Wealth management: Eight types of wealth (Part 1)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Generally speaking, wealth means all assets owned by an individual. Money is commonly used to define or measure wealth, but all wealth is not money. Besides money, knowledge, good health, strength, children, strength among others are also our wealth.
Our wealth or assets can be described by “Ashta Lakshmi”, the eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi, which denote different aspects of wealth.
- Dhana Lakshmi: represents wealth in the form of money or riches.
- Dhanya Lakshmi: ‘Dhanya’ literally means food grains. This form of Lakshmi represents agricultural income.
- Gaja Lakshmi: Represents strength and depicts your ‘sena’ or your team, which helps you to achieve your goals and objectives. They can also be called as ‘gana’, which literally means “flock, troop, multitude, number, tribe, series or class” (Wikipedia).
- Santana Lakshmi: Children too are our wealth; they bring us joy and happiness as part of family and represent our future.
- Veera or Dhairya Lakshmi: Represents patience, status, courage, character i.e. ‘aura’ of a person – how we tackle the hardships of life. One can sense the positive or negative aura of the person with whom you are talking. Absence of any worries itself creates a healthy aura or a healthy environment around us.
- Vijaya Lakshmi: ‘Vijaya’ as we know means victory. This form of Lakshmi represents our achievements and awards other than the material income that we earn.
- Vidya Lakshmi: Represents knowledge or ‘vidya’, which is essential for ‘dharma’ – righteous living or the right action. According to the Bhagavat Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya).
Manusmriti describes ten essential rules to observe dharma as patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha).
Maharishi Yagyavalkya, the great Vedic philosopher, had two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Maitreyi is described as Yajnavalkya’s scholarly wife. Katyayani was a housewife. When Yagnavalkya wanted to divide his assets between his two wives, Maitreyi chose ‘knowledge’, while Katyayani chose material wealth.
- Adi or Maha Lakshmi: All the above seven forms of Lakshmi together are called Adi Lakshmi. ‘Adi’ means the beginning or eternity. Adi Lakshmi represents my total wealth so far.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.