Lakshmi, also known as Sri, attained importance as the consort of Vishnu. Her previous existences, described in the Vedas, make her the wife of Varuna or of the sun. Alternatively, like Sarasvati, she is said to have issued from Prajapati. In these early times she is associated with both good and bad fortune. Lakshmi is now generally thought to have existed first as the daughter of the sage Bhrigu and to have taken refuge in the ocean of milk during a period when the gods were exiled from their kingdom as a result of a rishi's curse. She was reborn during the churning of the milk ocean as Lakshmi, one of the fourteen precious things. She emerged from the ocean froth fully grown and radiant, bearing a lotus in her hand. As soon as the gods saw her each of them wanted her as his wife. Shiva was the first to claim her, but as he had already seized the moon, Lakshmi's hand was accorded to Vishnu, whom Lakshmi herself preferred. It is sometimes said that it was Shiva's despair at this judgment that led him to catch in his mouth the poison vomited by the serpent. Thereafter Lakshmi was reborn as Vishnu's consort in each of his incarnations. For his incarnation as the dwarf, Vamana, Lakshmi was born from the waters, floating on the flower of a lotus. For this reason she was called Padma (lotus) or Kamala. When Vishnu was born as Parasurama, Lakshmi was Dharani, the earth. When he became Rama she was faithful Sita, born from a furrow in a ploughed field. When he was incarnated as Krishna, she entered both phases of his life: as the cowgirl Radha and as his wife, Rukmini. As Rukmini, she was the mother of Pradyumna, Kama's reincarnation. Lakshmi thus has a clear share in Vishnu's activities as preserver, and this reinforces her earlier character as goddess of fortune and giver of wealth. Despite her complete fidelity, most strikingly shown in her incarnation as Sita, she is also described as the 'fickle goddess', for the wheel of fortune is ever-changing. Lakshmi is generally represented as a beautiful golden woman, usually sitting or standing on a lotus, her symbol. Though she really has four arms, as the ideal of feminine beauty she is often represented with only two. She is usually worshipped in conjunction with her husband, when she is portrayed as exhibiting her devotion to him by massaging his feet as he lies on the coils of the serpent Shesha; or seated beside him on a lotus; or riding with him on Garuda. When she is worshipped alone she is considered to be the female energy of the supreme being, 'mother of the world'.