Uluka – The Owl as Vahana or Vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi


Uluka, the owl, is a lesser known vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Uluka is mainly associated with the opposite form of Goddess Lakshmi – Alakshmi, the Goddess of inauspiciousness. The owl associated with Laxmi is also known as Pechaka and is worshipped in eastern parts of India, especially in Bengal, during Lakshmi Puja.

In some regions, Uluka symbolizes wisdom and intelligence because of its ability to foretell events. But in majority of the regions, owl is a bird of ill omen and symbolically represents darkness, disgrace, inauspiciousness and misfortune.

Uluka becomes the vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi when the wealth and prosperity provided by Goddess Lakshmi is used by human beings for Adharmic activities. Symbolically, the wealth provided by Lakshmi blinds the person and takes to dishonesty and avarice. Blinded by the wealth they become greedy and destroy themselves.

It is also said that a wise person on seeing an owl with Goddess Lakshmi realizes the trap of wealth and its splendor. For such a person, the owl is the symbol of wisdom as the person uses the wealth for positive purposes.