Archetypes. Abundance. Ritual
The God/dess archetype of Shrī Lakshmi bestows the gifts of abundance, beauty, and deep Self-love.
Invoke her regal grace in the form of integrity, patience, and loving-kindness.
In the ancient Vedic hymns, the term shrī suggests beauty, luster, power, glory, riches, fertility, abundance, advantageous skills, and high rank. The term is especially used in later Vedic literature to refer to the wealth, ruling power, and majesty of kings (Kinsley, Hindu Goddesses 19). Shrī is the splendor that gives a king magnificence and authority to rule.
The personified form of Shrī, Lakshmī, is described and worshiped in the Shrī Shukta, a supplement to the Rig Veda (the earliest Indian literature). In that hymn, Shrī Lakshmī is associated with symbols of prosperity. She represents agricultural abundance. As an “earth-bound” goddess she is united with the “sky-god” Vishnu for creative power and the sustaining balance of the universe. In some texts, Lakshmi is the consort of Indra (the king of the gods) (Kinsley, Hindu 23). At other times she brings ruling power to demons, such as the demon King, Bali, who is both victorious and virtuous under her influence (23-25). When she moves from one ruler to another, she brings righteousness and fertility with her to the next kingdom.
By the Gupta period (300-700 CE), when the Vedic and folk goddesses become full-fledged Puranic (mythic) images, Lakshmī finally settles down as the consistent and faithful consort of Vishnu (the deity of sustenance and fruition). In the Bhāgavata Purāna and Kūrma Purāna for instance, Mahālaksmī (great Lakshmī) is equated with Vishnu’s supreme shakti (power).
In the “Devī Māhātmya,” an epic poem within the Markandeya Purāna Lakshmi is honored as the ultimate creative power. She is also recognized as the supreme universal grace in the Lakshmī Tantra (the main text of the Pāncharātra school of Vaishnavism),
Lakshmi has four arms. Her two front arms represent worldly reality. Often they offer material abundance in the form of gold spilling onto the earth. She may be imagined showing hand mudras (signs): varada-mudra with her left hand is a sign of bestowing blessings and boons. The abhya-mudra, in her right hand offers protection and prompts courage.. Her back arms represent the subtle dimension spiritual reality. Holding fully open pink lotuses, Lakshmi promising the knowledge of self-realization. She is seated on a pink lotus that rises up from the water, wearing a red and green sari. She embodies the activation of awakening from the dark waters of unconsciousness.
Meditating on the principles of beauty and abundance, you can become awakened to new layers of gratitude and realize the sacredness of life. You are invited to care for your Self with nourishing and nurturing practices. You are invited to attune with Nature's rhythms and honor the divinity within this earthly experience. You may create of your life a masterpiece of sensation, relationship, and joy.
Learning to LOVE your life unconditionally—is an ongoing process. Use the following soul questions and action steps to cultivate the archetypal qualities of Lakshmi in your real-world, human experience.
Soul Questions & Action Steps
Write down all the things you tend to lament about your life. Use a grain of rice to represent each complaint. Throw each grain of rice into a safely controlled fire one by one to be burned up and destroyed. Commit to turning your attention toward creating beauty, embracing grace, and cultivating gratitude every day.
Lakshmi's Bija Mantra is Shrīm.
"Just as "Om" is the mantra for spiritual liberation, "shreem" is the mantra for material well-being."
*Chant the mantra: Om Shrīm Mahalakshmiyei Namaha to invoke the generous compassion, unlimited abundance, and creative powers of Srī Lakshmi.
May you realize the glorious beauty and sacred sweetness of this human experience and delight in every single moment with creative freedom.
lakshmi. abundance. ritual.
Read/ Listen to more on these topics.
Solar Eclipse. Tantra. Alchemy.
The solar system is poetry in clockwork motion. Tomorrow, that dynamic rhythm presents a synchronization that will eclipse the sun's light for a moment and cause a shadow to fall across the surface of the planet. So what?
Just like every single aspect of this human experience, the significance is up to you.
According to the tantrik teachings that inform Inner Power Yoga®, there is a Love that pervades the entire universe and each moment provides an opportunity to remember it.
Tat tvam asi: You are that.
Foundational to tantrik yoga, esoteric alchemy sought to unify the principles of the sun and the moon as symbols of the sacred marriage, or coniunctio, of opposites. Psychologist Carl Jung adopted those same symbols to express the paradox within the human psyche. He wrote: “The factors that come together in the coniunctio are conceived as opposites, either confronting one another in enmity or attracting one another in love” (CW 14, 1).
According to Jung, the opposite factors of your psyche are two:
1. your ego consciousness and persona
2. the unconscious contents of your soul—the mystery that informs your whole Self.
Unconscious contents include the shadows that your persona rejects. Those undesirable qualities that you are unwilling to recognize as aspects of your own Self. In enmity, the ego projects those shadows onto "others."
In other words, the “civil war” between conscious and unconscious content manifests as outwardly projected conflict among genders, cultures, and the natural world. Sound familiar?
The casualties of shadow projection warfare have become increasingly visible to us lately. I have connected with many of you who are heartbroken, angry, and/or numb. Now we turn our eyes (protected by filters, of course) to the sky as the moon literally blots out the light and pulls us into the shadow...if only for a moment.
What will you do with that moment?
Will this fleeting coniunctio be a symbol of enmity or of Love?
For me, the solar eclipse presents a time to embrace the shadow. It is a moment to contemplate those darker spaces within my own psyche, to gather the scattered projections and realize my Self as whole—ego and soul. When I realize my Self as whole, I am unified with all people and the planet itself. I am available to compassion, forgiveness, and spiritual grace. I remember the play of consciousness as an act of divine LOVE.
The tantrik texts personify the conjunction of sun and moon, as spirit and soul, in the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. Theirs is a cosmic game of revelation and concealment as embodied soul forgets itself as universal spirit...then remembers again in an ongoing cycle.
In the text: Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Shakti beseeches Shiva, “Lord,” she asks, “How can I know you more?” Shiva lovingly replies, “You are me” (Saraswati 23). The practices of Tantra Yoga psychodynamically move Shakti toward remembering her Self as one with Shiva—realizing her true nature as infinite Reality.
Hatha Yoga is “the union (yoga) between sun and moon, the conjunction of the two great dynamic principles or aspects of the body-mind” (Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition 328). It is an earth-affirming, embodied experience of samyama: when the lover, the beloved, and love itself merge into one pulsation. It reveals the deeply known secret that body, soul, and spirit are a continuum of One.
According to Jung, Alchemy, and Tantra, infinite Reality may be experienced through nature's manifestations. The Self is realized through the ego, transcendental spirit is realized through humanity's immanent divinity—through earth, body, and soul.
And the light of LOVE may be realized through the shadow.
...in any given moment.
♥ ONE LOVE, R.R.Shakti, PhD
astrology. tantra. alchemy.
Read (or listen) to more on these topics.
About The Author
R.R. Shakti, PhD
Founding teacher of Inner Power Yoga®, Shakti is a Contemplative Mythologist, ritual facilitator, and writer who presents a Tantrik approach to personal empowerment and social action. Through contemplative story-telling and mind/body practices, she offers a vision of deep peace and radical freedom.
PSYCHE + SOUL