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Physical Form Of Goddess Mahalakshmi As Mentioned In Devi Mahatmya

In the Devi Mahatmya, a significant scripture in the Shakta tradition, Goddess Mahalakshmi is described in a vivid and powerful manner. According to this text, she is portrayed as having a radiant light red complexion, symbolizing auspiciousness and prosperity. Her divine presence is further accentuated by her sitting gracefully on a lotus, a symbol of purity and transcendence.

One of the distinctive features of the depiction of Mahalakshmi in Devi Mahatmya is her eighteen arms, each adorned with various weapons and attributes. These arms symbolize her multifaceted nature and her ability to protect and nurture the universe. The weapons she holds include a battle-axe, mace, bow and arrow, and lance, highlighting her role as a fierce protector against evil forces.

In addition to the formidable weapons, Mahalakshmi's arms also carry items that symbolize auspiciousness and divine attributes. These include a lotus, a symbol of purity and beauty, a rosary representing spiritual discipline, a wine-cup signifying celebration and abundance, a conch symbolizing the cosmic sound, and a bell representing the power to dispel ignorance.

Furthermore, the Devi Mahatmya, in its annexure known as Pradhanikarahasya, emphasizes the primacy of Goddess Mahalakshmi by portraying her as the first to appear before everything. This underscores her fundamental and foundational role in the cosmic order, emphasizing her status as the divine source and embodiment of prosperity.

It's essential to note that the depiction of Mahalakshmi in the Devi Mahatmya aligns with the Shakta tradition, where the Goddess is revered as the supreme divine force, distinct from the Vaishnava tradition where Goddess Lakshmi is considered the consort of Lord Vishnu. In the Shakta tradition, Mahalakshmi embodies the dynamic and creative aspect of the Divine Feminine, symbolizing the power of manifestation, protection, and abundance.