Wealth means all assets owned by an individual. Money is commonly used to define or measure wealth, but all wealth is not money alone. Knowledge, good health, strength, children also constitute 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 bank balance.
Dhanya Lakshmi: ‘Dhanya’ literally means food grains. Dhanya Lakshmi represents agricultural assets and your role in plant environment. How many trees do you own?
Gaja Lakshmi: Represents strength and represents your team ‘army or sena’ or human resources, which helps you to achieve your goals and objectives. They are called as ‘gana’.
Santana Lakshmi: Children (adopted or your own) are our greatest wealth; they represent our future.
Dhairya Lakshmi: Represents patience and how we tackle the hardships of life. It relates to your power to deal with if you lose all your Dhan Lakshmi.
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. 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 to date.