Laxmi, the Consort of Narain, is the most sought-after Goddess of the Hindu pantheon. She is riches personified — and is therefore the right Consort for the Preserver of the universe — Vishnu. She is his power of action and the owner of all the riches that Vishnu needs — to look after the ‘world’. No one can be rich and consequently powerful without her benevolence not even Narayan.
Laxmi came out of the ocean when at the beginning of ‘time’ the vast Ocean was churned to get the ‘nectar’ hidden in its depths out for the benefit of the ‘devtas’, who wanted to become immortal, because the ‘asurs’ who were stronger to them in physique and strength were ever after their blood.
Laxmi has become one of the most worshipped ‘deity’ by the Hindus as wealth and beauty are the most desired by the people, although Ganesh has to be worshipped first, a picture or idol of Laxmi will always be in every household even if Narayan is not there. On Diwali it is ‘Ganesh, Laxmi’ that are the paramount deities of the day. Ganesh — because no worship can take place without first worshipping him and Laxmi because it is her day.
Laxmi is a docile and obedient wife and seldom gets annoyed with her husband but has been known to curse him now and then. Laxmi accompanies her spouse in his ‘avtars’ and was Sita with Ram and Radha (some prefer Satyabhama, since Radha was not Krishna’s wife) with Krishna in the most well-known ‘avtars’ of Narayan.
She is shown sitting or standing on a ‘lotus’ when by herself and has four hands — one holding the open lotus — the other may hold a golden pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on top of it. The third and fourth, both pointing down, have gold coins falling continuously from them
Laxmi is called by various names in the Hindu scriptures, she is Shree — meaning glory and Indira because she was very pleased with Inder, the chief of the devtas, singing her praise. Kamla and Padama as she came out of the ocean sitting on a lotus carrying also a lotus garland. Lok Mata because she is the one who gives riches for the humans to be able to live. Haripriya, the beloved of Hari (Vishnu).
All Hindus worship Laxmi as, without her, one is helpless. Diwali is the most lavish festival of the Hindus. It is celebrated day and night when Laxmi is worshipped with great joy and gusto. Houses are white-washed and cleaned thoroughly. Lamps are lighted and the houses decorated with shining and beautiful things.
Everyone is dressed in shining and clean clothes, and jewels, gold chains in the necks, arms and ears of the women of the house since Laxmi loves glitter and loves to be amongst people of prosperity and riches. They have to be very careful with her, and not let her slip out of their hands. She can come through ways of adharm and can leave by that way also, therefore, gamble with care (Gambling is more or less a must during Diwali) for the jingle of coins delights Laxmi — but remember she is Rama and Chanchal and is quick to leave. Her vehicle is the owl.
For Hindus, the goddess Lakshmi symbolizes good luck. The word Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksya, meaning "aim" or "goal," and in the Hindu faith, she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity of all forms, both material and spiritual.
For most Hindu families, Lakshmi is the household goddess, and she is a particular favourite of women. Although she is worshiped daily, the festive month of October is Lakshmi's special month. Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the full moon night of Kojagari Purnima, the harvest festival that marks the end of the monsoon season.
Lakshmi is usually depicted as a beautiful woman of golden complexion, with four hands, sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud, which stands for beauty, purity, and fertility. Her four hands represent the four ends of human life: dharma or righteousness, kama or desires, artha or wealth, and moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Two elephants are often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. This denotes that ceaseless effort when practiced in accordance with one's dharma and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.
Worship of a mother goddess has been a part of Indian tradition since its earliest times. Lakshmi is one of the traditional Hindu mother goddesses, and she is often addressed as "mata" (mother) instead of just "devi" (goddess). As a female counterpart of Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi is also called "Shr," the female energy of the Supreme Being. She is the goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace, and charm. She is the subject of a variety of hymns recited by Hindus.