[This is in continuation of the previous post covering the remaining 3 stanzas of the kriti: Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma . Link for Post 1: https://atomic-temporary-25401030.wpcomstaging.com/2020/08/06/bhagyada-lakshmi-1/ ]
Verse 3: ” attittagalade bhaktara maneyali nitya mahOtsava nitya sumangaLa
satyava tOruva sAdhu sajjanara cittadi hoLeyuvA puttaLi bombe”
“O most Effulgent One, you are always enshrined in the hearts of the great saints and seers. Do not go hither and thither, but take up your permanent abode in the house of your devotees wherein your auspicious presence is daily invoked.”
Lakshmi is supposed to be ‘chanchala’ – never stays in one place for a long time. But the great devotee of Guruvayoorappan, Sri Narayana Bhattathiri says, “O Mother of the Universe, Goddess Lakshmi, you are not ‘chanchala’ at all. Your permanent abode is where Lord Hari resides. When ignorant people get attached to sheer materialistic wealth, you quietly leave them in search of the abode where Hari resides”. Therefore the prayer to Goddess Lakshmi not to go anywhere else but to take up her permanent abode where there is nitya Hari smarana.
Verse 4: “sankhye illAda bhAgyava koTTu kankaNa kaiya tiruvuta bAre
kunkumAnkite pankaja lOcane venkaTaramaNana binkada rANI”
“Adorned with the sacred and auspicious red kumkum, O Beloved Consort of Lord Venkataramana, you are a personification of modesty. You have taken up the vow (kankana-badha) of protecting the devotees of Sri Hari. Shower your countless blessings and bestow the inexhaustible wealth, (material and spiritual) upon your devotees.”
Sri Lakshmi dwells in the heart of Lord Venkataramana and therefore she resides only in a heart and home where her Lord is invoked. She is kankana-badha (has taken a vow) to protect her devotees, yet it is not easy to win her favours. To receive her grace, Lakshmi has to be ardently courted and devotedly worshipped. She is an embodiment of modesty, she is shy and therefore very slowly she enters our lives only after making sure that Lord Hari is there in our hearts!
Very often Lakshmi is depicted in red attire. Red signifies activity. She is also glorified as not only adorned with the sacred red kumkum but haldi or turmeric as well. And kumkum is made from haldi. In any puja, we first offer or use haldi and only then the kumkum. Yellow colour (haldi) represents Knowledge or Jnana, and the red colour (kumkum) represents Activity or Karma. The significance is that with the help of the right knowledge (Jnana), when we put forth the required self-effort (Karma) in any undertaking, material or spiritual, we can surely gain the countless blessings of Goddess Lakshmi.
Verse 5: “sakkare tuppada kAluve harisi shukravAradha pUjaya vELage
akkareyuLLa aLagiri rangana chokka purandara viTtalana rANI”
“O Beloved Consort of Ranganatha, you are the One reigning supreme in the heart of Sri Vittala. I invoke you on the auspicious shukravara (friday), shower your grace and blessings and let them flow into my life like sugar and ghee!”
Ranganatha is the Supreme Parabrahma, who is the Lord (Natha) of the colourful drama of life (Ranga). The Lord represents the Spirit (Purusha) and Lakshmi is his Shakti (Prakriti). Traditionally, Lakshmi-vara (Lakshmi’s day) is Guru-vara (thursday). Guru-vara represents ‘standard of life’. Shukra-vara (friday) represents ‘standard of living’. First, one must take care of one’s own ‘standard of life’ (values, knowledge). Only then the ‘standard of living’ (enjoyment, pleasures, life’s experiences) will become aligned to dharma. Hence Guru-vara comes before Shukra-vara! Only when we invoke Lakshmi to take care of both, our ‘standard of life’ and ‘standard of living’, our life becomes meaningful and full.
Sugar and Ghee are two of the five ingredients which constitute Panchamruta, the other three being milk, curds and honey. They all have medicinal properties. When these ingredients are used for abhishekam, they easily absorb the divine vibrations of the deity and transfer it to us when we receive the panchamruta as prasad. Sugar is the end product of the processing of sugar-cane juice, and similarly, ghee is the end product of milk-processing. Therefore, both sugar and ghee represent the end product or “fruits of our activities” – Karmaphala. Sugar denotes Happiness or Bliss. Ghee denotes the Light of Knowledge. By putting forth the right effort (Karma), we seek the grace of Goddess Lakshmi to bestow upon us the sacred Spiritual Knowledge which ultimately leads us to the State of Eternal Bliss.
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