Lotus Lakshmi

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Fri Apr 6 05:52:51 EDT 2001

N. Ganesan wrote:

>Given that red lotus, ruby (mANikya), cULAmaNi/cUDAmaNi
>implicitly refer to prostitutes, was Sriilakshmi, the red lotus
>goddess, ever compared with gaNikA women in Sanskrit epics or later

The idea that zrI, personifying secular luck and prosperity, is fickle
(caNcalA, lolA) and ever prone to go from one man to the next can be found
throughout Sanskrit literature. It is a parallel to the European concept of
the fickleness of Fortuna (Greek Tyche). In Indian mythology we find
particularly tales about the precarious relation between Indra and SrI.
Thus one might expect to find her compared with a gaNikA. On the other
hand, epics and Puranas emphasize that zrI/LakSmI follows virtue, and that
makes the difference in comparison with the gaNikA: The gaNikA follows
money whereas zrI gives success to and bestows riches on the worthy man -
this is at least her standard image. But there may be exceptions?


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