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As a bird reputedly blinded by daylight, the owl also serves as a symbolic reminder to refrain from blindness and greed after knowledge and wealth has been acquired. Lakshmi is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both at the sides of Sri Venkateshwara or Vishnu.In some representations, wealth either symbolically pours out from one of her hands or she simply holds a jar of money. Bhudevi is the representation and totality of the material world or energy, called the aparam Prakriti, in which she is called Mother Earth.It symbolically knowledge, self-realisation and liberation in Vedic context, and represents reality, consciousness and karma (work, deed) in the Tantra (Sahasrara) context.The lotus, a flower that blossoms in clean or dirty water, also symbolises purity and beauty regardless of the good or bad circumstances in which its grows. Composed in the 1st millennium BC through the 16th century AD, they are short poems, proverbs, couplets, or aphorisms in Sanskrit written in a precise meter.She, goddess of wealth and prosperity, is often represented with her husband Vishnu, the god who maintains human life filled with justice and peace. van Buitenen translates passages describing Lakshmi in Vishnu Purana as, "Sri, loyal to Vishnu, is the mother of the world. When asking Vishnu for grace or forgiveness, the devotees often approach Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi.This symbolism implies wealth and prosperity is coupled with maintenance of life, justice, and peace. Lakshmi embodies the spiritual world, also known as Vaikunta, the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana or what would be considered heaven in Vaishnavism.The hymns of Shatapatha Brahmana thus describe Sri as a goddess born with and personifying a diverse range of talents and powers.According to another legend, she emerges during the creation of universe, floating over the water on the expanded petals of a lotus flower; she is also variously regarded as wife of Dharma, mother of Kāma, sister or mother of 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).
The owl signifies the patient striving to observe, see and discover knowledge particularly when surrounded by darkness. Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Parvati are typically conceptualised as distinct in most of India, but in states such as West Bengal and Odisha, they are regionally believed to be forms of Durga.
Lakshmi is depicted in Indian art as an elegantly dressed, prosperity-showering golden-coloured woman with an owl as her vehicle, signifying the importance of economic activity in maintenance of life, her ability to move, work and prevail in confusing darkness.
In Atharvaveda, composed about 1000 BCE, Lakshmi evolves into a complex concept with plural manifestations.
The Ashta Lakshmis preside over eight sources of wealth and thus represent the eight powers of Shri Lakshmi.
Temples dedicated to Ashta Lakshmi are found in Tamil Nadu, such as Ashtalakshmi Kovil near Chennai and in many other states of India.