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.
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Poetry. Moonology. Mystics.
EMPTY with the Gibbous Moon. The sages call for distance.
Separation for clear vision. Space to glean perspective.
Distance, distance, distance yourself. Without bitterness or resistance.
Just to gaze awhile, softly releasing and reflective.
Just to stand a pace away to see the broader view—the emotional fluctuations and the vast miracle that surrounds you.
The wild, wild miracle of being as it surges from the stars above...from the soils below.
Distance your self from the spectacle; empty, empty, letting go—because space makes the heart grow fonder.
Empty with the Gibbous Moon. The mystics call for distance.
Distance breeds desire, they say. Desire to be near.
Passionate longing to know—to see, to touch, to hear.
Just to stand a pace away. To realize (to remember):
YOU BELONG HERE.
Love. Shadow. Spiritual bypassing.
Which is it: A pile of sh*t or a fertile foundation for growth?
These past few months have presented so much opportunity for maturing, and yes I do mean the kind of opportunity like sticky, smelly manure provides to the soil.
My Grandma Redding would have nodded her head and said:
"It's been hard."
Grandpa Redding would have shook his head and said:
"It hasn't been easy."
And I started the season with eyes wide open, asking: "What don't I know?" Because everyone has their own, unique, singular, individual, perspective and experience. White people, black people, red people, blue people...and every other color people; we all want to be heard and understood. We all want be seen for who we are.
But who are we?
PREFER TO LISTEN?
I keep spiraling forward through the conversations (the many many convos about race, class, yoga, life and death, spiritual bypassing and shadow work) to find myself standing squarely back where I started: on the basis of LOVE.
This is not a Hollywood love–not a transactional, conditional, superficial or perverted kind of love. This is universal LOVE–a LOVE beyond all opposites. It is a LOVE that has nothing to do with "Spiritual Bypassing" because this LOVE includes the truth of the experience. It isn't trying to deny the wound or skip over the healing process. This LOVE fully recognizes the life and the death of it, the "pile of sh*t of it" ...the "hard" and the "not easy "of it. It includes your pain, your fear, your own unique manure of it.
This LOVE wants to know you, hear you, see you. It want to live as you–to be you.
I believe–like really, truly know in my guts: This LOVE IS WHO WE ARE.
And I also believe (more like hope, pray, cross my fingers, and imagine) that LOVE will move us forward in systemic healing, active peace and unified individuality ...without skipping over the pile of fertilizer that lays in our path. Keep Going.
Growing Forward. Not skipping ahead.
psychology. love. shadow.
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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