Spiritual LSD

Myth Theory 31 Comments

Published in Speaking Tree, Dec. 12, 2010

Everybody wants to be happy. We cannot be happy if we are starving or have no shelter or if we are facing any scarcity. Naturally, for happiness, we turn to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth. When she comes into our lives, there is food and clothing and shelter. We can survive and hope to thrive. More Lakshmi means abundance: there is money in the bank, investments, property, the future is financially secure. More Lakshmi means health and time to do things that we love doing. There is prosperity with pleasure.

The wise say that if you want Lakshmi to come into your life, you must never chase her. She must chase you. Otherwise she will come into your life with her twin-sister, Alakshmi, goddess of quarrels. A house filled with wealth as well as strife is a house inhabited by both Lakshmi and Alakshmi.

To make oneself worthy of Lakshmi, to ensure that she comes without Alakshmi in tow, one has to chase Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, who is dressed in white and bears books in her hands. Lakshmi is a whimsical goddess, who may move in your direction at one point, even without effort, and then move away from you at another. But Saraswati is a dependable goddess, very difficult to acquire, but once she comes by our side, she stays with us.

The more Saraswati we have, the more we know what people want, how to get things done, how to solve problems, how to take the right decisions. Saraswati enlightens us, helps us make sense of the world. Saraswati makes us sensitive to all things around us. One who has Saraswati in their lives knows how much they don’t know; hence they are humble and generous. There is no anxiety about the movement of Lakshmi. And there is no fear of Alakshmi.

They say that Lakshmi and Saraswati rarely stay in the same house. When one has too much Saraswati, one holds Lakshmi in disdain. If one has too much Lakshmi, one holds Saraswati in disdain. But Lakshmi without Saraswati, invites Alakshmi. And that is not a good thing. And Saraswati without Lakshmi invites Daridra, the goddess of poverty, which is also not a good thing.

But neither financial security nor knowledge guarantee emotional security. One can have all the money in the world but it does not guarantee a successful, fruitful relationship. One can possess all the knowledge of the world, but if relations are strained with parents and children and siblings, one cannot be happy. And so we seek Shakti, the goddess of power. When we say we want fruitful relationships, we are actually saying we seek relationships that empower us, make us feel secure and safe and significant, as one does when one carries weapons. We want to feel invulnerable like a citadel or ‘durg’ from where comes the name Durga. Durga is sanctuary, emotional sanctuary, a place where we feel secure and wanted. As Durga, Shakti rides the tiger,fearless and holds weapons in her hands, protecting us, unafraid to go into battle for us. We want her in our life.

And to get Durga into our life, we have to give Durga. To feel secure and included, we have to give others feelings of security and inclusion. This will never happen if we do not have sensitivity, if we differentiate between ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’. To break the divide between ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’ we need Saraswati once more.

Thus happiness requires all three goddesses: L (Lakshmi), Saraswati (S) and Durga (D). This is spiritual LSD that every human being craves.

  • ashim


  • Devanand Kuttuva

    Dear Devji,

    Superb decoding of Hindu Goddess. Thank you very much.

    I feel a small clarity & elaboration is still required when you explain “Fruitful relationship against inviting of Goddess Durga”.

    I shall be happy and thankful to you, if you can reply in the above email.

  • Anba

    Brilliant…well said and it was well read too…

  • Hari Krishna gupta

    yes true for true happiness we require the all three in our life if any one is not in life life will be always empty wanting get more.

  • Dear Dev Ji,

    What a beautiful recipe you have brewed for us in the form of LSD, a combination of Goddess Lakshmi (Money), Goddess Saraswati (Education), Goddess Durga ( Power), for a life full of happiness! Unlike the chemical LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethyleamide), a drug causing a feeling of elation and hallucination, whose effect lasts hardly for 12 hours, your LSD has a perennial impact. But, how many fortunate ones would there be, who have the blessings of all three? I feel the less fortunate one like me would do well to develop a simple habit of always looking to the ones less blessed than us, enlisting all the bounties of God, however small they be, remember the same every day as soon as we get up in the morning and thank the Almighty for his Bounties. Never look at those who are more blessed than us. The whole of the day will be good for us. And repeating this practice, the whole of the week, the month, the year, and the whole of our life will be the happiest one, because happiness is not money, or riches, or monetary, but it is only contentment, and a mental phenomenon. I would call it, “BE THANKFUL TO GOD & BE HAPPY “ philosophy.

  • Sunil

    Sarva Mangala Mangalye
    Sive Sarvartha Sadhike
    Saranye Trayambake Gauri
    Narayani Namostuthe: ||

    People of Indian Subcontinent were once the most scholastic…

    Scholars from Greek frequently visited Ancient India to learn more from Nalanda, Taxila universities of ancient india…

    There are much much more for new generation to undertand !!!!

  • Suresh Chirra


    A leader should also enable you to grow materially(Lakshmi), intellectually(Saraswathi), and emotionally(Durga)..

  • A simple but unique way of corelating the three requirements DEV. We cannot do without any one of them and even if, we try to experiment , the consequences are disastrous. Say in case of Satyam, Raju wanted to do away with Saraswati and only invite Lakshmi to stay with her. He also wanted to fortify his own domain of “mine only” with Durga which never happened. Durga creates a durg or fortifies our emotional and personal bond,provided we shun the “mine only” syndrome and look forward to “me too” syndrome in sharing. Analogy can also be drawn with the learned bureacrats found involved in the recent 2G scam.

  • Aditya

    Hey ..I find it good but I have a couple of observations.

    1. From where did you incur that if we chase lakshmi, alakshmi will/might follow suit? (or) lakshmi without saraswati will invite alakshmi?

    2. You said .. “One who has Saraswati in their lives knows how much they don’t know; hence they are humble and generous. There is no anxiety about the movement of Lakshmi. And there is no fear of Alakshmi.”

    If u have saraswati .. why dont u fear about alakshmi .. I think All three are mutually independent but u are linking them.


    • Deepak

      Yes, i would love if you could clarify the point raised by Aditya.


    • Venkat Vadlamudi

      Answer #1 : Money or Wealth (Lakshmi) without Ethics(Saraswati) brings infame, downfall etc.

      Answer #2 : There are plenty of subjects and sciences and specializations to be studied in this world. At the maximum a person becomes a Phd in a very specific subject after so many years of study and research and perseverence. This itself should make a person humble that to get a single Phd it takes so much effort when there is no much knowledge(many subjects,sciences etc) that are yet to be even touched. When you realize that, there is no way you cant be humbled? If not, then you need some Saraswati !

  • Prerana Mohatta


    in just few lines u have expressed and explained the relevance and importance of the three Goddess and how one is incomplete without the other they are indipensible elements of a person’s life and running behind any one can never be fruitful. a balance is essential and you have done it in the most simple set of words . Thank you

  • a l mohan

    it is true that one should not chase laxmi.saraswathi empowers us to face a-lakshmi and other travails and inculcates in us a sense selflessness. durga makes us self centred and selfish.our sages are the best examples of living happily without laxmi or durga.

  • Hitesh

    Good article.

    Dont you think dev ji, Lakshmi ji nowadays staying mostly at Ministers home, corruption areas say kalmadi, raja, modi etc. I belive if education(sarswati) holds strongly thet lakshmi itself come to bring more prosper life to individual’s.

    • Devdutt

      Is Saraswati education?

      • a l mohan

        saraswati is knowledge which by implication education (not neces sarily bookish or academic but worldly)that certainly can bring lakshmi.empowerment is not mandatory for leading contended and tranquil life.

  • this LSD that you talked about in Business Sutra got me hooked to this site.

    Its a brilliant decoding, a simple enough explanation for everyones behaviour.

    i thank you for enlightening about these three existing currencies.

  • Sanket

    Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant

    I just want to add certain points.

    All the three Goddess are Shaktis (Power) which are : Material / Economic power(Lakshmi); Intellectual / Discriminative power (Saraswati) ; Military / Emotional Power (Durga). All this shaktis are active throughout the world.

    But the interaction between these three is interesting .

    You require lakshmi to gain knowledge by school/college fees ( not so if there is traditional Guru-Shisya parampara) and also to build military strength (missiles /tanks /Guns etc.). However one requires Saraswati to earn Lakshmi as well as design / research of military strength.Military strength (Durga) is sometimes required to protect Lakshmi & saraswati.

    But this are feminine principle & requires direction from male counter-part viz.. Vishnu – the Sustainer directs Lakshmi to sustain life ; Brahma – Creator (Paramatma – Supreme soul ) directs Saraswati to provide Knowledge of soul i.e metaphysics ; Shiva – Destroyer & Re-generator directs Durga to destroy body for its regeneration into new birth.

    Alternatively it can be said to attain the three gods one requires these three shaktis respectively.

    That is if one has Lakshmi then he can become like Vishnu whereby one can sustain his family as well as others ( Vasudeva Kutumbh Bakam).

    If one has Saraswati one can attain Brahma i.e return to the source from where we came.

    If one has Durga one can become like Shiva ( A Yogi who Awakens Kundalini to reach the state of Samadhi i.e union of male-female principle within self) & also bring new world order by destroying the old worlds.

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  • good one..really liked it..!!
    we shud learn how to balance the three of them. of course without them our life is miserable. but we have to knkow that it is the perfect ratio of the three that makes our life happy. any one of them in high quantity will drive us crazy!!!
    love the three of them and like ur article..:)

  • Deepa

    Today’s so called modern generation is very insensitive to fellow beings emotions. They only know the word use and throw in each and every form they can.

    They are incapable of holding on to realtion once they make them. They can’t even slove the indfifference that are in realtionships. The attitude is” who cares, move on”.

  • Enlightening!

  • Krishnan

    Hi Devdutt,

    It happened as an accidental reading about your new book called Jaya’s review in Now I am hooked to your writings. This LSD is indeed a very excellent narrative of well known matter. Best wishes to you.

  • Aravind S Raamkumar

    awesome article

  • I totally loved this, and stumbled upon this at the right time. Besides, I wanted to tell you that I like the way you present, and the choice of images. Beautiful work!

  • Prragit Nagar

    That why there is beej mantra “om aim hrim klim chamundaye vicche” this is to get the blessings of all three shakti

  • Truly Insightful and Enlighting work.
    keep us the Good Work . Cheers

  • Jasmine

    I truly loved the article Devdutt…I’m humbled after i read it…..

  • Gourab

    Simply awesome….

    One of the best that I read….

  • kunalparekh

    Wonderful Insight! Thanks a ton!

  • Sid Jain

    to the article “Golden Triangle of happiness revealed” TOI, 03July13,
    author mentions – a loving partner, upto $100,000 of household income
    and a social activity that offers a sense of purpose as a Golden
    Triangle to happiness. As elusive as this Melbourne based University
    study sound, can it be related to the Indian idea of happiness which is
    the pursuit of LSD ? A loving partner and social sense of purpose can
    both be related to the need of emotional strength which come from Durga,
    whereas a certain value of income indicaties material possessions which
    relates to Lakshmi. The Golden Triangle thus seems incomplete as it
    certainly does not covers the Intellectual aspect of happiness which our
    mythology describes as the pursuit of Saraswati. Certainly, therefore
    the current article outweighs the study on this aspect.