A Personal Note :
My first encounter with Sri Suktham was a little book by Ramakrishna Matam. Having read somewhere that Lakshmi Devi grants emotional stability, and having connected Sri Devi with Lakshmi Devi, thanks to popular media, I made it a point to read a few verses from Sri Suktham everynight before sleep. It replaced my nightmares with the most wonderful dreams and I have always suggested it as a remedy to anyone who asked.
After teaching me the Purusha Suktham, My Veda Guru asked me what I would like to learn next. Then I opted for the Sri Suktham. “What is the use of long life etc without a happy, stable, mind?” I asked her. “Please teach me the Sri Suktham. I want to be able to chant it, not just read it”. “Absolutely no problem”, she said and we started off.
The Veda Mantras have been interpreted many ways by many folks. The beauty of the Veda Mantras are that they reveal different meanings to different minds depending on the samskaras of that mind. It is some thing like white light, colour filters and prisms.
Sri Suktham has two parts to it. The mantra bhAga and the phalas’Rti. The mantras must be chanted whole, without breaks. The phala shruti verses discuss the benefits of chanting the mantras.
This is a parisishTa sUkta (11) of the Rg Veda Samhita, 4th aSTaka, 4th adhyAya.
The colour of Sri from the mantras:
hiranyavarNA : (she who is) of the colour of gold
suvarNa- rajata- srajA : she from whom a beautiful shine flows. Others interpret this as a someone from whose hands gold coins flow continuously.
candrA : glittering, Also translated as the sister of Chandra, the moon.
lakshmI : she who is lustrous, or lustre itself.
AdityavarNE : she who is of the colour of Aditya (the sun)
tapaso adhijAta : she who is born of penance, heat
sUrYa : the Sun – (in feminine gender), brilliant, bright
is’varI sarvabhUtAnAm : The controller of all beings, matA : mother
The colour of Sri from the Phalashruti :
candrAbhA, sUryAbhA, candra, sUryAgnivarnAbhA : She who shines like the moon, the sun and the fire
Lakshmi as Light :
In the Vedas, everytime there is a reference to the Divine, it is to one of It’s attributes. For eg savitr is progenitor, pUSan is the one who noursishes all of us, viSNu means omnipresent, Is’a refers to that aspect of God, the master, according to whose will or iSTa, this universe moves. and so on.
Similarly, Lakshmi refers to lustre or radiance of light of the sun, moon, fire, gold etc.
Many Hindus believe that Lakshmi Devi is the goddess of wealth. suvaRnA or the ‘good coloured one’ refers to gold as well as to Sri Devi.
Lakshmi is dhanadAyi the giver of wealth or dhanam.
And what is dhanam? The phalashruti says
dhanam agnih dhanam vAyuh dhanam sUryah dhanam vasuh. dhanam indrah brhaspatih varuNam dhanam astu te.
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