Sri Matre Namaha
Srikari – The One Hundred & Twenty Seventh name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
Karotiti kari sriyah kari (=srikari)
She who confers prosperity
Srikarah (=visnu) tasyeyam srikari
Wife of Visnu
She who gives all forms of wealth and happiness
Sri means all types of prosperity. It also means wealth, happiness, beauty, attraction, auspiciousness, etc. Since She has all these and also gives all these to Her devotees, She is known as Srikari. Vishnu Sahasranamam nama 611 is ‘Srikara:’ which means the giver of wealth to His devotees. In fact there is no difference between Vishnu and Lalitha. Vishnu is known for auspiciousness etc and there is no difference between them. There is brother- sister relationship and Vishnu is elder to Lalitha. Other namas in this Lalitha Sahasranamam confirm this. They are 267. Govonda-rupini, 298. Narayani, 893. Vishnu-rupini, etc. Srikara’s sister is Srikari.
When we say she gives all forms of wealth we are speaking of devi as the giver of wealth and prosperity and it can be said it is in the form of lakshmi that we worship,so let us understand her forms and how she showers her love and affection on us.
Lakshate sarvah anayaa ithi Lakshmi According to Amarakosha the word Lakshmi etymologically means the goddess who watches over every Man. The details of this Goddess can be obtained from Vyvartha puraana, Devi Bhagavatha and Vishnu Puraana. During the initial stages of creation she was born along with Brahma. That is why Lakshmi and Brahma have a reddish complexion. Shiva and Saraswati were born of a lotus. That is why they have white complexion. Parvati and Narayana were born of another lotus and they have bluish dark complexion. That is why Parvati is called ‘Narayani’.
Ashta Lakshmi (Aṣṭalakṣmī, lit. “eight Lakshmis”) are a group of eight secondary manifestations of the goddess Lakshmi, who preside over eight sources of wealth and thus represent the powers of Shri-Lakshmi. Actually Goddess Mahalakshmi presides over eighteen forms of wealth, but the most popular are the following eight forms of wealth only, which are governed by Ashta Lakshmis as they are most sought after by humans in the mundane and material world. The other ten forms of wealth includes, the eight great siddhis called as AshtaSiddhis, the spiritual knowledge or Gnana and teaching or imparting the spiritual knowledge to the entire world without any class difference. Goddess Mahalakshmi is also known to preside over 16 forms of wordly wealth excluding Ashta siddhis, gnana and imparting gnana. They are as follows: (1) Fame; (2) Knowledge; (3) Courage and Strength; (4) Victory; (5) Good Children; (6) Valor; (7) Gold, Gems and Other Valuables; (8) Grains in abundance; (9) Happiness; (10) Bliss; (11) Intelligence; (12) Beauty; (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation; (14) Morality and Ethics; (15) Good Health; (16) Long Life.
The eight forms of lakshmi is:
Adi Lakṣmi,The First manifestation of Lakshmi
Dhanya Lakṣmi,Granary wealth
Dhairya Lakṣm,Wealth of courage
Gaja Lakṣmi,Elephants, symbols of wealth
Santana Lakṣmi,Wealth of continuity, progeny
Vijaya Lakṣm,Wealth of victory
Vidya Lakṣmi,Wealth of knowledge and education
Dhana Lakṣmi,Monetary wealth
1. Adi Lakshmi: Mother Lakshmi resides with Lord Narayana in the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana. She is known as Ramaa, means bringing happiness to the mankind. She is also known as Indira (who holds lotus or purity in the hands or heart.) Divine Mother’s this form is normally seen serving Sri Narayana. Lord Narayana is omnipresent. Adi Lakshmi or Ramaa Lakshmi serves Sri Narayana is symbolic of her serving the whole creation. Though Sri Narayana is attended by innumerable devotees, still she personally loves to serve the Lord. Actually mother Adi Lakshmi and Narayana are not two different entities but one only. Many a place we see her form sitting in the lap of Sri Narayana.
2. Dhanya Lakshmi: Dhanya means grains. This includes all kind of purified food containing all essential vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, carbohytrade and so on. With the grace of mother Dhanya Lakshmi one gets all essential nutrients grains, fruits, vegetables and other foods.
3. Dhairya Lakshmi: This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of infinite courage and strength. Those, who are in tune with infinite inner power, are always bound to have victory. Those who worship mother Dhairya Lakshmi they live and lead a life with tremendous patience and inner stability.
4. Gaja Lakshmi: In the holy book of Srimad Bhagavata the story of the churning of the ocean by Gods and demons is explained in detail. Author, the Sage Vyasa writes that Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan). So she is known as a daughter of the ocean. She came out of the ocean sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and also having lotus flowers in both hands with two elephants by her sides, holding a beautiful vessels filled with milk and pouring it over Sri Lakshmi. Many a time we see Sri Lakshmi standing in the lotus and elephants are pouring nectar over her. During the festival of the lamps or the Deepavali along with Sri Lakshmi the Ganapati or the Elephant God also gets worshipped; that signifies the protection from evils as well as abundant grace and blessings for additional prosperities!
5. Santan Lakshmi: In the family life, the children are the greatest treasure. Those who worship this particular form of Sri Lakshmi, known as a Santan Lakshmi, are bestowed with the grace of mother Lakshmi and have wealth in the form of desirable children with good health & long life.
6. Vijay Lakshmi: Vijay is victory. Vijay is to get success in all undertakings and all different facets of life. Some are strong physically but weak mentally while others are economically rich but poor in their attitude and cannot exert any influence. Vijay is to have all encompassing victory. Vijay is to rejoice glory of our real nature – Vijay is to conquer the lower nature. Vijay is the victory in external and internal wars and of course eternal wars! Hence those, with grace of mother Vijay Lakshmi, have victory everywhere, at all time, in all conditions. Victory to Vijay Lakshmi !!
7. Dhana Lakshmi: Dhana is wealth. But as per Rigved’s Purush Shukta Dhana is not only a wealth in coins and currency. Even Sun and moon, fire and stars, rains and nature, oceans and mountains, rivers and streams, all these are our wealth, so are the progeny, our inner will power, our character and our virtues. With the grace of mother Dhana Lakshmi we will get all these in abundance.
8. Vidya Lakshmi: Vidya is education. Serenity, Regularity, Absence of Vanity, Sincerity, Simplicity, Veracity, Equanimity, Fixity, Non-irritability, Adaptability Humility, Tenacity, Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity, Charity, Generosity and Purity are the eighteen qualities imbibed through proper education that only can give immortality.
It must be kept in mind that the type of Ashta Lakshmis differ with every yuga and thus one would not find uniformity in the names of Ashta lakshmis in Hindu sacred texts. Actually speaking there are more than crores of manifestations of Mahalakshmi and without Goddess Mahalakshmi nothing in this world would survive as She forms the basis of the entire gamut of creation. Without her grace there will be nothing to eat, no air to breath, no progeny in continuation etc. At a minor level, one cannot survive without monetary wealth in this wide world, if one has not developed spiritualism. Even if one were to beg, one would not get even a dime without the grace of Goddess Mahalskhmi. It is only through the grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi that even King of Gods Devandra, gained wealth, when he was cursed by the famous Sage Dhurvasa for disrespecting the garland offered to him.
Goddess Mahalkshmi is also said to exist in several other forms. The most famous amonsgt them are 1. Sridevi, 2. Bhoodevi, and 3. Neeladevi. The famous Vaishnavite Saint Aandaal who was born in Srivilliputhur about 5050 years ago is an incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi Herself. Goddess Sridevi represents moveable assets, while Goddess Bhoodevi represents immoveable assets. Actually moveable assets in Sanskrit is called Chanchala, while immoveable is called Achanchala. It is only because of this mountains are prefixed with Achanachala in India, eg, Arunachala, Himachala etc. The term Chanchala also denotes fickleness and that is why we do not find people always wealthy. Everything in this world operates only with the grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Once Shreeya, an untouchable woman, worshipped Goddess Lakshmi by observing Manabasa Gurubar or lakshmi puja festival. Being moved by her devotion, Lakshmi left her permanent abode, the temple that is situated inside the campus of the temple of Lord Jagannatha, and visited Shreeya’s house. When Lord Balabhadra, the elder brother of Lord Jagannatha, came to know about this, she was declared defiled and was not allowed to come back into the temple. Lakshmi was deeply hurt and went to her father, Sahara.
When Lakshmi went out of the temple, all wealth in the temple started vanishing. Later, the Gods Balabhadra and Jagannatha could not find food to sustain themselves. They came out of the temple in the attire of Brahmin beggars in search of food. Ultimately, they landed at the door of the Goddess Lakshmi. Balabhadra apologised for the mistake, and all of them returned to the temple.
The Purana ultimately teaches all to pay extreme regard to Goddess Lakshmi, and the person who disregards her is sure to fall on evil days. This means that wealth should be well protected and properly used, and misutilisation of wealth is sure to make a person suffer.
There are innumerable Slokas in praise of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Some of the most famous prayers for worshipping Goddess Mahalakshmi are: Sri Lakshmi Sahasaranama Sthothra by Sanathkumara, Sri Stuti By Sri Vedantha Desikar, Sri Lakshmi Stuti by Indra, Sri Kanakadhara Sthothra by Sri Aadhi Shankaracharya, Sri Chatussloki by Sri Yamunacharya, Sri Lakshmi Sloka by Bhagavan Sri Hari Swamiji and Sri Sukta which is contained in the Vedas. The famous Lakshmi Gayathri Sloka ” Om Mahalakshmichae Vidmahe sri Vishnupathinichae Dhi-Mahi Thanno Lakshmi Prachodayat” is a powerful prayer contained in the Vedic Sri Sukta, which when chanted everyday 108 times is known to grace the chanter with immediate grace of the Goddess within 90 days.
There is another famous prayer pronounced by the great sage Agastua:Agastya Lakshmi Storta. Although Mother Lakshmi is worshipped as the goddess of fortune, when she is worshipped with Narayana, the worshipper is blessed with not only wealth but also peace and prosperity. They can be worshipped in various forms, such as Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Sita Rama,Radha Krishna or Vithal Rukmini.