Lotus Lakshmi

Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at APPLEONLINE.NET
Fri Apr 6 02:47:28 EDT 2001

I don't know if this is of any relevance, but in SI iconography ViSNu is
generally portrayed with two wives, S'rI DevI (=LakSmI), the senior, on his
right and BhU DevI (Earth Goddess) on his left.  The former holds a (red)
lotus bud, the latter an open (blue) water-lily.  There's a similar
arrangement with other Gods depicted with 2 wives, e.g. Murugan
(SubrahmaNya, KArttikeya).

Perhaps the implication in the poems you refer to is that the chieftain is
putting the mistress ahead of the wife?

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

N. Ganesan writes

>In the sangam poetry, the lotus flower (tAmarai) is used as
>a metaphor for Para-strI/gaNikA all the time. OTOH,
>kuvaLai (black/blue water-lily) is used for the Wife
>of the chieftain, probably the cross-cousin and legitimate
>manager of the household.

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