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Lakshmi: A Hindu Goddess Reinterpreted

A devotional statue depicting Vishnu and Lakshmi
This week, South Asian leaders gather in Markham to discuss family violence in their communities - violence aimed mostly at women.

Mary Wiens goes beyond the headlines to explore the story of Lakshmi, the most important female goddess in the vast pantheon of Hindu deities, and an important archetype for South Asian women of all religions.

Lakshmi is the goddess of economic prosperty. Her story is at the heart of Diwali, the biggest Hindu festival, when houses are cleaned and rows of lamps lit to welcome the goddess.

The goddess is also closely associated with the birth of little girls as well as the moment in a wedding ceremony when, as a grown woman, "Lakshmi" enters her husband's home, a ceremony that speaks to the central role a daughter-in-law plays in Indian families.

Part 1: Listen audio (runs 7:07)
Part 2: Listen audio (runs 6:22)
Part 3: Listen audio (runs 6:55)