Lakshmi, also spelled Lakṣmī, also called Shri, Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she is said to have taken different forms in order to be with him in each of his incarnations. Thus, when he was the dwarf Vamana, she appeared from a lotus and was known as Padma, or Kamala, both of which mean “Lotus”; when he was the ax-wielding Parashurama, the destroyer of the warrior class, she was his wife Dharani; when he was King Rama, she was his queen Sita. In the most widely received account of Lakshmi’s birth, she rose from the churning of the ocean of milk (an important event in Hinduism), seated on a lotus and holding another blossom in her hand. Controversy arose between the gods and demons over possession of her.