Lakshmi Healing Goddess
The Godess Lakshmi
Lakshmi is the Hindu Godess of Wealth, Purity, Genorosity and Prosperity. According to teachings she looks after both spiritual and material wealth. Lakshmi is a particular favourite of Hindu women and very popular as a household Goddess.
Lakshmi is usually represented as a beautiful four armed woman sitting or standing in a lotus flower and accompanied by an elephant. She is a mother Goddess and is usually addressed with extra respect as 'Mata' rather than simply as 'Devi'.
11 Repetition Lakshmi Prayer
I am a sceptic about magical things. I don't go with astrology, miracle cures or incantations. At the same time I find it easier to believe in something than nothing at all. I could be best described as a Pantheist. I pray to my own Gods in thanks or to ask help for others but never for myself. My prayers are usually a meditation of wonderment of natures beauty.
Shortly after I started my zoo career in 1968 I was attacked by a group of Pig-tailed Macaques Macaca nemestrina and badly bitten on the head and both hands. My right hand received the worst bite and I was extremely lucky to have no tendon damage. It was however left with a curious feeling of extra sensitivity and then nothing at all. A simple knock to the hand could cause extreme pain or else I felt nothing. In the cold there was excruciating agony. I was never incapacitated and over the years I got used to it.
In the early eighties I found myself force feeding American Crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and Grey Seal pups Halichoerus grypus on a regular basis. Somewhere along the way I must have got a small cut from one or the other and contracted a Mycobacterium marinum infection in the thumb of my right hand. Agony is too tame a word. I seriously considered cutting it off and probably would have done if it had been the thumb on my left hand (I am right handed).
Lakshmi standing in Lotus
I went to the doctors of course and the doctor sent me to a specialist. They did biopsies and put me on several different treatments of antibiotics. None worked. It was constant pain day in and day out for month after month. With the cooperation of the local library (no internet then) I did my own research and was able to come up with a mix of antibiotics and passed the information on to my doctor. It was real 'kill or cure' stuff, but it worked. I was left with a permamently swollen right thumb which would not bend and a strange numb feeling. I got used to that as well.
There was nothing I could not do. I adapted but fiddly little tasks were more awkward and I was constantly aware of my right hand...always avoiding knocking it against anything, keeping it warm in cold weather.
In 2003 I went travelling in India. It was a 'zoo' trip but along the way I stopped to see other sites and of course it being India, temples were regular attractions. One day, outside of Hampi I visited a small temple devoted to Lakshmi. There were many aged Indian pilgrims there and I joined them in the queue to go inside.
It was dark and progress was quite slow. Eventually I reached a temple priest who wanted to annoint my head. I declined his request and he said "okay, then you will need this" and picked up a small golden bowl. The inside of the bowl was silver and contained what I assumed was water. Here in the dark though it shone as bright as could be, like liquid moonbeam. He took a small ladle of this and poured it into my hands. I rubbed them together, gave the priest a few rupees and continued on thinking no more about it.
During the night I was up a few times suffering from my first digestive upset since I arrived in India. It was on one of these nocturnal awakenings that I noticed something peculiar. My hand! It felt different. I could move it in a way I had not been able to do for years. It felt 'normal'.
Okay, I am still a sceptic but I have this feeling that Lakshmi had something to do with it. I have no other explanation.
Lakshmi is the beautiful Hindu mother Goddess of wealth and prosperity and is a very popular household goddess because of this. She is usually depicted with four arms sitting or standing in a lotus flower. I have never heard of Lakshmi being described as a healer but her special month is October and October is my birth month. And I am still a sceptic but Lakshmi has a special place in my life.