Elephant is worshipped along with Goddess Lakshmi in many regions and the goddess is also known as Gaja Lakshmi. Two white elephants are also depicted along with the image of Goddess Lakshmi and the animal is also believed to be the Vahana (vehicle) of the Goddess. The popular belief is that worshipping Gaja or elephant will help in attainment of wealth and prosperity. There is an interesting story which connects the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and elephant.
Long ago a king had two wives. The first wife had many children and the second wife had only a single son. The first wife and her children once made a huge white elephant of clay and worshipped it along with Goddess Lakshmi. The second wife was unable to perform the worship as she did not want her son to make a huge clay idol of the elephant all alone.
But the son noticed that his mother was sad and when he found out the reason for her sadness, he decided to alleviate it. The son prayed to Lord Indra and asked for his white elephant – Airavata – for worship. Lord Indra was pleased with the son’s devotion and dedication for his mother and lend his white elephant.
The mother performed her prayers for Goddess Lakshmi along with the real white elephant and it is said that due to this worship, the son became a very successful and powerful king. After this incident people started worshipping white elephant along with Goddess Lakshmi.
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