That may explain why Sri Lakshmi, the presiding goddess of the festival, is also the reigning deity of good goals (lakshya) and prosperity in its eight-fold aspects called Ashta Lakshmi or eight incarnations. These are believed to be secondary manifestations of the Original — Adi- or Maha-Lakshmi. The other seven are Dhanya Lakshmi, wealth of granaries; that of arms (Dhairya Lakshmi) and of royal elephants (Gaja Lakshmi); not to forget wealth begotten through progeny (Santana Lakshmi) and prosperity through battle-field victory (Vijaya Lakshmi) or due to knowledge (Vidya Lakshmi). The eighth is the goddess of good fortune (Dhana Lakshmi) who completes the octet.
Nor does the worship of the Wealth Goddess on the day of Dhanteras preclude the quest for other aspirations. The four arms of Mahalakshmi, for example, are said to represent the four main goals of human life, namely, desire (kama); commerce (artha) and ethics (dharma) leading to liberation (moksha).
The Mother Goddess and her eight manifestations represent the harmony of charity balanced with acquisition as well as desire tempered with liberation.
So go out and have a blast on Diwali.
Vithal C Nadkarni- Cosmic Uplink - The Economic Times
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