Dearest Lakshmi, please come into my life.
Fill my home with your sacred presence.
Honor me with your protection and your prosperous ways.
Please bring your riches both spiritual and material.
Help me find fulfillment and success.
Enhance my good fortune so that I can help others.
Please pour your gold coins into my life.
Om Shrim Maha Lakshmlyei Swaha
My grateful heart fills with respect and admiration.
Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Fortune and Beauty, has always had a special place in my heart. I especially love this time of year because she comes alive during Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights. It occurs on the new moon in October or November each year. In 2015, Diwali day falls on November 11. For many, this colorful holiday marks the start of a new year and a fresh slate.
However, Lakshmi is a goddess that is good to know any time of year!
Although I was not born into the Hindu tradition, I discovered Lakshmi while attending interfaith seminary. Hinduism was one of the world religions we were studying. My connection to her began in a desperate moment, with prayers during a time of financial struggle.
As a single mom with a small child, I was worried about finances while working toward graduation and ordination. I prayed to Lakshmi and ended up getting a partial scholarship! It could have just been luck or fate or synchronicity, but the more I prayed to her the less I worried and struggled about money. So it inspired a ten year research journey to learn more about her place in the Hindu pantheon and how she is honored by the culture of her birth. Along the way I developed a deep appreciation and affection for Hindu worship and customs, and it gave me the extra special bonus of being able to specialize in Hindu Interfaith wedding ceremonies!
My journey also lead me to write a book: Lakshmi Magic: Let the Goddess of Fortune Bring You Success. Published in time for Diwali, I am excited to share this beloved goddess with a new western audience through dozens of rituals, prayers, and techniques to draw prosperity and beauty into your life with the help of Goddess Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is a Universal Goddess
Lakshmi is actively worshiped around the globe by millions of Hindus and is considered the personification of abundance, prosperity , wealth and beauty. The colorful story of her beginnings three millennia ago states that Lakshmi was born, fully grown, on a pink lotus that rose from the milky sea.
She was immediately be-decked, be-jeweled and worshiped by the gods and sages. They prayed that she would come to their abodes, and to their worlds, because they believed that where Lakshmi is you find riches and fulfillment. Her ability to enhance good fortune is symbolized by the gold coins that you see pouring from her hands back into the ocean of life.
It is said that wherever you find beauty, good fortune and wealth, you will also find the Goddess Lakshmi, for it is in those places that she dwells. However, not all environments begin that way, which is why the Hindu tradition is rich with very specific ways to engage the Goddess of Fortune and win her favor. She brings good tidings, good energy -- and cash. She presides over a domain that most people would like to live in.
From the beginning it has been acknowledged that paying attention to Lakshmi is a worthwhile endeavor. If nothing else - even if there is no divine female standing on a lotus in heaven pouring gold coins into your life - just by imagining there might be means, you are focusing positive energy in the general direction of prosperity, good health, love, success and joy in life.
Those who desire her presence put forth a constant effort to attract her to their homes, businesses, farms, and, of course, temples. Even the most impoverished people pray to the Goddess Lakshmi and somehow manage to make offerings of food and flowers.
There are so many things I would like to share about how to attain Lakshmi's special blessings. Let me start with this ancient, traditional mode of worship, the Lakshmi Suktam. It was one of the first formal prayers to Lakshmi I came across and would read it night and day.
Lakshmi Suktam: Hymn to The Goddess Lakshmi
Some of the most famous verses of admiration of the Goddess Lakshmi are found in the appendix of the Rig Veda. I've seen it called a by a few names. "Lakshmi Suktam ," "Sri Sukta," "Lakshmi Sukta" or "Maha Lakshmi Suktam." It is considered to be one of the most popular and "well-tested" among Lakshmi devotees. It is used in many forms of worship. It is a composition of fifteen verses that have very specific intentions and guidelines for honoring Lakshmi. And a sixteenth verse contains the method for attaining desires. This translation by J.L. Gupta for B.C. Butala Books embellishes the meanings of this ancient text in parenthesis. Keep in mind it is quite ancient.
Lakshmi ritual: Light a candle and read or recite this prayer everyday for a month. The verses may be a little awkward to speak, but reciting them can be powerful if you are up for it. I may lead you to greater fortune and awareness. Try it. What have you got to lose, right?
You can also listen to a Sanskrit version of this online-- there are many!-- here's is one with a really catchy tune.
O Jataveda! Bring Laksmi (the Goddess of Wealth) of golden color to me, (bring her to me) who is remover of sins, who is (resplendent) with her garlands of (lotuses of) gold and silver, who is the source of pleasure like the moon (for the universe) and who possesses a lot of (wealth) gold, etc. (1)
O Jataveda! Bring me that Laksmi who will not ever desert me and by whose grace I may get gold, cows, horses and sons together with other descendants. (2)
I invoke Goddess Sri (Laksmi) who has the cavalry before her and the chariots (carried by horses) in the middle, who delights the world by the resounding trumpet of elephants (attending on her). May she be graceful to me and reside at my place forever! (3)
I invoke Sri, the blissful goddess, who is sweet-smiling, who lives in a hall of gold, who is full of compassion and drenched with it from the heart (due to the fact of being bathed by attending elephants or having risen from the milky ocean), who is resplendent at the seat of the lotus, is lotus-hued, and who bestows all pleasures to her devotees. (4)
I take refuge in Sri who is the effulgent one like the moon, who shines with the fame of herself, who is adored by the Gods like Indra, etc. Who is benevolent in offering gifts, who dwells in the middle of the lotus, who protects all (her devotees). May the poverty be removed from my end, (and for that) I invoke you, O Goddess Laksmi. (5)
O (Laksmi) of sun-like lustre! The Tree of the name Bilva was produced by your penance. May the fruits of that tree remove all our ignorance, distresses and other extrinsic things by (our) penance. (6)
O Mother Laksmi! May the Gods like Indra, Kubera (friend of Mahadeva) come to me together with fame and gems. (Here the fame is Sati, the daughter of Daksa, and the gems are the friends of Kubera like Manibhadra) I am born in this world and may you (Kubera) give me fame and plenty for wealth. (7)
I destroy the poverty (Alakshmi which is the cause of hunger and thirst, which is the elder sister of Laksmi, and which is impure. O Goddess, please get the paucity of wealth from my abode obliterated and all the hurdles in the way of the acquisition of wealth be removed. (8)
I invoke Sri, who is to be gotten by offering fragrant flowers, who is unassailable, who has abundance of crops and wealth and cattle, and who is supreme of all beings. (9)
O, Laksmi! May we realize all the wishes of our hearts and willingness, the truth of our words, the wealth of cattle (milk, curd, etc.) and forms of food. May Goddess bring me fame and wealth too. (10)
O Kardama! Come dwell in me. Make Sri, who is the Universal Mother and who is adored with a garland of lotuses, dwell in my family. (11)
(It is said that Lord Varuna produces oily substances, i.e., beautiful things) The beauty in substances is known as Laksmi. She has three sons--Kardama, Chikleeta and Sruti. Here Chikleeta is prayed: O Chikleeita (son of Laksmi)! Come to dwell in my house, and, not only you but make your mother (also Mother of The Universe), Laksmi, also live in my abode. (12)
O Lord Agni, (God of Fire)! Bring to me Laksmi, who is very kind, who has elephants around her pouring water on her (for her bath), who is the goal of sacrificial rites, who is tawny-hued, who is decked with a garland of lotuses, who is lustrous like the moon and thus enlightening the living beings and also possessed of plenty of wealth. (13)
O Jataveda! Bring to me Mother Laksmi, who is always compassionate to her devotees, who punishes the wicked ones, who is golden (exquisitely beautiful) color, who puts on garland of gold, who is wealth (herself), and who makes the whole world illumine like the sun. (14)
O Jataveda! Bring to me Laksmi who will never leave me and by whose grace I may get plenty of gold, prosperity, cows, horses, servants and other descendants. (15)
One who aspires for the attainment of Laksmi, should regularly, in a sanctified and determined way, offer the cow-ghee in oblation and recite all the 15 verses of Sri Suktam. (16)
~ Sri Suktam, translated by Jawaharlal Gupta, published by B.C. Butala