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Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony

Constantina Rhodes presents over five hundred elegantly translated Sanskrit verses, including devotional songs, mantras, visualizations, and ceremonial instructions that devotees use to invoke the goddess Lakshmi.

Rhodes draws upon these texts to develop a richly detailed portrait of Lakshmi, revealing unexpected dimensions of this enigmatic deity. Even as Lakshmi is best known as a goddess of wealth and well-being, she also maintains a strong esoteric presence, expressing herself as Siddhi, the magnificent Tantric goddess of spiritual power, and as Kundalini Shakti, the transformative cosmic force that exists within each individual. These identities express the "prosperity consciousness" that is the essential nature of the goddess and the divine source of all wealth. Invoking Lakshmi is not only a matter of calling upon the external form of the goddess but also of aligning one's consciousness with the very essence of prosperity.

This book also contains the transliterated Sanskrit texts and an extensive bibliography.

Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle.

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Excerpts from Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony

From the Introduction

In that moment when the puja imploded into perfection, when the supplications from the human realm seem to have succeeded in drawing the goddess into our space, crowding out mundane restlessness with a deep and abundant tranquility, existence within the world and transcendence beyond the world seemed as one. The puja elicited a point of perfect suspension, a window into the infinite that exists between the movements of coming and going, of past and present, of mundane and holy. What was the cause of that glorious hiatus? When that splendid moment subsided and we began to move about, the first words out of anyone’s mouth came when Veena’s son Ramesh, all of three or four years old, announced: “Devi aa rahi hai!" That is, “The goddess has arrived!”...

The goddess had arrived. What exactly did that mean? What exactly is a goddess? Who is the goddess Lakshmi? And if she had arrived, where had she come from? How had Veena convinced her to come? Certainly, there were preparations, ceremonial actions, and singing to the goddess, which, I later discovered, were conceptualized as invitations extended to a magnificent guest. Invitations, however, do not always guarantee arrivals. What was in Veena’s invocation that seemed to spell success?

From The Secret Heart of Lakshmi
(Shri Mahalakshmi Hridayam)

Om. I sing the praises of Lakshmi,
Whose essence is supreme auspiciousness
And whose body is formed of golden light.
Her entire being sparkles with the radiance of pure gold.
She bears the golden lotus
And the golden vessel filled with seeds.
Seated at the left side of Vishnu,
She is Shakti, mother of all creation.

I sing the praises of Lakshmi,
Beloved mother of auspiciousness,
The eternal one
Who confers delight,
Fulfills all desires,
And guides all endeavors to successful fruition.

With my mind focused
On her majestic sovereignty,
Ever do I call upon the queen of the gods.
Again and again I praise that supreme lady.

I sing the praises of Mahashri, source of wisdom,
Mahashri, source of every success and happiness,
Mahashri, source of all good fortune,
Mahashri, eternal source of auspiciousness.

I glorify Hari’s beloved, source of prosperity,
The everlasting one
Who grants the delight of Self-recognition,
The charming one
Who gives birth to speech
And its amazing variegations.
I glorify that goddess
Who bestows happiness sweet and everlasting.

O Goddess, existing as the entire world,
You dwell in all beings as their essence.
O queen of endless bounty,
May your brilliance illumine the darkness of space
As you protect all of creation.
O Shri, I bow to your lotus feet.

You are destroyer of poverty, sorrow,
And fruitless endeavor.
In my state of wretchedness and scarcity,
I place myself at your lotus feet.
O Shri, anoint me with your merciful glance.

O Mother, be gracious.
Cast upon me your glance,
Moist with the nectar of compassion.
Let flow your mercy into my home.
Clinging to your lotus feet,
I bow to the one whose look
Destroys the pain that dwells in my heart.
I bow in reverence to you, O Shri.

Glory! Glory be to Lakshmi,
Who appears and disappears in the twinkling of an eye.
Glory! Glory be to Padma,
Dearly beloved lady of the lotus.
Glory! Glory be to Wisdom,
Seated at Vishnu’s left side.
Glory! May all offer glory and salutations to Shri,
Wellspring of prosperity.

Glory! Glory be to the goddess
Worshiped reverently by the assembly of gods.
Glory! Glory be to the auspicious one,
Good fortune embodied as the daughter of Bhrigu.
Glory! Glory be to the ever-spotless one,
Celebrated as supreme knowledge.
Glory! Glory be to the one
Who exists as the goodness
Inherent in all things.

Glory! Glory be to the delightful one
Who dwells in the magnificent depths of the sea.
Glory! Glory be to the golden one
Whose beautiful body sparkles with brilliant light.
Glory! Glory be to the charming one, the resplendent one.

Glory! Glory be to the tranquil one.
O auspicious goddess,
Arrive quickly!

From Song for the Lakshmi of Spiritual Power
(Shri Siddhalakshmi Stotram)

The syllable om is Lakshmi,
Embodiment of the imperishable heart of Vishnu.
The syllable hrim is Lakshmi,
Embodiment of the unfathomable bliss of Vishnu.

Shrim is the bright and auspicious one
Who bestows immortal bliss.
Klim is the demon-destroying Shakti,
Garlanded with enemies she has slain.

That goddess who is divine resplendence,
Bestower of boons,
Source of auspiciousness,
And the feminine aspect of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva,
Embodies herself as the beautiful Kalika.

The primordial sound of the goddess is enunciated
In the syllable a, embodiment of Lakshmi,
In the syllable u, embodiment of the imperishable Vishnu,
And in the syllable m, embodiment of the unfathomable Purusha.

(The primordial sound)
Resembles the disc of the sun
And the crescent moon,
And radiates the same exquisite luster.
In between (the sun and moon) is embedded
The hidden treasure,
The essence of brahman.

The syllable om,
Greatest bliss of all,
Is none other than the lovely goddess,
Essence of happiness and well-being.
O Siddhalakshmi, Mokshalakshmi, Adyalakshmi,
Salutations to you!

From Praise-Song for the Lotus Goddess
(Kamala Stotram)

O Goddess, you exist as the sounding of om.
You exist as purity and equipoise.
From your essence you have given birth to the gods.
Be gracious, O Lovely One.

You exist as the earth,
As the waters,
As fire,
As the winds,
And as the atmosphere.
It is you indeed who cause the five elements
To hold together in harmony.
Be gracious, O Lovely One.

You exist as little girls in their childhood,
As young women in their youth,
And as elderly women in their old age.
Be gracious, O Lovely One.

You are practitioner of yogic austerities
And you are the magical powers produced through yoga.
Yours is the pure consciousness that animates this earth
And yours is the spiritual power of heaven.
Be gracious, O Lovely One.

It matters not how much truth
May shine forth in the world,
Illuminating the entire creation,
For one cannot acquire wisdom
Unless it is experienced
Through the opening of the heart.

A person immersed in the depths of your wisdom
Enjoys the fullness of a happy life
Blessed with a spouse, home, family, good friends,
And the banishment of debilitating sorrow.

Mistress of all,
Adored by all,
Existing beyond thought,
You are the Supreme Self.
It is you who bestow both
Worldly enjoyment and spiritual liberation.
Be gracious, O Lovely One.