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The lotus carries symbolic meanings in Hinduism and other Indian traditions.It symbolically knowledge, self-realisation and liberation in Vedic context, and represents reality, consciousness and karma (work, deed) in the Tantra (Sahasrara) context.Book 7, Chapter 115 of Atharva Veda describes the plurality, asserting that a hundred Lakshmis are born with the body of a mortal at birth, some good, punya (virtuous) and auspicious, while others bad, paapi (evil) and unfortunate.

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Below, behind or on the sides, Lakshmi is sometimes shown with one or two elephants and occasionally with an owl. An example Subhashita is Puranartha Samgraha, compiled by Vekataraya in South India, where Lakshmi and Vishnu discuss niti(right, moral conduct) and rajaniti(statesmanship, right governance) - covering in 30 chapters and ethical and moral questions about personal, social and political life.

Elephants symbolise work, activity and strength, as well as water, rain and fertility for abundant prosperity. In eastern India, Lakshmi is seen as a form of one goddess Devi, the Supreme power; Devi is also called Durga or Shakti.

Her four arms are symbolic of the four goals of humanity that are considered good in Hinduism - dharma (pursuit of ethical, moral life), artha (pursuit of wealth, means of life), kama (pursuit of love, emotional fulfillment) and moksha (pursuit of self-knowledge, liberation).

In Lakshmi's iconography, she is either sitting or standing on a lotus and typically carrying a lotus in one or two hands.

In Book 9 of Shatapatha Brahmana, Sri emerges from Prajapati, after his intense meditation on creation of life and nature of universe.

Sri is described as beautiful, resplendent and trembling woman at her birth with immense energy and powers.Prajapati refuses, tells the gods that males should not kill females and that they can seek her gifts without violence.The gods then approach Lakshmi, deity Agni gets food, Soma gets kingly authority, Varuna gets imperial authority, Mitra acquires martial energy, Indra gets force, Brihaspati gets priestly authority, Savitri acquires dominion, Pushan gets splendour, Saraswati takes nourishment and Tvashtri gets forms.Lakshmi springs with other precious things from the foam of the ocean of milk when it is churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of Amṛta.She appeared with a lotus in her hand and so she is also called Padmā.The hymns of Shatapatha Brahmana thus describe Sri as a goddess born with and personifying a diverse range of talents and powers.

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