Lakshmi is the wife of VISHNU and the GODDESS of wealth and happiness. She also is associated with beauty. Lakshmi sometimes goes by the name of Sri, though in very early times Sri seems to have had an independent identity and was only later conflated with her.
   Laksmi is most often depicted seated on a lotus. She is golden or white in complexion. She has four arms; in two hands she holds lotuses and with an upraised hand and downward pointing hand she gives gestures that indicate well-being and prosperity. She is commonly depicted in her iconography being bathed by two celestial elephants holding a pot of water. When she stands beside VISHNU, her husband, she is gener-ally shown with only two hands. Lakshmi is an extremely popular goddess.
   Further reading: Upendra Nath Dhal, Goddess Laksmi: Origin and Development (New Delhi: Oriental, 1978); Niranjan Ghosh, Concept and Iconography of the God-dess of Abundance and Fortune in Three Regions of India (Burdwan: University of Burdwan, 1979); David Kins-ley, Hindu Goddesses (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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