Sri Suktam

Two mantras, the Purusha Suktam and the Sri Suktam are used most often during homa, vrata and puja by Vaishnavas, Shaivas and Shaktas. The Sri Suktam comprising fifteen mantras appears in an appendix to the Rig Veda and is therefore called a “Khila” suktam. Most Hindus are familiar with the Sri Suktam because of its association with abundance and prosperity, but few know of its deep, philosophical significance. The word “Sri”, as we have discussed before in the chapter on Sri Vidya, originates in the root verb “Shriy”, which means to take refuge or serve. Therefore, Sri can be described as that cosmic energy that gives shelter to all creatures. 

Each of the mantras in the Sri Suktam has a different Rishi (seer), Chandah (metre), Devi (deity) and Viniyoga (ritual application). The two deities addressed are Agni and Sri Devi. The first verse is said to be the bija of the suktam, while the term “taam ma avaha” is the Shakti. Shakti is that part of the mantra where the power lies encapsulated. The verse starting with “Keertimridhim” is said to be the Kilaka, which acts as a nail in helping the chanter fix his mind to the mantra with complete mindfulness. 

Sri Suktam

Om hiranya varnaam harinim suvarna rajata srajam   Chandraam hiranmayim lakshmim jatavedo ma aavaha Taam ma aavaha jatavedo lakshmim anapagaminim   Yasyaam hiranyam vindeyam gaamashvam purushan aham   Invoke for me, O Agni, the Goddess Lakshmi, who shines like gold, yellow in hue, wearing gold and silver garlands, blooming like the moon, the embodiment of wealth. O Agni! Invoke for me that unfailing Lakshmi, being blessed by whom I shall win wealth, cattle, horses and men.
Ashva purvaam ratha madhyaam hastinadaprabodhinim Dhriyam devim upahvaye shrirma devii jushataam Kaam sosmitaam hiranya praakaramaardraam jvalantim Triptaam tarpayantim Padme sthitaam padma varnaam Taam eho upahvaye shriyam   I invoke Shri (Lakshmi), who has a line of horses in front of her, a series of chariots in the middle, who is being awakened by the trumpeting of elephants, who is divinely resplendent. May that divine Lakshmi grace me. I hereby invoke that Shri (Lakshmi) who is an embodiment of Absolute Bliss; who is of pleasant smile on her face; whose lustre is like that of burnished gold; who is wet, as it were (just from the milky ocean), who is blazing with splendour, and is the embodiment of the fulfilment of all wishes; who satisfies the desires of her votaries; who is seated on the lotus and is beautiful like the lotus.  
Chandraam prabhaasam yashasa Loke deva jushtaam udaraam Padminim im sharanam aham prapadye Alakshmir me nashyataam tvaam vriney Aaditya varne tapas adhi jaato Vanaspatis tava vrikshoh cha bilvah   Tasya phalani tapasa nudantu Mayaantarayascha baahyaa alakshmih    For shelter in this world, I resort to that Lakshmi who is beautiful like the moon, who shines bright, who is blazing with renown, who is adored (even) by the gods, who is highly magnanimous, and grand like the lotus. May my misfortunes perish. I surrender myself to Thee. O Thou, resplendent like the Sun! By Thy power and glory have the plants, (like) the bael tree, grown up. May the fruits thereof destroy through Thy Grace all inauspiciousness rising from the inner organs and ignorance as well as from the outer senses.
Upaitu maam deva sakhah kirtishcha manina saha   Praadurbhutosme rashtresmin keertim rhidhim dadaatu me Kshupti pasa malam jyeshtam alakshmim naashayaam aham   Abhutim asam riddhim cha sarvam nirnuda me grihaat   O Lakshmi! I am born in this country with the heritage of wealth. May the friend of the Lord Shiva (Kubera) and Kirti (fame) come to me. May they (having taken their abode with me) bestow on me fame and prosperity. I seek you help to keep at bay the elder sister of Lakshmi, who is the embodiment of inauspiciousness and such evil as hunger, thirst, anger and hatred. O Lakshmi! Drive out from my abode all misfortune and poverty.
Gandha dvaraam duradarsham Nitya pushtaam karishinim   Eshwarim sarva bhutanaam taam eho pahvaye shriyam Manasah kaamamaakrutim Vaacah satyamashimahi   Pashunaam rupamannasya mayi shrih shrayataam yashah    I invoke that Lakshmi whose main avenue of perception is the odoriferous sense (i.e., who abides mainly in cows); who is incapable of defeat or threat from anyone; Who is ever-healthy (with such virtuous qualities as truth); whose grace is seen abundantly in cows and who is supreme over all created beings. O Lakshmi! May we obtain and enjoy the fulfilment of our desires and our volitions, the veracity of our speech, the wealth of cattle, the abundance of varieties of food to eat! May prosperity and fame reside in me.
Kardamena praja bhuta sambhava kardama Shriyam vaasaya me kule maataram padmamalinim Aapah srijantu snigdani chiklita vasame gruhe Ni cha devim maataram shriyam vaasaya kule    Lakshmi! You have progeny in Kardama. (Hence) O Kardama, may you reside in me. Make Mother with garlands of lotuses, to have Her abode in my (ancestral) line. May the (holy) waters create friendship O Chiklita (Progeny of Sri), reside in my home; and arrange to make Divine Mother to stay in my lineage
Aardraam pushkarinim pushtim pingalam padma malinim   Chandraam hiranmayim Lakshmim jatavedo ma aavaha Aardraam yah karinim Yashtim suvarnam hemamalinim   suryaam hiranmayim Lakshmim jatavedo ma aavaha    Invoke for me, O Agni, Lakshmi who shines like gold, is brilliant like the sun, who is powerfully fragrant, who wields the rod of suzerainty, who is of the form of supreme rulership, who is radiant with ornaments and is the goddess of wealth. Invoke for me, O Agni, the Goddess Lakshmi who shines like gold, blooms like the moon, who is fresh with anointment of fragrant scent, who is adorned with the lotuses (lifted up by celestial elephants in the act of worship), who is the presiding deity of nourishment, who is yellow in colour, and who wears garlands of lotuses.
Taam ma aavaha jatavedo lakshmim anapagaminim   Yasyaam hiranyam prabhutam gaavo dasyahashvaan vindeyam purushanaham   Invoke for me, O Agni, that Goddess Lakshmi who is ever unfailing, being blessed by whom I shall win wealth in plenty, cattle, servants, horses, and men.
Mahalakshmi cha vidmahe vishnu patnim cha dhimahi   Tano lakshmim prachodayaat   We connect with the Great Goddess, and meditate on the Consort of Vishnu. May that Lakshmi direct us to our goals.
Shri varchasyam ayushyam aarogyamaa vidhaa choba manam mahiyate   Dhaanam dhanyam pashum bahuputra Laabham Shatasamvatsaram dirghamayuh   Grant me, O goddess, a wind of vigour, Cereals in abundance, good health, children, cattle, profits and a long life.  

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