Deliberations with Devdutt
Yoga and Total Health|November 2020
Playing Cards to Win Whimsical Lakshmi
DEVDUTT PATTANAIK

The word ‘Lakshmi’ comes from the word ‘Laksh’ which means target. Inanimate objects don’t have targets: a rock has no target, the river has no target, clouds have no target, but all living creatures do have a target. All living creatures look for food; if they don’t get it, they will die. So, they have a target called food. Food, their Laksh, becomes their Lakshmi. When they consume food, they stay alive. For plants, Lakshmi is sunlight, water, nutrients.

For herbivorous animals, Lakshmi is grass and leaves. For carnivorous animals, it is the flesh of other animals. Basically, Lakshmi is the currency that sustains nature.

For humans, Lakshmi is not just food, it is also property. It is the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the products we consume. So, the more Lakshmi we have, the more comfortable our life becomes. So the concept of Lakshmi widens in the human world.

The ancient Vedic seers understood this long ago. They composed a song praising Lakshmi called the Shri Sukta, which is found in the Rigveda.

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