Siddhi Laxmi is the holistic and full manifestation of Ma Yogmaya. She is the epitome of prosperity, wealth, abundance. She encompasses all forms of Laxmi because the Lakshmi that is known in the public domain is Mahalakshmi and her different forms. Mahalakshmi is rajasic in nature while Siddhi Lakshmi encompasses all three modes of nature (satwa, raja, and tamas) and beyond.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, her worship is performed for acquiring immense wealth and all the wealth of the universe. There is no wealth in this universe that she cannot bestow.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Iconography
- 3 The origin story of Siddhi Lakshmi
- 4 The essence of Siddhi Lakshmi worship
- 5 Meaning of Wealth and Siddhi Laxmi
- 6 Difference between Maha Lakshmi, Sri Vidhya, and Siddhi Lakshmi
- 7 Difference between Rajrajeshwari Siddhi Lakshmi and Siddhi Lakshmi Dakini
- 8 Siddhi Lakshmi and its practice in Kathmandu, Nepal
- 9 Siddhi Lakshmi and Nyatapola temple, Bhaktapur
- 10 The tradition and lineage of Siddhi Lakshmi
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, the name “Siddhi Laxmi” is comprised of two words, Siddhi and Lakshmi. Siddhi means perfection in any endeavor while Lakshmi means wealth. Besides the word Lakshmi is derived from “Lakshya” which means purpose or in the language of tantra, “Lakshya” means essence. Therefore, the synthesis of the name implies, the goddess whose main essence is perfection. She bestows the wealth of perfection to her devotees. She also bestows both wealth and perfection to her devotees.
Mahalakshmi on the other hand bestows Lakshmi to her devotees. She necessarily doesn’t bestow perfection or Siddhi. Therefore, in’ Lakshmi Tantra”, there are two outcomes of Mahalakshmi sadhana. One either becomes a “Vishnu Purusha” or becomes “Ullu” or owl. The one who perfects Lakshmi becomes “Vishnu Purusha” and those who are ruled by Lakshmi become “Ullu” and the literal translation of Ullu means own but in tantra, the owl represents blindness and dweller of the dark. It also means agyana. An owl only has a good appearance but is mostly inactive when all are active furthermore, an owl also implies not perfect in anything from tantra perspective. But the same cannot be said about “Siddhi Lakshmi”.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, she is portrayed upon Aakash Bhairava. The Aakash Bhairava supports Siddhi Lakshmi upon his hands. The feet of Devi doesn’t touch the ground. The Aakash Bhairava also doesn’t touch the ground and is seated upon a Bhimkaya Bhairava or Vajra Bhairava. She is mainly portrayed with five heads and ten hands. She is portrayed in maroon color. The Aakash Bhairava is portrayed looking towards the sky and has four hands, two of which support the feet of Siddhi Lakshmi while the other hands, hold a skull cup and the other forms the bindu kapala mudra.
She is portrayed with five heads which depict satwa, rajas, tamas, trigunatita, and agyata. Her ten hands hold starting from the right side, respectively holds a sword, vajra kilaka, bell, abhaya mudra and holds a skull cup. The left side hands respectively hold noose, trishula, katrika, a severed head, and kapala bindu mudra. She is adorned with jewels and ornaments made of gold because she is rajasic in nature predominantly. She wears the garland of skulls too.
The origin story of Siddhi Lakshmi
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, once when Mahalakshmi visited Ma Parvati just to fulfill her inner desire to feel completeness because she always felt that although she being Mahalakshmi, she still lacks something deeper and that completeness. Whenever she thinks of Yogmaya Parvati, she always becomes blissful therefore, she visits Kailash, and then she talks to Ma Parvati. She tells her about her inner dilemma to which Ma Parvati replies that she and Mahalakshmi are the same. They are both the manifestation of Yogmaya. No sooner had she said that Ma Parvati reverted to her original Yogmaya form. She then tells Mahalakshmi that all women are the manifestation of Shakti and that Shakti is what pervades everything in this universe. Without them, the universe is incomplete therefore, Ma Parvati is Lakshmi herself but in a holistic form because Mahalakshmi is the rajas manifestation of Yogmaya while Ma Parvati is Lakshmi herself who is the epitome of satwa, raja, tamas, trigunatita and unknown one, the Siddhi Lakshmi.
Ma Yogmaya continues as she tells Mahalakshmi that without her, lord Vishnu is incomplete, without Saraswati, Lord Brahma is incomplete and without myself, Lord Shiva is incomplete. She reveals Mahalakshmi to be a rajas manifestation of Yogmaya. If Shakti is absent from Shiva then they transform into a corpse. Mahalakshmi then asks Yogmaya to explain a bit more and the Yogmaya asks her to watch the incidents carefully.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, she then reveals to Mahalakshmi that the strongest deity in the physical world is Bhimkaya Bhairava or Vajra Bhairava. She then tells Mahalakshmi that Vajra Bhairava to be a form of Bhairava whose body is very rigid and is undefeatable and she asks the Bhairava to manifest. The Bhairava manifests and starts to create havoc in the physical world. The Bhairava starts to bully and destroy elephants and horses. He destroys mountains and hills. Yogmaya explaining the phenomenon to Mahalakshmi says that the Bhairava is the most powerful deity in the physical world and the Bhairava is powerful because of them. She then asks Mahalakshmi to watch closely and through her yogbala, she extracts herself out from the Vajra Bhairava. The Vajra Bhairava then falls and becomes a corpse.
Having said that, Mahalakshmi asks Yogmaya that the world is simply not physical but beyond physical. The world is also infinite and extremely enormous. Ma Yogmaya then says that the most powerful deity in the space realm is Aakash Bhairava. She then orders Aakash Bhairava to manifest. The Bhairava manifests and starts to create havoc everywhere. The Bhairava starts destroying various stars and crushes them to dust. The Bhairava creates havoc in the universe and at that moment, Yogmaya says to Mahalakshmi that even the strongest of Bhairava is incomplete without Shakti. She then with her yogbala extracts herself out from the body of Aakash Bhairava.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, the Aakash Bhairava becomes motionless and becomes a statue. The Bhairava doesn’t fall because the Bhairava is too strong and powerful because of its nature. Yogmaya reveals to Mahalakshmi that Siddha Lakshmi which is the original Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi being the rajas manifestation of that ultimate Lakshmi is the most powerful Shakti in this universe and beyond. She then elevates herself and she sits upon the Aakash Bhairava where her feet are supported by the hand of Bhairava.
The essence of Siddhi Lakshmi worship
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Lakshmi is limited to the rajasic form of Yogmaya only. Mahalakshmi is the rajasic manifestation of Siddhi Lakshmi. She gradually brings tamas to her sadhaka such that her sadhaka when starts to misuse Lakshmi turns into an own but Siddhi Lakshmi who is the manifestation of Yogmaya doesn’t have such problems. The worship of Mahalakshmi only brings you rajasic wealth but Siddhi Lakshmi brings all forms of Lakshmi to the sadhaka.
Wealth is something that brings completeness in a person and also fulfills the desires of the sadhaka. Siddhi Lakshmi is that ultimate goddess who bestows her sadhaka wealth which is universal and secondly Siddhi or perfection. The Siddhas from time immemorial have said that wealth is perishable because wealth is always unsteady. It always keeps moving. The moment when a person doesn’t utilize the wealth, the wealth becomes unsteady and becomes stagnant ultimately causing its destruction. This scenario can only be avoided through the injection of another virtue in Lakshmi and that is Siddhi or perfection. When the art of wealth is perfected then the wealth always keeps on increasing.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Siddhi Lakshmi means the perfection of wealth too. It also means the perfection of wealth holistically and equally in this universe. The best possible way to increase wealth is to perfect wealth because wealth will then create wealth and the cycle continues.
From another perspective, Siddhi Lakshmi means perfection of wealth that means a sadhaka who perfects Siddha Lakshmi perfects wealth. The person is never devoid of Lakshmi nor the utmost virtues like perception anywhere inside this universe because she is dominant in physical as well as in the metaphysical realm. This sadhana is so vibrant and strong because the effect of this sadhana extends beyond many lives. If a person perfects Siddhi Lakshmi in this life, then the person will never be devoid of wealth. Wealth will always find a way to come to the person. Secondly, even after death, the person is not devoid of wealth because the person can be born in any part of the universe yet will automatically start attracting wealth is their lives. The person would never be devoid of wealth whatsoever in this life or afterlife.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, the last vital essence of “Siddhi Lakshmi” is to attain Siddhatwa. Through the worship and perfection of Siddhi Lakshmi, the worshipper attains the state of Siddhatwa. Siddhatwa is the highest virtue of any Siddhi. It is also the ultimate state that the Siddha wants to achieve. Siddhatva means to be free while one is alive and to be reborn again and again. In every birth, Siddhas perform sadhana, they perfect their existence, become free from everything, and again take rebirth. Every time they take rebirth, they become an avatar because it is their conscious choice to be born again and again. Siddhas never desire salvation because Siddhas are in a romantic relationship with this entire universe.
Meaning of Wealth and Siddhi Laxmi
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, wealth has a diverse meaning. Wealth is mostly considered to be material wealth and nothing else. Wealth in a modern-day context has become more like tangible property which can be felt and has material utility but from the perspective of Siddhas, wealth is both tangible and intangible. For the Siddhas, the lowest level of wealth is the material or physical wealth because those forms of wealth arise from the material world and are used mostly for the gratification of the senses.
The highest form of wealth is “self-satisfaction” because the essence of all desires is satisfaction. If a person wishes something and the person fulfills the wish, there is a degree of self-satisfaction because all material phenomenon in this universe only leads to pleasure and pleasure leads to self-satisfaction. Everything in life is nothing but experience. A person even if he wins the three worlds, the person only receives a good experience, and a series of good experiences lead to self-satisfaction. Therefore, Lakshmi is the goddess who provides you with self-satisfaction.
The wealth from the perspective of Siddhi Lakshmi is “Perfection” of the wealth of perfection. Perfection is when a person perfects something. Perfection is not material wealth but absolute wealth because perfection breeds wealth. For instance, if a person masters something, the person can always attract material wealth through the inner wealth that is perfection. If one perfects something, that thing shall always provide wealth to that person. This is the essence of Siddhi Lakshmi.
Difference between Maha Lakshmi, Sri Vidhya, and Siddhi Lakshmi
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Mahalakshmi, Sri Vidhya, and Siddhi Lakshmi are essentially three stages of the same goddess Yogmaya in Lakshmi form. The first stage is Lakshmi, the second stage is Sri Vidhya and the ultimate stage is Siddhi Lakshmi.
The lowest level of Yogamaya Lakshmi is her Mahalakshmi form. Mahalakshmi is pure wealth and nothing else. It is mostly material wealth and is the epitome of rajasic virtues. Mahalakshmi is a single-dimensional form of Yogmaya because she only has rajasic virtues in her. She only bestows the rajasic wealth to her worshipper but she has strict limitations because of her being single-dimensional.
When a sadhaka transcends Mahalakshmi, they reach the stage of Sri Vidhya and mainly two Mahavidhyas, Kamalatmika Mahavidhya and Lalita Tripura Sundari. Both Kamala and Tripura Sundari have satwa, raja, and tamas in them. For instance, Lalita Tripura Sundari has three forms, Bala Tripura Sundari, Shodashi Sundari, and Tripura Sundari who are satwik, rajasic, and tamasic form respectively. By the virtue of the name Tripura Sundari means the most beautiful one in the three lokas. The perfection of Tripura Sundari makes the sadhaka, the wealthiest, and the most powerful person in the three lokas.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, when the sadhaka when perfects Tripura Sundari and transcends her, the sadhaks reaches to the stage of Siddhi Lakshmi. The wisdom of Siddhi Lakshmi transcends Shri Vidhya because she is satwa, raja, tamas, trigunatita, and unknown guna. Her influence is in all realms. Shri Vidhya is only active in places where three modes of nature, satwa, raja, and tamas is dominant but “Siddhi Lakshmi” is dominant beyond these gunas. She has her influence beyond gunas and also in the ultimate nothingness. Therefore, the sadhaka who perfects “Siddhi Lakshmi” becomes holistically wealthy.
Difference between Rajrajeshwari Siddhi Lakshmi and Siddhi Lakshmi Dakini
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, there is a fundamental difference between Rajrajeshwari Siddhi Lakshmi and the Dakini because the former has five heads and is red in complexion while the Dakini is white. The Dakini is one of the forms or associates of Vajra Yogini who also plays the role of providing wealth to tamasic sadhaks while they are engrossed in Vajra Yogini sadhana.
The Rajrajeshwari Siddi Lakshmi is the highest form of Lakshmi in this whole universe. There is no Lakshmi beyond her. People often confuse Rajrajesjwari Siddhi Lakshmi and portray her in white color which is done in pure ignorance because they think she is one of the forms of Vajra Yogini which is purely false.
Siddhi Lakshmi and its practice in Kathmandu, Nepal
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Kathmandu is the place of Lord Shiva and Shakti jointly because of Pashupati Nath Ji. The temple of Pashupati Nath was believed to be consecrated by Ne Muni himself. Secondly, because Kathmandu is a Shakti Peeth in itself because of Guheshwari Devi. Therefore, the Kathmandu area is considered to be an important pilgrimage and sadhana place for all Kaulas of the world because Kaulachara is the joint path of Shiva and Shakti. Kathmandu is the fertile land for Kaula sadhanas therefore, Kaulachara has always been the de-facto tantra of Kathmandu valley.
The Kathmandu valley is the native place of the Newar community. The Newar community is a tantric community who purely follow tantra as their lifestyle and worship module. Their whole lifestyle is structured in such a way that they have to perform worship and organize multiple feasts in a year.
The Newar community of Kathmandu follows two dominant tantra kulas. They are Kali kula and Shree kula. The Bhairavas, Guheshwari Devi (Guhyakali), various tamasic Matrikas fall under Kali kula while the Kumari worship, Taleju Bhawani worship, and Siddhi Lakshmi worship fall under Shree kula. The newar community imbibes in them the two dominant kulas of the Kaula tradition, the Kali kula and Shree kula simultaneously. The secretive worships or the inner circle worship that fall under Kali kula, for instance, Kubjika tantra falls under Kali kula but the most prevalent, the worship of Lalita Tripura Sundari and Siddhi Lakshmi is seen commonly.
It was because of the worship of Siddhi Lakshmi and Lalita Tripura Sundari, Kathmandu was once very rich land. Agriculture as well as trades flourished here. It was the trade route to Tibet. Because of the blessings of Shree Vidhya and Siddhi Lakshmi goddess, Kathmandu valley was rich in sculptures and would trade many valuable items with salts. There was a trade surplus in Kathmandu valley until the British time because Nepal had donated funds and its armies to Britain.
Siddhi Lakshmi and Nyatapola temple, Bhaktapur
The Nyatapola (Nine Storeyed) or Siddhi Lakshmi temple in Bhaktapur is the state-of-the-art temple that was built by then King of Bhaktapur, Bhupatindra Malla three centuries back. The temple is all together nine-storeyed. The lower four-storeyed is the base of the temple while the upper five-storeyed is its roof. The four-storeyed base represents Bhimsena Bhairava/Bhimkaya Bhairava and Aakash or Betala Bhairava while the upper five-storeyed roof represents the five heads of goddess Siddhi Lakshmi.
As per the local folklore and records, the local people also believe that the Siddhi Lakshmi has nine heads therefore nine-storeyed temple is made but as per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Siddhi Lakshmi doesn’t have nice faces and sixteen hands. The nine faces and Sixteen hands are that of Tulaja or Taleju Bhawani or Rajrajeshwari Lalita Tripura Sundari.
It took six months to build the temple. A lot of native people volunteered with their artistic abilities and services. It took 1135350 bricks to build the temple. Eight brick furnaces were erected in the nearby land. 529 small bells were hanging in the roofs like windchimes.
Recently, in the earthquake of 2015, the roof of the temple was destroyed and needed renovation. Along with the roof, there were cracks and the roof bricks had to be changed. The Bhaktapur Municipality rejected the aid of Germany citing the local participation development module. The Bhaktapur Municipality asked the people to volunteer for the renovation. The municipality approved 6.5 million Nepalese rupees fund for its maintenance. The whole maintenance work was performed in 3 million rupees because 1.28 million rupees were local collections for the local people and 4135 people volunteered for the renovation. The remaining amount was returned to the municipality by the local people.
This temple is not a temple only. It is a totem that unites the whole Bhaktapur area and its locality because, in its premises, the Bisket Jatra happens yearly. Nyatapola temple is also enlisted in the UNESCO world heritage list and is also the pride for the Nepalese people.
The tradition and lineage of Siddhi Lakshmi
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, Siddhi Lakshmi sadhana is the ultimate sadhana prescribed by the Siddhas from time immemorial for holistic wealth. The wisdom of Siddhi Lakshmi was first revealed by lord Shiva to Ma Parvati and she then revealed to the Sapta Rishis and various other Rishis. The Rishis then infused this wisdom to their lineages but after some time they stopped preaching and propagating this wisdom because this sadhana is the ultimate sadhana in the “Shakta” pantheon and it brings immense wealth to the sadhaka but it has its side effect because her worshipper becomes engrossed in wealth and perfection to such extent that the real essence of human existence is forgotten. The sadhana makes a person more hedonistic rather than a spiritual being in the long run.
Maharishi Kashyapa was an ardent follower of Siddhi Lakshmi, he was the last of the Rishis to have propagated this wisdom through his lineage. Eventually, he also stopped propagating it and this wisdom went to hibernation. Siddhi Lakshmi has six different forms and all forms are equally powerful. The Rishis while hibernating this wisdom locked it so that it won’t be misused in the future.
As per “Kaula Siddha” dharma, it was later Mahasiddha Matsyendra Nath who revived this sadhana when he heard the agama-nigama of Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati. He had learned all the unlocking techniques from lord Shiva himself so he unlocked this sadhana and then infused it into the society again. He only unlocked the sadhana to the degree needed in the society to stop the future abuse of this sadhana. The most prevalent form of Kaula Siddha dharma and the practice of “Siddhi Lakshmi” is found in Kathmandu valley, Nepal which was once the hub of Kaulachara and it still preserves many Kaulachara traditions and lifestyles.