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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gods and goddesses of wealth

                      
Wealth gods and godesses are believed to assist with the obtaining of fortune
Many cultures have wealth gods and goddesses
Not including less traditional wealth gods and goddesses such as Trasheba, many English words associated with wealth are derived from the latin words describing Roman gods and goddesses of wealth. According to United Nations Roma Victrix, three Roman wealth gods named Eventus Bonus, Abundatia and Fortuna share notable similarities to the words bonus, abundance and fortune; the last of which is the name of the financial publication named Fortune.

The Romans were not the only culture to have gods and goddesses of wealth. Many cultures past and present have wealth deities, a multiplicity of which have origins that pre-date monotheism. The wealth deities are often depicted in mythology, but are also ancient religious icons. These deities are originally believed to either represent the idea of wealth and prosperity, or are thought to directly aid  practitioners of the belief in gaining prosperity through worship or ritual.

Sumerian gods of wealth


An early civilization to have gods of wealth were the Sumerians. The Sumerian civilizations included the Babylonians, Assyrians and Akkadians that lived thousands of years before the common era. Two Sumerian gods of fortune are Bogu, a god of wealth, and Ziku, a Babylonian god of fortune associated with the God Marduk. These wealth gods are among the many gods described in the ancient Sumerian mythology per curriculum at Grand Valley State University.

Hindu goddess of wealth


Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of Wealth described in Indian Vedic texts from thousands of years ago. This Goddess is often depicted as having multiple arms, and being surrounded by elephants and lotus flower. As with the Sumerian gods, Lakshmi predates western monotheism. This goddess is worshiped during Diwali or the Festival of Lights, a period of celebration and gift giving. This Goddess has multiple names and is also reincarnated as 'Sri Rhadharani' per Gifts of India.

Greek gods and goddesses of wealth and fortune


Ploutos is the Greek god of wealth and Tyche is the goddess of fortune, chance, providence, and fate. The Theoi Project depicts Ploutos' origins as heralding from bountiful agricultural harvests. Theoi describes Ploutos as  the son of Demeter, the god of agriculture. However, Greek statues also depict the goddess Tyche holding the baby Ploutos as though to signify continuity of Tyche's providence through the affiliation with Ploutos.

Tibetan wealth gods


The Tibetan gods of wealth are called Jambhala. According to the Rijsk museum, Jambhala gods are also known in Hinduism as Kuvera. Tibetan Buddhist wealth gods include the Heavenly God of Wealth, and multiple  Jambhala gods named after various colors. The Jambhala statue held by the Rijsk museum depicts wealth and abundance with jewelery and money pots. Worshipping these gods through offerings is believed to encourage blessings from them.

Additional Asian cultures that have wealth gods are the Chinese, Japanese and Thai. These gods share a particular multiplicity about them, in part because they have Buddhist origins in common. However, this is not always the case as evident in some of the Chinese gods of wealth. Moreover,  World of Feng Shui discusses several Chinese wealth gods including Tsai Sheng Yeh, a god believed in by businesspersons, Kuan Yu, the warrior god of wealth, and Bi Gan, an egalitarian dynastic god of wealth.

* Image attribution: Mk2010; CC BY-SA 3.0