Gaja-Lakshmi

Gajalakshmi

Gaja-Lakshmi or the Goddess of the elephants symbolizes royal powers. Many pictures depict the Goddess with two white elephants on her either side showering her with water from their trunks.

These elephants represent two of the eight elephants who are believed to hold up the sky from the eight corners of the cosmos. They are called 'dig-gajas' and are usually one male and another female.

The elephants came when Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean and they sprayed water on her like the ritual of consecration or 'abhishek'. This act depicted the divine acknowledgement of Lakshmi's powers and capacity to make the world rich and vibrant.

Lakshmi is considered the Goddess of the kings. Since only kings have the manpower and money to keep elephants, Lakshmi's association with elephants symbolize her royal or sovereign powers.

Elephants are liked by Ma Lakshmi since they have a royal, graceful presence and immense strength. They do not harbor enmity with other animals in the jungle and always have access to abundant food. Their sheer size keeps any potential enemies at bay. They walk with pomp,grandeur, and are naturally beautiful.

The King of Gods 'Indra' rides his royal and divine elephant 'Airavata'. Indra is also the rain bearing God and his elephant symbolizes the rain bearing clouds. Together they nourish the crops on earth and depict fertility. Elephants are therefore, associated with Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of beauty and fertility.