Once, the Devas and Asuras churned the Ocean of Milk in search of obtaining Amrita, the nectar of immortality. Many divine and celestial objects emerged as well as the Goddess Lakshmi. This form of Lakshmi, this is a picture of the murti at MN Hindu Mandir, is from Southern India known as Perundevi. It was made after the image of the deity at Lord Varadaraja Temple located in Kanchi, Tamil Nadu, India.
Mahalakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu. She is the Goddess of generosity and prosperity, and the Goddess who help devotees obtain their spiritual goals.
Last night the temple was overflowing with thousands of devotees. I talked to people from all over the country... People visiting from India, some from Kanchi where the image of the deity comes from, locals from Minnesota, many people who traveled from chicago, from milwaukee, and many others who I did not have the chance to meet. Everyone was so very happy to be there on Diwali. I sat with a hundred other devotees who sponsored the Laksmhmi Puja in the main hall as crowds moved through out the temple. The sound of Sanskrit echoing through the temple as priests did puja to Mahalakshmi, Bhagavan Shiviji, and Shri Ganeshaji.
I just closed my eyes, and felt the vibration of the Sanskrit flow over me, the smell of incense and the sounds of bells ringing....it was all most like being back in India again.
As I left late last night, parents were still in the parking lot lighting of fireworks with their children, everyone was smiling, laughing, and wishing each other a Happy Diwali!