Other Name: Kamla
Other forms: Surrounded by plenty of material wealth (Gold, coins etc.), elephants, and oil lamps (Diya). Sometime, when shown with reclining Vishnu, She is shown near his feet (Shesha-shayee Vishnu).
Significance: Lakshmi is the shakti (Power) of Vishnu, the preserving aspect of the supreme Lord. It is through her that the universe and hence, popularity she is worshipped as the mother Goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is also the mother Goddess or beauty, harmony and balance.
Lakshmi’s origin is connected with churning of cosmic ocean by two groups, divine force on one side and anti-divine forces on the other side. It simply means our successes and material prosperity comes as a result of constant efforts, sometimes very hard efforts.
She is seated on a red lotus, which represents the spiritual foundation from which all material creation manifests. It means all potential can be turned into actualities by our own inner power. When she is shown at the feel of Vishnu, it means her powers are really his, and are to be used for his purpose. Our own real self (Atman) is no different than the supreme Lord so, Atman has should also use out shakti (Wealth etc.) to help the world. By excessive hoarding of the wealth and not using it for the benefit of world, we are not contributing to the work of Vishnu. Elephants pouring water signifies inexhaustible divine wealth and when wealth out and other abilities are used for other/divine purpose, they continue grow.
Of the three goddesses worshiped during Nava-Ratri festival, middle tree day are specifically for Lakshmip pooja. It is only after Durga (Kali) has removed obstacles (negativity), that Lakshmi can establish prosperity, harmony and balance in ourselves, and only then can our minds turn towards still higher things such as acquiring wisdom (Saraswati).