You will see these deities while walking around the villages of Bali. Check inside the doorways of the homes and in the school grounds.

Goddess Saraswathi

Is the consort of Lord Brahma (Lord of Creation) and is the Goddess of wisdom and learning. She is considered as the personification of all knowledge – arts, sciences, crafts and all skills and seen as a beautiful and elegant presence, pure white in colour, clad in a white sari, seated on a white lotus, representing purity and brilliance.

She is depicted with four hands. In one hand she holds a book and in the other a rosary. With her other two hands, she is seen laying the veena. Her vahana is the swan and sometimes a peacock is shown accompanying her.  The swan is known for its exceptional characteristic of being capable of separating water from milk, indicating that we should possess discrimination to segregate the bad from the good.

Like Brahma, she is not worshipped much in temples. However, every year the Saraswathi Pooja (Navarathiri) is celebrated by all – schools, students, workers, craftsmen, businessmen offering their prayers for a successful and fruitful coming year.

Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is the source of wealth, fortune, prosperity, love and beauty.  As the consort of Lord Vishnu (Lord of Protection Maintenance & Preservation), Lakshmi took various forms to accompany him – Sita with Rama, Rukmini with Krishna.   She is the possessor of great beauty and is depicted in standing as well as in the seated postures, always on a lotus. In her hands she holds two lotuses and wears a garland of lotus. She is often depicted clad in a red sari.

 

She is accompanied by two (sometimes four) elephants on either side either garlanding her or spraying water from pitchers.  She has four arms.  The two upper arms are holding lotuses, while the lower arms are normally in abhaya and varada mudras. She has on her lap, a pot overflowing with gold and other riches.  She is also depicted sometimes holding the amirtha kalasam (pot of ambrosia) and bilva fruit.

Lord Ganesha

The most widely worshipped Hindu God is worshipped at the start of any action or venture, for he is considered to be the Lord who removes obstacles (vignam) and hence is also called Vigneshwara.

He has an elephant head, four arms. In his upper hands he holds the paasam (noose) and ankusam. The lower two hands are held in the abhaya and varada mudras. He is also seen holding his broken tusk in his right lower hand and a modhakam in his left lower hand. He has a huge belly and is fond of various sweets and fruits. He wears a snake as an ornament round his belly. He is depicted in seated, standing and dancing postures. He is considered a bachelor, but according to another school of thought, he has two Sakthis – Siddhi & Buddhi. Siddhi represents success and prosperity. Buddhi represents wisdom. His vahana is a tiny mouse (mooshikam or minjur).

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