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Representations of Lakshmi (or Shri) are found in Jain and Buddhist monuments, in addition to Hindu temples. Although many believe she is the goddess of material wealth I was taught different. The lotus represents the awakening of the souls true purpose. The petals unfolding represent our lessons learned in relation to our soul and not our pocketbook. The two can work hand in hand but only when it benefits the greater growth and good. Lakshmi is usually depicted seated on the thrown of the lotus or rising from the sea on a lotus blossom. When most people hear the words wealth and fortune they can only see money but there are so many other things in life that bring us great wealth a fortune. Good friends, love of family and living with honor. Be you rich or poor, abundance is there if you choose to see it and acknowledge it as a gift to be thankful for. That is the true beauty of what the goddess Lakshmi represents. If you come to Lakshmi asking only for money for yourself you may get it but it will come with a heavy price. So leave your prayers open to the universe to provide what you need to make you a spiritual inspiration to lighten the path for all who care to travel it and you will be blessed with abundance beyond anything you could have thought to ask for. You may not know yet what you really need so don't limit your prayers and dreams to an anchor that could prevent you from soaring beyond the material and into true peaceful happiness.