At the end of a Yoga class a few days ago I wished everyone a Merry Christmas and one of the students asked if I am a Buddihst and thus would I be celebrating Christmas. It made me stop and think about how easily we are put into boxes, our whole life from the minute we are born, how we like to classfy people, each other, and even now, practisicing and teaching Yoga, trying to move beyond boundaries, here we are, boxed by others - not necessarily in an intentional or judging way, just that we like to classify people, try to make sense of them somehow.
Of course many Yoga practitioners follow a Buddhist philosophy to life while others adopt Hinduism and others adopt nothing at all. I am a little bit of everything, my whole life I have been a little bit of everything, neither this nor that, difficult to box, in fact I have spent my whole life trying to live outside the box and that can be challenging, especially living in Guernsey where conforming is the norm.
That is the reason it was so nice to meet up with my one of my best friend's, Hayley, and her friend Caroline on Christmas Eve for a living outside the box kind of afternoon/evening, great chatter, lovely laughter so that we were all shining brightly together. With that in mind and embracing my Nepali-influenced-Hindu side, may Lakshmi continue to shine brightly on both of you - thank you for being such wonderful friends. xxx
For those who don't already know, Goddess Lakshmi is the household Goddess of most Hindu families and a favourite of women. Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word 'Lakshmi' is derived from the Sanskrit word "Laksya", meaning 'aim' or 'goal', and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual.
Worship of a mother goddess has been a part of Indian tradition since its earliest times. Lakshmi is one of the mother goddesses and is addressed as "mata" (mother) instead of just "devi" (goddess).
As a female counterpart of Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi is also called 'Shri', the female energy of the Supreme Being. She is the goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
The importance attached to the presence of Lakshmi in every household makes her an essentially domestic deity. Householders worship Lakshmi for the well being and prosperity of the family. Businessmen and women also regard her equally and offer her daily prayers.
To demonstrate the 'little bit of everything' approach, here is some wisdom from HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA, the spiritual leader of Tibet:-
The Purpose of Life
"Whether we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, whatever our nationality, colour, social status or ideology may be, the purpose of our lives is to he happy".
Teach by example
"Before teaching others, before changing others, we ourselves must change. We must be honest, sincere, kind hearted"
The commonality of religion
"Every religion of the world has similar ideals of love, the same goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making its followers into better human beings...Each, in its own way, teaches a path leading to a spiritual state that is peaceful, disciplined, ethical and wise".
May Goddess Lakshmi shine on everyone with beauty, abundance, grace and wealth.