulff (A deep look at many important goddesses with a chapter on Lakshmi).
- Invoking Lakshmi by Constantina Rhodes (She is a devoted teacher, healer, and scholar who makes Lakshmi available in easier-to-understand terms).
- Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth and Fortune by Devdutt Pattanaik (His books consistently offer Hindu wisdom and lived experience in an easy-to-understand way).
- Laksmi Tantra: A Pancaratra Text by Sanjukta Gupta (Focuses on Lakshmi as the divine creative impulse, intelligence, potency, potentiality, power, majesty, and speech.)
- Iridescence of Goddess Laksmi with translation by Dr. David Swati (Text With English Translation and Annotations of Sri-Sukta-Bhasyam)
- Shakti: Realm of the Divine Mother By Vanamali (This book looks at many aspects of Hindu's Divine Feminine deities and has a great chapter on Lakshmi).
- Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat by Sahitya Sangam (This is a vintage book with everything needed to perform the ancient rites of the Lakshmi Vrat for more happiness, peace, and riches).