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Sri Suktam - Introduction

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r Sktam

r Sktam is found in Pariia ( ) of Rig Veda, under the head Khilaskta ( ). Pariia means
supplement or appendix. Khilaskta means additional hymn appended to the regular collection. r Sktam is
11 th under this category. There are 19 verses of r Sktam in the original text of Khilaskta. There are ve i-s
for this and they are nanda, Kardama, rda, Ciklta and rputra ( , , , and ). It is
composed in three Chandas.

Skta means properly rendered, wise saying or song of praise. Skta, also known as Vedic hymn, is dierent
from Vedic couplets. Skta-s praise a single God or Goddess. For example, Puruasktam is a hymn in the
praise of Purua, which can be interpreted as Brahman (divya purua amrta) and also as Viu (Viu
Sahasranma 14 adores Viu as Purua). r refers to Vius Consort Lakm. This is revealed by Goddess
Lakm Herself to Indra (Lakm Tantra). Indra asks r the ways and means of rendering r Sktam. On his
request, r explains the importance of r Sktam.

I am the Power of Nryaa. I am His Supreme akti, free from all sorts of aictions. I manifest as both good
and bad (Brahman is both good and bad, as It is omnipresent). Both Nryaa and I thought about welfare of the
world, created by us (for the purpose of peaceful sustenance), we worked on abdabrahman and found out two
Skta-s. One is Puruaskta and another is r Skta. The rst one contains praise for Brahman
(Nirguabrahman); second one also is the praise for Brahman, referring to me (Sagunabrahman).If these two
Skta-s are properly recited, it takes him to the point of Liberation. Now let me explain the rules for reciting r
Skta.

Original r Skta contains only 15 verses, each of the verses referring to one lunar tithi. The rst verse is for
Prathama tithi and 15th verse is for full moon (prim) or new moon (amvsya), the 15 th tithi. Sages like
aunaka (sometimes referred as various authors) had laid down the methods of worshiping Lakm with r
Skta. One should visualize Lakm sitting on the left thigh of Nryaa (this form is called Lakm-Nryaa,
and is considered as the most auspicious form). His left arm around embracing Her and Her right hand on the
shoulders of Nryaa.

Fifteen verses (these verses are also known as c, which means a sacred verse recited in praise of a deity) are
to be used as follows.

1. Invoking Lakm-Nryaa (it is said that Lakm alone should not be invoked. She has to be invoked
along with Her Consort Nryaa, on whose left lap, She is seated).
2. Oering Them seat (sanam).
3. Oering arghya and pdya.
4. Oering camana.
5. Oering one more oblation (punar camana for the sake of proering (as a mark of acceptance).
6. Oering bath
7. Adorning with silk clothes.
8. Adorning with ornaments
9. Applying sandal and other perfumes
10. Adoring with garlands and owers.
11. Oering incense fumes (dhpam)
12. Oering dpam.
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13. Oering madhuparka (it is the mixture of honey and milk in equal proportion. Sometimes, curd is also
added. This is done to welcome Them).
14. Making them ready for showering Grace.
15. Salutation to Them.

She also says that one should add hr and r ( and ) at the end of each verse. Lord Brahm worshiped
Her with this mantra (om hirayavaryai nama - ) and attained Her Grace. (Adding hr and
r to this mantra could produce better results - om hr r hirayavaryai nama - ).
Hirayavara means gold coloured. Lakms complexion is hirayavara and Lalitmbiks complexion is red.
Lakm has gold complexion because She represents wealth, which is in the form of gold. Lalitmbiks red
complexion represents compassion. Goddess Sarasvat is white in complexion.

Lakm is adored as Prakti (Vimara aspect of Nryaa, who is Praka or Self-illuminating in nature). It is
important to note that Lakm aottaram begins with Prakti - om praktyai nama. It is also said that
r Sktam subtly conveys 53 of Her names.

Apart from the 15 verses that form r Sktam, one more verse is added, which prescribes rules for chanting to
attain Her Grace. This verse says that one should perform homa with these 15 verses. There are several
additions to the original r Skta. In certain instances, there are 37 verses and obviously, these additional
verses are added during post Syacarya period. There are three i-s for r Sktam nanda, Kardama and
Ciklta.

Lakm is also worshiped as Kamaltmik in Daa Mahvidy.

With this brief introduction, we will study the meaning of r Skta.

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Sri Suktam - 2
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Om || hirayavar hari suvararajatasrarajm |

candr hiramay lakmm jtavedo ma vaha || 1

Meaning: O! Agni Deva! Please bring me (the Grace of) the one with golden complexion, who is capable of
destroying my sins, who appears with gold and silver necklaces, who resembles like the full moon and whose
very nature is gold.

Notes: Instead of invoking Mahlakm, Lord Agni is invoked and he is requested to bring in Her Grace. This
indicates that r Sktam should be performed as homa (the act of making an oblation to the Devas or gods by
casting claried butter into the re) rather than verbally chanting it, to derive its full benets.

Why Agni is invoked? There are several reasons for this. Agni is the carrier of oblations to Gods in higher
planes. He also brings back the Grace of Gods, back to the performer of homa. Agni also ensures that the
respective Gods or Goddesses manifest in the body of the one, who performs oblations. Agni represents truth,
auspiciousness, and happiness. Rig Veda begins by adoring Agni with this hymn.

agnime puruhita yajasya devamtvijam |

hotra ratnadhtamam ||

Meaning: O Agni! I adore you (addressing to the re in homa pit). You are God (because he is capable of
manifesting God in the body and mind of the one who performs oblations) and also a priest (who invokes Gods in
the re pit). You bring in happiness and ecstasy.

Agni is adored in the rst verse of r Sktam as jtaveda, which means one who knows about all entities which
are born. Agni, from his seat in the heart (referring to the Soul within; in Vedic period, the concept of Brahman
was not there) is aware of the entire history of persons in all their previous births, and guides individuals
incessantly. Based upon this deliberation on Agni, it goes without saying that r Sktam should be performed
as homa.

Hiraya var means that She is appearing like gold, which subtly conveys that She is Goddess of wealth. It is
also important to note that Upaniad-s describe Brahman with golden hue. Probably, She is addressed here as
saguabrahman (as saguabrahman reects the Light of Brahman).

Hari means many things such as a female deer, a kind of jasmine ower with golden hue, a beautiful
woman, golden image, etc. It also means mother, which could mean that She is the Mother of the universe. Hari
refers to Viu. It also refers to Nature. is kmakal, the creative aspect of the Divine. Viu is Purua and
His Consort is His Vimara (reection of His Light), from which everything originated in Prakti. This also
conrms that She is the Mother of the universe.

suvara rajata srarajm - suvara means gold; rajata means silver; sraja means garland. She is wearing
garlands (necklace) made up of gold and silver. Her grandeur and beauty is conveyed with two costly precious
metals.

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candr refers to the moon. She is appearing like a moon. Moon also represents mind or tranquillity of mind.
Moon is also used to describe a beautiful woman candra vadana.

hiramay - She has golden complexion. This fact is repeated to emphasise Her golden complexion.

lakmm She is Lakm or r, who is represented by the most auspicious bja r ( ). This is known as
Lakm bja. Apart from causing auspiciousness, this bja produces enough solar energy within the body and
makes the mind calm and tranquil. (r) consists of three letters a, ra and and nda and bindu. a refers
to Goddess of wealth Lakm and ra is wealth itself, refers to satisfaction, nda is apara (having nothing
beyond or after, having no rival or superior) and bindu dispels sorrow. Thus, this bja not only gives Liberation,
but also gives material prosperity, peace of mind and satisfaction in life.

Jtaveda discussed in the beginning itself.

ma vaha ma refers to the one who does the homa (verbal chanting can also be taken into account; however
between the homa and verbal chanting, homa is more auspicious). vaha means make Her come to me Its
literal meaning is bringing, producing. This is a prayer to Lord Agni with a request to make Lakm manifest in
the body and mind of the seeker. It is implied that by doing so, She showers Her Grace on the seeker and gives
him riches, auspiciousness, etc.

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Sri Suktam - 3
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t ma vaha jtavedo lakmmanapagminm |

yasy hiraya vindeya gmava purunaham || 2

Meaning: O Agni! Please bring Lakm to me, on whose Grace, I will have gold, cows, horses, good persons
(friends and relatives) and good servants. If She enters my dwelling place, She will not go away from me.

Notes: Again, in the second verse also, Agni is addressed, instead of invoking Goddess Lakm directly. Many
words in the rst verse are repeated here, which emphasises Her invocation through Agni (in the homa kua).

t ma vaha jtaveda Agni! Please ensure to bring Lakm, whose splendour is described in the previous
verse.

lakm anapagminm That Lakm, if She enters my house, will not leave my home (anapaga means not
departing). This means, that She will not leave a home, provided She is invoked daily and properly worshiped.
There is subtler meaning for this. She will continue to stay in that house, where righteousness is strictly followed
and where atithi-s (guests) are respected and fed properly. When one strictly follows righteous living as
prescribed by dharma stra-s, there will be huge amount of positive vibrations in that home. Lakm will not
leave a place, where positive vibrations prevail.

yasy - Her much awaited arrival.

hiraya vindeya gmava purunaham one will be blessed with gold, cows, horses (in todays context,
it refers to vehicles). When Lakm enters a home, riches and auspiciousness automatically follows.

Wealth here also refers to wealth of spiritual knowledge leading to Liberation. Purua also refers to Her Consort
Viu. When She is pleased, She takes the aspirant to Viu for merging unto Him, which is known as moka.
She is also known as Viu my. When my is dissolved, there remains only Viu, the Supreme Self. In this
context, riches means experiencing Bliss.

avaprv rathamadhy hastinda prabodhinm |

riya devmupahvaye rrm devrjuatm || 3

Meaning: Upon accepting my invitation (through Agni), She arrives, preceded by horses, chariots and trumpets
of elephants. Finally She arrives, full of Light in the form of Power of Her Lord Viu, awakening the aspirants
spiritual energy (and ultimately Liberating him).

avaprv - horses in the beginning. Horses are also considered as auspicious. Her arrival is notied with the
arrival of auspicious horses.

ratha madhy - chariots are in the middle with the horses at the front and hoard of elephants behind,. It may
also be said that She is seated in one of the chariots in the middle.

hastinda trumpets of hoard of elephants. Lakm is always associated with elephants. Mahlakm is often

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depicted with two elephants by Her two sides. The One with elephants is also known as Gajalakm.

Horses, chariots and elephants signify Her auspiciousness and riches. When such a Goddess descends on
ones home, She shares with him a miniscule of Her innite riches and He becomes one of the richest persons in
the world. Auspiciousness, grandeur and riches are the embodiment of Lakm, hence She was adored as
Hari in the rst verse.

prabodhinm means awakening. She awakens the aspirant from his poverty. There are two types of poverty.
One is experiencing poverty in the material world, without money. Another is experiencing spiritual poverty or
lack of spiritual inclination to attain Liberation. Based upon this word prabodhin, it is said that one should get up
in brahmamuhrta (1.30 hours before sun rise) and worship Her.

riya - personied as the Consort of Lord Viu, and embodiment of prosperity and happiness. This also refers
Her as Divine Mother, the vimara aspect of Brahman (Viu), also known as Prakti. She dispels inherent
darkness of Prakti with the help of Praka aspect of Viu and sustains the world.

dev upahvaye I invite (invoking) the Dev herein described. This is an invitation to Her to visit his home and to
shower Her auspiciousness, grandeur and riches to transform his life.

rrm the Consort of Viu, who diuses His Light to dispel darkness as discussed above.

dev juatm I pray to Agni to make this Dev visit my home along with all Her grandeurs.

The aspirant is looking for two types of favours from Her. First, to grant wealth to him and secondly, shower
spiritual wealth for his ultimate Liberation.

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Sri Suktam - 4
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k sosmit hirayaprkrmrd jvalant tpt tarpayantm |

padmesthit padmavar tmihopahvaye riyam || 4

Meaning: Grandeur of Lakm is being described for the rst time now. I pray to Lakm to visit my home (or
continue to stay at my home, as She has already been invoked through Agni), who is full of smiles, resides in
gold fort, always radiant, seated on a lotus and resembling a lotus.

k - Praying to Her with great love and devotion. It also means that Lakm is beyond description, the reasons
for which are explained in this verse.

so preposition.

asmit - the essential ego, by which one is identied. Who is praying to Her? The one with a name and form is
praying to Her and here it means the aspirant.

hiraya prkrm gold enclosures (prkra) within which She is seated. This can be interpreted in two ways.
First, She has gold complexion; She is also radiating. Since Her gold complexion is radiating, all the prkra-s
around Her appear like gold. This is like the sun at dawn making the earth deep red. Secondly, She is full of
grandeur and entire wealth of the world is managed by Her. Hence, these prkra-s are made of gold. Whatever
it is, this depicts Her grandeur and richness.

rdr - soft, tender, full of feeling, warm. This explains the very nature of Lakm, who is soft and tender to the
aspirant who properly invites (invokes) Her. She is Divine Mother. She melts on seeing the deep love of the
aspirant and She immediately accepts his invitation to enter his home.

jvalant - She is blazing. It also means that Her eyes are glittering on seeing a true devotee who invites Her to
his home. This also conrms Her soft and tender nature. As discussed in the previous verses, She reects the
Light of Viu and hence, She is always blazing. This blaze resembles like gold, shining with the light of millions
of sun.

tpt - satised. Lakm is satised with the aspirants love and devotion. Satisfying Her is not a dicult task,
as She has the inherent quality of being rdr. After all, She is Universal Mother. Being Universal Mother, She
is satised with pure devotion and love. Satised with his devotion and love, She decides to accept his invitation
to visit his home.

tarpayantm She makes the aspirant satised. This means that She has accepted the aspirants invitation and
also fullled his prayers for riches, etc. This also means that She makes the aspirant attain the state of perpetual
Bliss, for his ultimate Liberation. She satises that aspirant both from material and spiritual angles.

padme sthit - She is seated on a lotus. When She enters his house, She comes with Her full grandeur..

padma var - She has lotus complexion. She appears in the colour of lotus. Her original complexion is
spoken of here. She gives daran to him in Her original complexion. She is Padmvat. Lotus is associated with
Her in every way. She is seated on a lotus. She holds lotus in Her hands. She appears like lotus. Her Consort is
also known as Padmanbha. When She enters the aspirants house, She appears to him in non-grandeur form,
as She knows that no aspirant can withstand Her original brilliance. That is why, the aspirant is able to see Her
original complexion.

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tmihopahvaye this is a prayer to Her to remain in this home always, very near to the aspirant. Now the
aspirant becomes very comfortable with Her, as She appears in Her normal form and not in Her grandeur form
or Divine form. Now the aspirant is able to establish one to one relationship with Her; hence She reveals Her
original form.

riyam refers to Divine Mother Lakm. riy means prosperity and happiness. She is the Consort of rpat,
known as Nryaa.

This verse says that Goddess Lakm has responded to the prayers of the aspirant lled with love and devotion.
She moves from Her abode that is lled with glittering gold and enters his home in Her original auspicious form.
After having taken her seat in his home, She grants all his prayers and fulls his material and spiritual needs.

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SRI SUKTAM - 5
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r Sktam is found in Pariia ( ) of Rig Veda, under the head Khilaskta ( ). Pariia means
supplement or appendix. Khilaskta means additional hymn appended to the regular collection. r Sktam is
11 th under this category. There are 19 verses of r Sktam in the original text of Khilaskta. There are ve i-s
for this and they are nanda, Kardama, rda, Ciklta and rputra ( , , , and ). It is
composed in three Chandas.

The above paragraph should have formed part of Introduction.

candr prabhs yaas jvalant riya loke devajumudrm |

t padminm araamaha prapadhye alakmrme naayat tv ve || 5

Important: In Sanskrit texts will be . Indicates a, which means or negating the


auspiciousness of Lakm (meaning evil fortune, bad luck, distress, poverty, causing misfortune) which is
opposite to . One has to be very careful while pronouncing this verse.

Meaning: O! Lakm!! You are beaming like moon, worshiped by gods, compassionate, holding lotus owers,
embodiment of bja (). I surrender unto You with a prayer to remove my bad luck, distress, poverty and
misfortune (alakm).

candr - beaming like the moon. Beauty is always compared to the full moon.

prabhs - shine, glitter, brilliant, etc.

By using two words that convey almost similar meaning - candr prabhs, Her natural beauty is
emphasised. In addition to beauty, Her grandeur and Self-eulgent nature is also elucidated. Prabh means light
variously personied. This means that She not only shines as moon in the night, but also illumines the world in
the form of sun during daytime. She is the source of Light to the entire universe, be it day or night.

Yaasa - beautiful appearance, beauty, splendour, graciousness, etc. After having described Her natural
eulgence, now Her beauty and splendour are being described. It also means object of honour, a person of
respectability. This conveys Her Supremacy. Only such a person is worshiped by other gods.

jvalant - shining.

riya loke - riya means auspiciousness and loke refers to loka or worlds. There are seven types of worlds,
as indicated in Gyatri mantra. It also means the earth in which we live. Since, Her splendorous Self-illuminating
nature is repeatedly described, it means that She showers Her auspiciousness on all the seven worlds. This also
conveys that She rules the entire universe, consisting of all the seven loka-s. When a soul leaves a body (death),
it has to cross all the worlds to attain Liberation.

deva jum udrm deva refers to gods like Indra, etc. jua means pleased or frequented; it also means
served, obliged or worshipped. udra means noble, illustrious or generous. It says that gods like Indra and
others worship Her to obtain Her grace and She happily showers Her Grace on them. They have to have Her
Grace, in order to continue with their activities to sustain the worlds. But these gods have their territory only up to
rst three worlds and the next three worlds are controlled by sages and saints and the last world belongs to
Brahman, with whom one has to merge during moka. (Brahmans energy pervades all the seven worlds).

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t padminm - t refers to Her; padmin means multitude of lotuses. It also means Supreme woman;
means kmakal, which has been discussed in the previous verse. Therefore, here it should be taken as ,
which refers to Consort of Viu. Pacada mantra is conveyed through this verse.

kmo yoni: kamal vajrapirguhhas matarivbhrmindra|

punarguhsakala myay ca purucye vivamtdividy||

Here, kamal refers to , Goddess Lakm. ( ka e la hr)

This means that Goddess Lakm is seated majestically, amongst multitude of lotuses, which explains Her royal
and auspicious stature and being the Consort of Lord Viu.

araam aha prapadhye - I take refuge in Her feet. araam means to go to any one for protection, seek
refuge with, place of shelter or refuge. The aspirant (I) takes refuge in Her, as he knows that he has no other
recourse to get Her Grace. The aspirant is undergoing miseries in his life and hence performs this yaja and
seeks Her Grace through Lord Agni. First, he addressed Agni and now he addresses Her directly, as She has
already entered his home. Having now known Her, he takes refuge in Her as he knows Her compassionate
nature. Where he takes refuge? He takes refuge at Her feet. He knows that She will shower Her Grace. This is
explained in the last words of this verse.

alakmrme naayat tv ve - alakm means evil fortune, bad luck, distress, poverty. Naayata means
destruction. She showers Her Grace on him, by destroying alakm at his home. tv ve means emotionally
surrendering unto Her. He, with full of emotion surrenders unto Her with a request to destroy his misfortunes,
bad luck and poverty. He is now sure that She will accede to his prayers, as he is able to see Her in glorious and
auspicious form.

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SRI SUKTAM - 6
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dityavare tapaso'dhijto vanaspatistava vko'tha bilva |

tasya phalni tapas nudantu myntaryca bhy alakm || 6

Meaning: (Auspicious of bilva tree is being explained in this verse) O Lakm! You appear like the sun! Bilva
tree which was created by you is called king of forests. Its fruits are capable of destroying inner ignorance
(aiction of antakaraa) and external aictions caused by indriya-s (organs of perception and action). Let
these impediments (for Liberation) be destroyed with your Grace.

ditya vare resembling colour of the sun. Viu Sahasranma addresses Lord Viu (nma-s 39 and 563).
Puruasktam (I.16) also addresses Brahman as dityavara tamasastu pare. Chndogya Upaniad (I.vi.6)
answers this question that lingers in our minds. It says, There is a deity within the orbit of the sun, who is seen
by the yog-s. His whole body glitters like gold. He has a bright golden beard and golden hair. Therefore,
dityavara here does not merely mean that She is illuminating, but also subtly says that She is Brahman, taking
care of the universe.

tapasa adhijta tapas means penance and adhijta means born out of. She created bilva tree out of Her
penance. Bilva leaf is trifoliate, representing three gua-s (Three gua-s remain in harmony before creating.
When this harmony is disturbed, world is created). It can also mean three Gods Brahm, Viu and iva
According to Lakm Tantra, if one meditates in a forest of bilva trees, the eect of meditation becomes multi
fold. Lakm aotram 78 says bilva nilaya, which means She resides in bilva tree. iva is also worshiped with
bilva leaves. Bilvakam on iva explains the sacredness of bilva leaves.

vanaspati stave vanaspati means king of forest. Stava is eulogy, praising bilva forest.

vka atha bilva - that auspicious (atha means auspicious) tree is called bilva.

tasya phalni fruits of bilva trees, the nal product of bilva tree (like any other fruit yielding tree).

tapas nudantu here tapasa means warmth; nudantu means dispel.

mya antaryca mya means causing illusion; antarya means obstacles; if this is taken as antara, then it
means internal. This means inner obstacles that prevents Self-realization. Taking into account, tapas nudantu
myntaryca, it means by your Grace, please remove my inner spiritual ignorance (aiction of antakaraa)
and oer me moka.

bhy alakm - bhya here means indriya-s. alakm means evil fortune, bad luck, distress, poverty. These
are results of aicted indriya-s or arise due to misuse of indriya-s. Let these be removed by fruits of bilva tree,
which is nothing but Her Grace.

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