Today is SHARAD PURNIMA, the Harvest Full Moon marking the end of the monsoon season in India. On this day we also celebrate the birth of the goddess Lakshmi — She Who Gives — the consort of Vishnu, He Who Protects.
This year in particular we have many reasons to thank her: the challenge of this global pandemic has revealed so much kindness and love in our communities, our neighbours, our friends and families. It has shown us our own inner strength and capacity to adapt and survive these troubled times.
It is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder: by bringing your attention to the beautiful, to the love and light all around us, you will become able to see beyond the ignorance, drama and fear of the looming darkness.
The war between Light (symbol of knowledge) and Darkness (symbol of ignorance) is not new — it has been raging since time immemorial. In Hindu mythology, these forces are represented by the devas, divine beings who embody harmony, unification, integration and order; and asuras, demonic creatures who bring confusion, separation, chaos, and disorder.
The great 8th century philosopher Adi Shankara asserted that devas are those who search for the sacred and the spiritual, and asuras those who seek worldly excesses, obsessed with ego, anger, wealth, force and violence. Both of these natures, deva and asura, exist within the human being: there is an eternal dance between them within each one of us. The only thing that distinguishes a deva from an asura is intent, action, and the choices we make.
So today, let us offer our heartfelt thanks for the bounty of love, kindness, companionship, community and compassion that we have received. These are far greater treasures than material comfort, for even though one’s pockets may be full of gold, their heart may be barren, cold and lonely.
I am grateful to Lakshmi, the goddess of Abundance, for the beautiful people that brighten my every day, for the warmth of our hugs and for the laughter shared. Happy birthday, beautiful goddess! 😄🙏🏻🧡
Here is the lovely Lakshmi Gayatri mantra to light up your day:
Mahalakshmyai Cha Vidmahe
Vishnu Patnyai Cha Dheemahi
Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat
Let me meditate on the greatest goddess
O, wife of Lord Vishnu, give me understanding
May goddess Lakshmi inspire and illuminate my mind.