Namaste Yoga 163 Dhana Lakshmi Intermediate/Advanced Class
Dhana Lakshmi is the Goddess Laskhmi in the form of material wealth or gold. Dhana is wealth. But as per Rigved´s Purush Shukta Dhana is not only a wealth in coins and currency. Even Sun and moon, fire and stars, rains and nature, oceans and mountains, rivers and streams, all these are our wealth. Dhana Lakshmi will also give us inner strength, will power, talents, virtues and character in abundance. In the material world Dhana Lakshmi helps us with wealth and prosperity. With the grace of mother Dhana Lakshmi we will get all things in abundance.
Legend has it that once Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu had some quarrel and in anger Goddess Lakshmi left Vaikunta (is considered to be the ultimate destination of souls who attain moksha or Liberation – so like the idea of heaven to Westerners) and came and resided on earth as Goddess Padmavati. Soon Lord Vishnu came in search of her and resided on earth as a forest dweller. On earth, Goddess Padmavati resided as the daughter of a rich king. Soon Vishnu and Goddess Padmavati met. He wanted to marry her but a poor forest dweller did not have the money to impress the daughter of a king to become his wife.
Finally, it is said that Lord Vishnu took loan from Kubera, the treasurer of Gods. Kubera agreed to help under one condition. Lord Vishnu had to agree he could not leave the earth without repaying the debt. Well soon the debt accumulated and with the interest Lord Vishnu could never return to Vaikunta. Finally, Lord Vishnu had to acknowledge the power of debt and Dhana Lakshmi blessed him.
Since this incident, Lord Vishnu is also known as Daridra Narayana (poor Vishnu) as he is indebted to Dhana Lakshmi. It is also said that the offerings that devotees make to Lord Balaji is used repay the debt of Kubera. Lord Balaji is a form of the Hindu God Vishnu who destroys the sins of people, according to Hindu scriptures. Lord Balaji is another name for Vishnu when he incarnated as Venkateswara and appeared for the salvation and upliftment of humanity in this Kali Yuga age.
Symbolically, Dhana Lakshmi teaches the importance of treating money and especially credit with respect in modern society. Credit is important as many of us could never buy a house without a mortgage, but it must be treated with the utmost respect because it is easy to get out of balance with credit and get upside down in your loans like Vishnu in the story. It is like water, it is essential for survival but it can also drown.
Last week I listened to a Buddhist dharma talk by Ajahn Brahm who encouraged my inner storyteller to flourish. He said when you tell stories from the scriptures to embellish them and make them your own. So in today’s class I will do that with this story of Vishnu and Lakshmi as we practice our yoga. But before we do that, reflect on the unembellished story, what stands out? What seems most important? As you go into your yoga practice today … what intention do you want to take with you as you practice your yoga today?
So we will begin our story today with Lakshmi on earth living in the castle, and Vishnu dwelling in the forest. And the two have already met. They are in the courting stage of their relationship. In fact, they spend endless hours in the forest enjoying each others company, spending time outdoors, soaking up the beauty and abundance of nature all around them.
Lakshmi and Vishnu had spent all this time together courting and Vishnu started to become insecure. She had all this wealth, she lived in a castle and he was a mere forest dweller. He began to doubt that he would ever be able to impress her enough to win her hand in marriage. His mind started to work overtime with this illusion and he decided the key to her heart was wealth.
He asked Kubera the God of wealth for a loan. He was granted his wish. At first it seemed he had everything he wanted. He was able to buy Lakshmi a huge diamond ring and ask for her hand in marriage. They were married and bought a huge house, two brand new cars, but of course in no time at all they were both swimming in debt and quarreling all the time trying to make their minimum payments each month.
One night on a full moon they decided to stop their quarreling and go and take a turn off their 175 inch plasma screen surround sound tv, and go to the forest. That night in the light of the full moon they realized what was important. Lakshmi forgave Vishnu his debt and they returned to the forest to live a simple life.
Yoga Asanas/Yoga Postures: Bridge/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Cat/Marjaryasana, Tricep Pushups/chaturanga dandasana, Butterfly Pose/Baddha Konasana, Turtle/kurmasana, Frog/Mandukasana, Mountain/Tadasana, Tree Pose/Vrkasana, Palm Tree/Talasana, Eagle/Garudasana, Standing Forward Fold/Uttanasana, Crow Pose/Bakasana, Standing keyhole with kubera mudra, 1/2 Moon Balancing Pose/Ardha Chandrasana, Savasana/Corpse Pose