Seated on a lotus in the graceful Lalita Asana (one leg pendant and the
other resting on a lotus flower), Devi Lakshmi being the Goddess of
prosperity, is appropriately bedecked in a rich array of ornaments;
including a ornamented crown, a profusion of necklaces and various bracelets
and armlets. Significantly in addition to being seated on it the Goddess
also holds the lotus flower in two of her four hands. This is to display her
persistent association with this spiritually significant flower. It
signifies that when one lives in this world, one can enjoy its wealth, yet
not become obsessed with it. Such a living is analogous a lotus that lives
in water but does not become wet by it.
Her four arms themselves signify the four directions, denoting the
omnipresence and omnipotence of the Goddess. Significantly the Goddess is
depicted with four arms only when depicted alone. When shown with her
husband Vishnu, she is shown with two arms only.
Of her remaining two hands, the right makes the gesture of granting boons.
The left holds a vase, known in Sanskrit as kalasha. It is a symbol
overflowing with abundance, wisdom and immortality, signifying the boon of
This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.
Jansen, Eva Rudy. The Book of Hindu Imagery, The Gods and their symbols:
Pandit, Bansi. The Hindu Mind: New Delhi, 2001.
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