Lakshmi was the daughter of the sage Bhrigu and took refuge in the ocean of milk when the gods were sent into exile. Lakshmi was reborn during the Churning of the Ocean.
As soon as the gods saw Lakshmi, they all fell in love with her beauty. Shiva claimed Lakshmi as his wife, but since he had already taken the Moon, her hand was given to Vishnu, whom Lakshmi herself preferred.
Lakshmi was reborn as his consort each time when Vishnu incarnated. For example, Lakshmi was Sita to Rama, Radha and later Rukmini to Krishna.
Lakshmi is the goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. Being the consort of Vishnu, the preserving principle, Lakshmi also signifies love and grace. Lakshmi often expresses her devotion to Vishnu by massaging his feet as he lies on the coils of the snake Shesha. While Lakshmi is generally worshipped to achieve success, she does not reside long with anyone who is lazy or desires her only as wealth.
Click here to hear the Maha-lakshmi mantra online.
All Lakshmi pictures of paintings