Thursday, April 16, 2015

AKSHAYA TRITEEYA FESTIVAL AND PHILOSOPHERS' FORTNIGHT

AKSHAYA-TRITEEYA FESTIVAL

AND

THE PHILOSOPHERS’ FORTNIGHT—VAISAAKHA SHUKLAPAKSHA

(I-DISCOURSE BY N.R. SRINIVASAN, APRIL 2012)
AKSHAYA TRITEEYA

AKSHAYA-TRITEEYA is a significant Hindu festival for fortune seekers and spiritual aspirants as well that falls on the third day of bright (Poornima) half of Vaisakha of the Hindu calendar. This year it falls on April 24. To many this is only known as a day which has no limit for good luck and success as the word Akshaya signifies.  Akshaya means imperishable or eternal.  Perhaps you are well aware of Akshaya Vatu, imperishable banyan tree in Allahabad! To the long awaited lovers this day is an ideal day for marriage without waiting for the sanctions of a family Pundit, for this day is considered to be Shubha Muhoorta (auspicious Day) all day long.  Firm believers rush to Jewelry shops to buy gold on this day to get rich   quick. Though the gold price has gone beyond the reach of common man Hindus still do not stop  shopping for gold jewelry driven by their religious instinct on this day.

Hindus concentrate more on religious rituals and merriments strongly influenced by the Puraanas now-a-days though they get offended if someone calls them believers and faith oriented in their religious pursuits. Many may not even remember this day as a great day of spiritual significance.  On this day King Rishabha broke his yearlong fast with a glass of sugarcane juice offered to him by a kind hearted person understanding the plight of the king who renounced the world and turned a monk. King Rishabha gave up all luxury and went on meditation to find his new philosophy. He gave up even cooking for himself and depended on alms for living as a mendicant. People were wondering why a king was approaching them for alms and therefore did not take it seriously. It took almost a year for someone to realize his austere intentions.  Followers of his philosophy called him “Jina” the conqueror and they in turn were called Jains.  They turned away from sacrificial and ritualistic practices of Hinduism and looked towards spiritual evolution. But the Puraanic influence of Hinduism was so strong later Jains also absorbed ritualistic forms of temple worship building Jain temples. Some Jains attend both Hindu and Jain temples for worship. Some Hindu temples in USA have even consecrated the idol of Vardhamana Mahaaveera the 24th and the  last Teerthankara, though this  does not find favor with Aagama Saastra and Tantric protagonists.

Buddhism was another religion which was against sacrificial and ritualistic forms of worship as founded by the immediate followers of Buddha. To them the philosophy of Buddha was convincing and they started a new religion called Buddhism named after him. Both Jainism and Buddhism were silent on God like Saankhya philosophers. Buddhism became very strong and even posed a threat to Hinduism. But Puraanaic influence was formidable as fantasy stories impressed common people unlike the Spiritual approach. Religious faithful, finding a reference in their Puraanas to an avatar of Vishnu called Bauddha, made the historic Buddha an avatar of Vishnu and thus prevented Buddhism from having a stronghold in India though it flourished outside India to become a world religion. Even though Rishaba was also mentioned as an avatar of Vishnu, Puraanas did not worry very much as the followings were limited to isolated areas. Jainism was too severe in its austerities. Much later another spiritual movement started by the followers of Basveswara but that too could not spread its wings much against the Puraanic dominated Bhaktimarga and Temple Worship. Basveswara’s concept focused on all rivulets of religions ending at the confluence of Koodala Sangama (The Supreme Lord at the Confluence). What could have been a significant day for spiritual advancement Akshaya Triteeyaa Day ended up as a day of merriment and materialism in the name of religious celebration!   

Akshaya Triteeyaa Day is significant for the following:
*It is the day dedicated to Adinatha the first Teerthankara and celebrated with   sugarcane juice.
*It is the day dedicated to Parasurama (his birthday in Tretayuga) in Kerala and Konkan. Parasurama reclaimed the land from the sea which is the West coast and therefore some portion of it is  known as Parasurama Kshetra.
*In Orissa people start tilling their lands with the plough on this day and dedicate it to Balabhadra whom they reverently call as Haladhar. This is the day people start constructing the chariot (Ratha) for the Ratha Yatra for Jagannaath.
*According to Puranasa Sage Vyasa started dictating Mahabharata to Ganesha who scribed it on taala-patra (palm leaves) on this day.
*This is the Birthday of Basaveswara, Incarnation of Nandi celebrated by all his followers called Lingaayats or Veerasaivasa in Karnataka.
*This is the day dedicated to Ganesha and Lakshmi in Bengal and celebrated as Halkhaataa Day.
*This is the day on which Mother Ganges descended from Heavens on the  Earth.
* This is the day on which the Sun and the Moon are in their exalted brightness.
*This is the day Maharashtrians dedicate their Rangoli art sacred (chitraanga Subhachinha).
* This is the auspicious marriage day for all communities irrespective of their Janmakundali (horoscope readings) called Umbhooja Muhurat Day. 
* This is an auspicious farming day for Jat farming community in North India, particularly Haryana.
* Some believe this is the day on which Krita Yuga was born.
* This is the day on which   Draupadi got Akshayapatra from her mentor Lord Krishna to feed all guests without any reservation whatever their numbers may be, to fulfill their desires.
*Lord Krishna entertained his boyhood days’ friend Kuchela, a poor Brahmin.
* This day is called “Athiti Devo Bhava Day”—Treat your guest as God. This is the memorable day when Lord Krishna received his boyhood day's friend and was pleased with a handful of pounded rice and jaggery a poor man's delight. In turn  He blessed him with immense rich.
*This Day happens to be Parasurama Jayanthi
*Goddess Annapoorna incarnated on this day.
*Chardham temples open on this day.

Presiding deity of the famous pilgrim center Simhaachala in Andhra Pradesh is Varaaha-Narasimha. The temple houses a natural rock, the top portion of which resembles the head of the wild boar and the rest of the boulder suggests a human torso with two arms. This is a co-joint representation of Varaaha and   Narasimha assumed to kill the twin brothers Hiranyaaksha and Hiranyakasipu. The deity here is always seen covered with a thick coat of sandal paste all round the year. It is removed only for a day on Akshaya Triteeyaa day when the original form of the deity becomes visible. This is a sacred day to visit the temple for a special worship and to have full Darsan (reverential view) of the deity.

Chandanotsava/Nijaroopa Darshana is an important ritual celebrated in Simhachalam Temple.  On this day Lord Narasimha appears with his actual shape which is called Nijaroopam. On normal days Simhachalam Narasimha appears with four layers of chandanam. The first layer is applied to the Lord on Akshaya Thriteeya day just after Sahasra kalashabhishekam at 9 p.m. The second layer is applied on Vaishakha Poornima, the third on Jyeshta Pournima, and the fourth and final layer is applied on Ashada Poornima day.  

This day also happens to be the Aradhana of Sri Vijayadhwaja Teertha of   Pejawar Mutt. He lived in the 15th century and   wrote commentary on Bhagavatham, sitting under a peepal tree in Kanva theertha.  His Vrindavan is erected at this place.  Special festival is arranged in Sri Krishna Mutt on this day.    The akshaya paatra given by Sri Madhwa is offered a special worship.

Chandana Yatra   in Puri starts on this day and continues for twenty days (As ordained by Lord Jagannatha to King Indradyumna).  Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of   Lord Jagannatha leaving only his two eyes visible. The processional deities   are taken out in procession and   placed in a boat in the temple pond.


Akshaya means never diminishing and the day is believed to bring in prosperity. This day is considered very auspicious for buying long term assets like property and silver, gold, diamond and other precious stones since it is believed that any move on this day will continue to grow. It is not just material prosperity that one should seek. One should develop an eternal   longing to acquire Brahmajnanam (knowledge of Brahman) and strive for undiminished (Akshaya) Faith   and Devotion to  the Lord. This is the best form of wealth worthy of possessing eternally. Akshaya Thriteeya in conjunction with Rohini star   is considered even more auspicious.  Scriptures say that knowledge gained or charity done on this day is very fruitful.  Lakshmi Tantram says that even Kubera prays to goddess Lakshmi. On this day, a day-long Kubera- Lakshmi Puja is performed with Lakshmi idol and Sudarsana- Kubera Yantra.

Another religious day of special worship in the Month of Kaartik is also called Akshaya Navami, known for its plentitude. It falls on Suklapaksha Navami and is also called Parikrama Divas in the North. Strangely Akshaya Triteeyaa and Akshaya Navami both fall on Suklapaksha. Probably the waxing moon shows prosperity and happiness.  It is believed Surya worshiped Goddess Durga on this day and was rewarded plentiful properties to rule over. In Bengal Goddess Jagadhatree is worshiped on this day.  This significant religious day may not be as popular as Akshaya Triteeyaa.

PHILOSOPHER’S FORTNIGHT—VAISAAKHA SUKLA
Akshaya Triteeya Day besides being the Birthday of Basaveswara is also an important day of remembrance of Lord Rishabadeva celebrated on April 24 this year. Birthdays of Sankara and Ramanuja, two other philosophers are celebrated on April 26. Buddha Poornima is celebrated on May 5 this year. The bright fortnight of the Hindu calendar month of Vaisaakha (Vaisaakha Sukla Paksha) can be called Hindu Philosophers’ Fortnight (April 21 to May 5, 2012).
Veerasaiva (Lingayat) philosophic Movement which was established around 800 years ago was named after Basveswara.  He was born on Akshaya Triteeya Day. Two days later, the birthdays of Adi Sankara and Ramanuja are celebrated, both falling on the same day, on Vaisakha Sukla Panchmi, the fifth day in the fortnight. Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, as well as his demise are all celebrated on Buddha Poornima Day which falls on  May 5 this year, which is also a National Holiday in India.
 Akshaya as explained before in Sanskrit means that which is imperishable or eternal.   Therefore the celebration of this festival   signifies everlasting peace and prosperity which is Eternal Bliss. This can be attained only by following the great teachings of the philosophers mentioned above and others who focused all their life on the Supreme principle whom Sankara called Aaatman, Ramanuja called Sriman Naaraayana and Basaveswara called Koodala Sangama. Ignorant many think Akshaya Triteeya means material prosperity and so rush to buy gold on this Day and many don’t even remember Basveswara or Rishabha.  Bhagavadgeetaa stresses on Sreyas (Eternal Bliss) in preference to Preyas (material happiness). We should all aim at permanent bliss as the goal of our present life.

Lord Rishabhadeva also known as Adinatha, who is  an incarnation of Lord Vishnu according to the Hindu scriptures, began his teachings by turning a monk.  Akshaya Triteeya Day is dedicated to Adinatha and Jains celebrate this significant day with sugarcane juice. Adinatha‘s teachings were on Ahimsa (non-violence); Inter-dependence (parasparoepagraha jeevanam); The Doctrine of Manifold Aspects (Anekaantavaada); Equanimity (Samyaktva); and Compassion (Jeeva dayaa). The five fundamental teachings of Jainism are deeply rooted in their  living impressions in the unbroken continuity across the centuries. They offer today the world a time-tested anchor or normal imperative and a viable route plan for humanity’s common pilgrimage for historic environmental protection, peace and harmony in the universe. That is why Adinatha and his successors were called a Teerthankaras. Teerthankara is a ford-maker. Teerthakara in Jainism signifies a survivor who has succeeded in crossing over life’s stream of births and has made path for others to follow. The Tamil word “Kadavul” meaning God has the similar significance and deeper meaning   when we say somebody is Kadavul.  

Basaveswara’s philosophy brought about new solutions to outstanding human problems that confound present day thinkers and social reformers.  He was a revolutionary social reformer, an architect of a new classless and casteless society based on equality and social justice. He was an emancipator of Indian womanhood and savior of the down- trodden. Basaveswara was the originator of a new economic order with Kaayaka--pure and honest work as its corner stone. 

Sankara was a brilliant flash of lightning that eradicated many areas of darkness in the life of man. An interesting episode in his life tells how Sankara, the learned Brahmin, bowed to the superior wisdom of a low outcaste and accepted him as his Guru. Manu says in his Dharma Saastra that he who possesses faith may receive learning even from a man of lower caste, the highest law even from the lowest and excellent wife from a base family. We have here the examples of Satyavati, Vidura, Dharmavyada, Nammaazhwaar, Ravidas and Dr. Ambedkar.   He established several Maths (monasteries) to spread his philosophy. The teachings of Sankara who believed in the One Undivided Self, reinforce a sense of unity among humanity which Vivekanada reiterated before the World Religious Forum saying “Vedanta is the Religion of the Future”. He is considered as an incarnation of Siva. No discussion on Hindu Philosophy can start without a reference to Sankara.  It is therefore worth recalling his sayings below:
*Just as a piece of rope is imagined to be a snake in the darkness, so is Aaatman (soul) is imagined to be the body by an ignorant person.
*Neither by Yoga, nor philosophy, nor by work, nor by learning but by realization of one’s identity with Supreme Principle (Brahman) is liberation possible, and by no other means.
*When the mind is purified like a clear mirror, Wisdom is revealed in it. Care should therefore be taken to purify the mind.
* The world is filled with attachments and aversions and is changing like a dream; it appears to be real as long as one is ignorant, but becomes unreal when one is awake to his consciousness.
*Aatman is the ruler of the body (physical matter) and is internal; the physical body is the one that is ruled, and is external; and yet we see these two as one! What else can be called ignorance than this?
*There are good souls, calm and magnanimous, who do well to others as does the spring, and, who having themselves crossed this difficult ocean   of birth and death, helps others also to cross the same without any motive whatsoever.
*A father has got his sons and others to free him from his debts, but he has got none but himself to remove his bondage and seek liberation.
*Be not blindly attached to friend or foe, to son or kinsman, to peace or war. If you aspire for Vishnu’s (Govinda’s) realm, look upon all things as of equal worth or opportunity.

Ramanuja upheld Bhakti (loving surrender to God) as the sole path to the realization of God. In his life and teachings, Ramanuja upheld that all humans are born equal and that caste has no role in determining one’s relationship with God. A particular section of his orthodox followers taking pride in their birthright did not follow his preaching or practice it in life and got into trouble later. He accepted Kanchipurna, who was not a Brahmin, as his Guru. One of his most worthy disciples, Dhanurdasa, was from a lower caste. For Ramanuja, a Vaishnava (Man of Omnipresent God, Vishnu) is worthy of respect: but he defined as a true Vaishnava as the one who has abundant love for God. He is considered to be an incarnation of Adisesha or Lakshmana as his name suggests.
His philosophy can be briefly summarized as follows:
*Supreme Principle, Naaraayana (Parmaatman) alone is independent.  Soul (Chit) and Matter (Achit) are dependent on him.
*Souls are initially divine by nature but they are eternally under the bondage of Maaya (constituting Satva, Rajas and Tamas gunas).  This bondage can be terminated by understanding the Divine Truth.
*Renounce all attachments to the world and dwell in selfless devotion to the Supreme Personality of God. 
*Enter the Divine abode of our beloved God with His Grace.

He elaborately draws support from Bhagavadgeeta and Upanishads (Manduka and Katha) for his philosophy of Visishtaadvaita.  

Historical Siddharta who became to be known as Bhuddha is too well known for his philosophy of Ahimsa and Non-Violence.  The Hinduism that Siddharta saw had lost much of its primal energy (Dharma) and pristine purity.  Like Basaveswara he refused to subscribe to the caste system which had by then ceased to be Kula (Society) dharma to keep harmony and peace but had become a tool of oppression. He questioned the authority of Vedas. He was convinced that penance and meditation as mere rituals without sincerity and contemplation on God were futile.  He set out alone to seek the ultimate truth. On reaching the enlightenment he returned to preach what he had experienced and came to know and he did this out of compassion to his fellow beings.  “All sufferings and pain, fear and hatred, come from desire; the man who is free from all desire, need not worry”, he preached to all. He taught them eight-fold path of duty. He never wanted to start a new religion but his followers did. Realizing the popularity and revolutionary trend, Buddha was absorbed into the more orthodox and conventional pantheon of Vishnu as ninth Avatar. We are now said to be living in the dispensation of this incarnation form of Vishnu called Bauddhaavataar, though orthodox Vaishnavas do not agree. He is known as Saakhya Muni (Ascetic) and his philosophy is well embedded in Sankhya Philosophy glorified in Bhagavadgeeta.

His birthday falls on Vaisaakha Sukla Poornima which is the end of this bright fortnight. Buddha Poornima is a National Holiday in India though there are very few Buddhists in India.   Four lions of Ashoka Pillar and wheel of Dharma, edicts form Buddhism are the National symbols of India seen in all currencies of India with the inscription “Satyameva Jayate”.

Let us celebrate this bright fortnight dedicating it to these great philosophers reciting the Mantras from Mahaa Naaraayana Upanishad given below! Let us sing their glory singing the song by Ellis Wheeler Cox given below!          
Na karmanaa  na prajayaa dhanena tyaageneike amritatvam-aanasahu |
Parena naakam nihitam guhaayaam  vibhraajate yad yatayoe visanti || (M N Upanishad)

That immortality which the sages attain and that immortality which is stationed in Parama Vyoman, which is above heaven, is neither attainable by rites, nor by progeny, nor by wealth; but it is attained by some only through   renunciation or self-surrender.

Vedaanta-vijnaana-sunischita-arthaah sanyaasa-yogaad yatayas-suddha-satvaah |
Tey brahmaloke tu para-anta-kaale para-amritaat parim-uchyanti sarve || (M N Upanishad)

The sages (recluses) who are endowed with the decisive knowledge (tattva, hita and purushaartha) that is derived from the Upanishads, whose minds are purified on account of undergoing self-surrender (Prapatti) at the feet of the Lord, become freed from all bondage, by attaining Supreme Principle (Parmaatman) in his abode (Parmapada), after discarding the physical body.  [This mantra is also found in Mundaka Up. 3-2-6 expressing the same thoughts.]

Immortality or Liberation is not attained by rites performed for gaining various results.  It is neither gained by progeny which may satisfy the pitrus nor gained by attaining wealth. Even Bhaktimaarga should focus on self surrender to the Supreme Principle called Nyaasa or Saranaagati. The hermits are of two kinds. One kind of hermits perfect Bhaktimaarga and enter into the Supreme abode of Paramaatman at the end of their births. The other kind strives by yogic practice to attain decisive knowledge of the Upanishads (Vedanta-vijnaana) which would lead them to the Supreme abode.
[It is customary to chant these Vedic mantras while welcoming saints]

Whatever deity we may worship as Ishta devata on special days of worship like this our focus should be on Supreme Principle. Let us make this day a day for spiritual progress and prosperity meditating on the Supreme Principle thus at the end of all celebrations:

Om   tad Brahma | Om tad Vaayuh | Om tad Aatmaa| Om tat Satyam |Om tat Sarvam| Om tat Purornamah ||
 Om is that Brahma (Creator). Om is Air (Vaayu). Om is that inner-self (Aatmaa). Om is that Eternal Truth. Om is everything. Om is the primeval cause that existed before creation. So my obeisance to Pranava!

Om antas-charati  bhooteshu guhaayaam viswa-moortishu | Tvam yajnas-tvam vishnuus-tvam vashatkaaras-
tva(ga)m  rudras-tvam brahmaa tvam prajaapatih ||
Thou who art called by the symbol OM, move within the cave of the heart of all living beings as the inner- controller. Thou art the Yajna (sacrifice), Vishnu, Vashtkaara, Rudra, Brahma and Prajaapati.

To Quote Ella Wheeler Cox for Philosopher’s Pursuit—“There comes a time”
There comes a time to every mortal being
Whatever his station or his lot in life,
When his sad soul yearns for the final freeing
From all this jarring and unceasing strife;
There comes a time, when having lost its savor
The salt of wealth is worthless; when the mind
Grows wearied with the world’s capricious favor,
And sighs for something it cannot find;
There comes a time, when though kind friends thronging
About our pathways with sweet acts of grace,
 We feel a vast and overwhelming longing
For something that we cannot name or place;
There comes a time, when, with earth’s best love by us
To feed the heart’s greatest hunger and desire
We find not even this can satisfy us;
The soul within us cries for something higher.
What greater proof we need that we inherit
A life immortal in some other sphere            
It is the homesick longing of the spirit
That cannot find its satisfaction here.


LAKSHMI Ashtottaram from skandapuranam

The following is a rare hymn on Goddess Lakshmi by Agastya from Skanda Puranam, Kashi Khanda and Chapter 5. In the brief Phalashruti,  it is said that one who recites this hymn will not experience poverty and will be bestowed with success in all endeavors.

agastiruvāca -

mātar namāmi kamale kamalāyatākṣī
śrīviṣṇu-hṛtkamala-vāsinī viśvamātaḥ |
kṣīrodaje kamala komala garbha gaurī
lakṣmī prasīda satataṁ namatāṁ śaraṇye || 1 ||
tvaṁ śrīr upendra sadane madanaika-mātar
jyotsnāsi candramasi candra-manoharāsye |
sūrye prabhā'si ca jagattritaye prabhāsi
lakṣmī prasīda satataṁ namatāṁ śaraṇye || 2 ||
tvaṁ jātavedasi sadā dahanātma-śaktir
vedhās tvayā jagadidaṁ vividhaṁ vidadhyāt |
viśvambharo'pi bibhṛyād akhilaṁ bhavatyā
lakṣmī prasīda satataṁ namatāṁ śaraṇye || 3 ||
tvat tyaktametad amale harate haropi
tvaṁ pāsi haṁsi vidadhāsi paravarāsi |
īḍyo babhūva harirapyamale tvadāptyā
lakṣmī prasīda satataṁ namatāṁ śaraṇye || 4 ||
śūraḥ sa eva sa guṇī sa budhaḥ sa dhanyo
mānyaḥ sa eva kulaśīla kalā kalāpaiḥ |
ekaḥ śuciḥ sa hi pumān sakalepi loke
yatrāpatet tava śubhe karuṇā-kaṭākṣaḥ || 5 ||
yasmin vaseḥ kṣaṇamaho puruṣe gaje 'śve
straiṇe tṛṇe sarasi devakule gṛhe 'nne |
ratne patattriṇi paśau śayane dharāyāṁ
sa śrīkameva sakale tadihā'sti nā'nyat || 6 ||
tvat spṛṣṭameva sakalaṁ śucitāṁ labheta
tvat tyaktameva sakalaṁ tvaśucīha lakṣmī |
tvan nāma yatra ca sumaṅgalameva tatra
śrīviṣṇu-patnī kamale kamalālaye 'pi || 7 ||
lakṣmīṁ śriyañca kamalāṁ kamalālayāñca
padmāṁ ramāṁ nalina-yugma-karāñca māñca |
kṣīrodajāṁ amṛta-kumbha-karāmirāñca
viṣṇu-priyāṁ iti sadā japatāṁ kva duḥkham || 8 ||

|| phalaśrutiḥ ||

śrīruvāca -

ye paṭhiṣyanti ca stotraṁ tvad-bhaktyā matkṛtaṁ sadā |
teṣāṁ kadācit santāpo mā'stu mā'stu daridratā || 9 ||
mā'stu ceṣṭa-viyogaśca mā'stu sampatti saṁkṣayaḥ |
sarvatra vijayaś cā'stu vicchedo mā'stu santateḥ || 10 ||
|| iti śrīskānde mahāpurāṇe kāśī khaṇḍe agasti-kṛta
śrīmahālakṣmyaṣṭakaṁ sampūrṇam ||

|| śrīlakṣmī stotraṁ evaṁ kavacaṁ - brahma vaivarta purāṇam ||
Sri Mahalakshmi Stuti & Kavacham – Brahma Vaivarta Puranam
 

The following are a rare hymn and Kavacham on Goddess Mahalakshmi taken from
Brahma Vaivarta Puranam, Ganapati Khanda and Chapter 22 titled Mahalakshmi Stotram
and Kavacham. The brief Phalahruti of the hymn mentions that Goddess Mahalakshmi never
leaves the residence of one who chants this hymn during prayer time and begets comfort,
wealth and emancipation.
The Kavacham bestowed Lord Brahma is capable of destroying all sorrows and enemies
and bestowing immense wealth. The brief Phalashruti mentions that Goddess Mahalakshmi
never leaves the residence of one who chants this Kavacham and follows him in all his births
like a shadow. Even if a dim-witted person chants Mahalakshmi Mantra a crore times it will
be futile if this Kavacham is not recited.
śrīnārāyaṇa uvāca -
devī tvāṁ stotuṁ icchāmi na kṣamāḥ stotuṁ īśvarāḥ || 1 ||
buddher agocarāṁ sūkṣmāṁ tejorūpāṁ sanātanīm |
atyanirvacanīyāṁ ca ko vā nirvaktuṁ īśvaraḥ || 2 ||
svecchāmayīṁ nirākārāṁ bhaktā'nugraha-vigrahām |
staumi vāṅ-manasoḥ-pārāṁ kiṁ vā'haṁ jagadambike || 3 ||
parāṁ-caturṇāṁ-vedānāṁ pārabījaṁ-bhavārṇave |
sarvasyā'dhidevīṁ ca sarvāsāṁ api sampadām || 4 ||
yogīnāṁ caiva yogānāṁ jñānānāṁ jñānināṁ tathā |
vedānāṁ vai vedavidāṁ jananīṁ varṇāyāmi kim || 5 ||
yayā vinā jagat sarvaṁ abījaṁ niṣphalaṁ dhruvam |
yathā stanandhayānāṁ ca vinā mātrā sukhaṁ bhavet || 6 ||
prasīda jagatāṁ-mātā rakṣā'smān atikātarān |
vayaṁ tvac caraṇāṁbhoje prapannāḥ śaraṇaṁ gatāḥ || 7 ||
namaḥ śakti-svarūpāyai jaganmātre namo namaḥ |
jñānadāyai buddhidāyai sarvadāyai namo namaḥ || 8 ||
hari-bhakti-pradāyinyai muktidāyai namo namaḥ |
sarvajñāyai sarvadāyai mahālakṣmyai namo namaḥ || 9 ||
kuputrāḥ kutracit santi na kutrā'pi kumātaraḥ |
kutra mātā putradoṣaṁ taṁ vihāya ca gacchati || 10 ||
tanandhayebhya iva me he mātar dehi darśanam |
kṛpāṁ kuru kṛpāsindho tvaṁ asmān bhaktavatsale || 11 ||
|| phalaśrutiḥ ||
ityevaṁ kathitaṁ vatsa padmāyāśca śubhāvaham |
sukhadaṁ mokṣadaṁ sāraṁ śubhadaṁ sampadaḥ pradam || 12 ||
idaṁ stotraṁ mahāpuṇyaṁ pūjākāle ca yaḥ paṭhet |
mahālakṣmīr gṛhaṁ tasya na jahāti kadācana || 13 ||
|| śrīlakṣmī kavacam ||
madhusūdana uvāca -
gṛhāṇa kavacaṁ śakra sarva-duḥkha-vināśanam |
paramaiśvarya-janakaṁ sarva-śatru-vimardanam || 14 ||
brahmaṇe ca purā dattaṁ viṣṭape ca jalaplute |
yad dhṛtvā jagatāṁ śreṣṭhaḥ sarvaiśvaryayuto vidhiḥ || 15 ||
babhūvur manavaḥ sarve sarvaiśvaryayutā yataḥ |
sarvaiśvarya-pradāsyāsya kavacasya ṛṣir vidhiḥ || 16 ||
paṅkitiś chandaśca sā devī svayaṁ padmālayā varā |
siddhyaiśvarya sukheṣveva viniyogaḥ prakīrtitaḥ || 17 ||
yad dhṛtvā kavacaṁ lokaḥ sarvatra vijayī bhavet || 18 ||
hariḥ om | asyaśrī sarvaiśvarya-prada śrīmahālakṣmī kavaca stotra
mahāmantrasya | brahmā ṛṣiḥ | paṅktiś chandaḥ | śrīpadmālayā
śrīmāhālakṣmī devatā | sarvaiśvarya sukhaṁ avāpyarthe jape viniyogaḥ ||
|| kavacam ||
mastakaṁ-pātu-me-padmā kaṇṭhaṁ-pātu-haripriyā || 19 ||
nāsikāṁ-pātu-me-lakṣmīḥ kamalā-pātu-locane |
keśān-keśva-kāntā ca kapālaṁ-kamalālayā || 20 ||
jagatprasūr-gaṇḍa-yugmaṁ skandhaṁ-saṁpatpradā sadā |
om śrīṁ-kamala-vāsinyai-svāhā pṛṣṭhaṁ sadā 'vatu || 21 ||
om hrīṁ-śrīṁ-padmālayāyai-svāhā vakṣaḥ-sadā 'vatu |
pātu-śrīr-mama-kaṅkālaṁ bāhu-yugmaṁ ca te namaḥ || 22 ||
om hrīṁ-śrīṁ-lakṣmyai-namaḥ pādau-pātu-me-santataṁ ciram |
om hrīṁ-śrīṁ-namaḥ-padmāyai-svāhā pātu-nitambakam || 23 ||
Sri Mahalakshmi Stuti & Kavacham – Brahma Vaivarta Puranam
K. Muralidharan (kmurali_sg@yahoo.com) 3
om śrīṁ-mahālakṣmyai-svāhā sarvāṅgaṁ-pātu-me-sadā |
om hrīṁ-śrīṁ-klīṁ-mahālakṣmyai-svāhā māṁ-pātu-sarvataḥ || 24 ||

|| phalaśrutiḥ ||
iti te kathitaṁ vatsa sarva-saṁpat-karaṁ param |
sarvaiśvarya-pradaṁ nāma kavacaṁ paramā'dbhutam || 25 ||
guruṁ abhyarcya vidhivat kavacaṁ dhārayet tu yaḥ |
kaṇṭhe vā dakṣiṇe-bāhau sa sarva-vijayī-bhavet || 26 ||
mahālakṣmīr gṛhaṁ tasya na jahāti kadācana |
tasya cchāyeva satataṁ sā ca janmani janmani || 27 ||
idaṁ kavacaṁ ajñātvā bhajel lakṣmīṁ sa manda-dhīḥ |
śata-lakṣa-prajāpe'pi na mantraḥ siddhi-dāyakaḥ || 28 ||
|| iti śrībrahme vaivarte mahāpurāṇe gaṇapati khaṇḍe
śrīmahālakṣmī stotraṁ evaṁ kavacaṁ sampūrṇam ||



[Kindly provided by courtesy Krishnan Muralidharan <kmurali_sg@yahoo.com>]