How to Receive Mother Lakshmi’s Grace
During the Month of Shravana
July 27 – Aug 25, 2014
Shravana Masa is the lunar month that begins two weeks after Guru Purnima occurs. When we worship Mother Lakshmi during the month of Shravana, she drives away the three sufferings of “ashanti”, or peacelessness, “vedana”, or worries, and also mental depression. During this month, one should worship Sri Maha Lakshmi to receive her grace and drive away the “ashta kashtas”, which are the eight types of hardships that people face in life.
Amma’s Guidance for Shravana Masam
During this very auspicious month, Mother Lakshmi’s grace overflows in abundance, and so this month is dedicated to the worship of Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi. Tuesdays and Fridays are two very auspicious days for any form of Divine Mother, and they become even more powerful during the month of Shravana. The four Tuesdays throughout the month of Shravana are known as Shravana Mangalavaras, and are very powerful days for the worship of Gauri Devi, the Divine Mother and consort of Lord Shiva. In the month of Shravana, or Shravana Masa, the four Fridays are most important for the worship of Sri Maha Lakshmi. Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi is Aishwarya Pradayini, the bestower of every kind of true wealth, whether financial, spiritual or emotional. By worshipping Sri Maha Lakshmi one can eliminate commotion, anxiety, poverty and ill health, and will attain the blessings of immense peace, brilliance, prosperity- achieving all noble desires.
For the worship of Sri Maha Lakshmi, Amma recommends the chanting of Samputita Sri Suktam. For those who don’t know Samputita Sri Suktam, they can listen to a recording of it, or they can do japa of any Lakshmi Devi or Devi mantras, or they can just do more meditation.
For the entire month of Shravana, it is best to eat only sattvic foods, like dairy products, fruits, nuts, chapatis, vegetables, lentils, and rice. It is also beneficial to reduce salty, sour, spicy and oily foods in one’s diet. For spiritual aspirants, this is a golden opportunity to focus on one’s sadhana, maintain a pure heart and mind, to speak truthfully and kindly, and to act with compassion and in dharma.
By worshipping Divine Mother in the Sri Chakra, aspirants will attain every kind of blessing and will also attain moksha – spiritual liberation. When one offers flowers to the Sri Chakra while chanting Samputita Sri Suktam on all the thirty days of the month of Shravana, Sri Dhana Lakshmi will come to stay in one’s home, bringing peace, love, harmony, and true abundance. The soothing, compassionate glances of Mother Dhana Lakshmi will fill one’s entire home with radiant divine light. Dhana means wealth, and Sri Dhana Lakshmi grants every kind of wealth, from financial wealth, to the wealth of good health, and to the wealth of a rich inner life.
When you sit in front of a Sri Chakra and chant the Samputita Sri Suktam, the sound vibrations from the mantras fall on your six chakras and untie the subtle granthis, or knots, allowing all the chakras to open like beautiful lotus blossoms. In this way, you will be protected from any negative karma or ill health. Those powerfully auspicious sound vibrations will give you courage, mental balance, and the ability to dwell in your higher Self. In addition, those who wholeheartedly worship Divine Mother in the Sri Chakra will be blessed with harmony in all their relationships. May all receive Divine Mother’s abundant grace by worshipping Sri Maha Lakshmi in the month of Shravana!
Other Days of Special Note in the Month of Shravana
August 8th – This day is known as Sri Vara Lakshmi Vratam, and on this day, Mother Lakshmi grants every kind of auspicious boon. A “vara”, or boon, is a divine gift that is obtained in an incomprehensible and completely surprising manner, at a time when you thought it could never be obtained. Sri Vara Lakshmi Devi is the Goddess who confers upon you such boons that you never thought of or imagined. When you worship Sri Vara Lakshmi Devi for four Fridays in the month of Shravana, then Sri Vara Maha Lakshmi Devi will bless you with the fulfillment of all the boons that you desire. The worship of Sri Vara Lakshmi Devi will enable you to attain even sashvata vidya- eternal knowledge. Sri Saraswati Devi is none other than Vidya Lakshmi, who grants her worshippers this eternal knowledge. With the grace of this Goddess, even a complete illiterate can be transformed into a pandit- a wise person of eternal knowledge.
For more information on how to observe this day, please see:
Another very auspicious day is Shravana Purnima, August 10th, the full moon day in the month of Shravana. This day is a very powerful day for worshipping Divine Mother, and you can chant the Khadgamala Stotram. One can perform Sri Chakra puja and offer kumkum, flower petals or milk to a Sri Chakra while chanting Sri Khadgamala Namavalih.
This day is also known as Rakhi Purnima, because on this day the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated. This is a very touching festival which honors the special bonds of affection between brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter what our family situation may be, we will always have a loving mother and father in Sri Devi and Lord Siva. And since Sri Ganesha is Sri Devi and Lord Shiva’s son, this is like acquiring a loving older brother for us all. Thus, imagining Sri Ganesha as your brother, you can observe Raksha Bandhan by offering him a rakhi (new white cotton string to which turmeric is applied). Imagine that you are tying that rakhi on Sri Ganesha’s wrist, and offer him some sweets or fruits. Then you will feel and experience that Sri Ganesha is your own brother, and that he is always with you to protect you!
Performing Sri Chakra puja on any full moon day fulfills all desires, gives abundant divine radiance, and grants moksha itself.
SPONSORSHIP FOR SRI MAHA LAKSHMI DURING THE MONTH OF SHRAVANA
Sri Maha Lakshmi’s face is filled with tranquility, and she wears a subtle and gentle smile upon her face. When she is worshipped with utmost faith and devotion on all four Fridays of the Sravana Masa, we can receive her daya, her most loving compassion, and thereby attain the highest fulfillment of our lives.
At the Sri Manidweepa Mahasamstana, Shodasa Abhishekas, sixteen types of sacred offerings will be lovingly poured over Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi’s divine form. The sixteen offerings include milk, yogurt, honey, fruit juices, sugar, coconut water, fruit pieces, waters from sacred rivers, water charged with the vibrations of nine jewels, kumkum, turmeric, sandalwood powder, water charged with the divine power of gold, sugarcane juice, flowers, and perfumed water. Each of these sixteen items carries a slightly different energy which brings different types of blessings into our lives, whether for financial wealth, emotional peace, or harmony in the family.
After offering these sixteen items, “ashta gandha dhupam”, or eight types of fragrances will be offered to Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi. Then, some beautiful nine-yard silk saris are offered to Devi. Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi will then be adorned with many types of jewels and ornaments as a gesture of intense love and affection. When we see Mother Lakshmi dressed in such beautiful colors and sparkling with gold and gems, we get a tiny glimpse of the vast cosmic glory of Mother, who contains the light of billions of suns and moons put together. Then, Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi is worshipped with the chanting of her 1008 divine names as 1008 lotuses are offered at her lotus feet.
This is followed by worship with very rare and auspicious sixteen-petaled gold lotuses. When gold is offered to Mother, she showers the Earth with her cosmic radiance, and the offering of lotuses attracts the divine energy of purity and true abundance.
Then, Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi is offered maha naivedyam, the consecrated food which has been carefully prepared with love and faith. When we offer food to Mother, she ensures abundance of food for all her children. Finally, the auspicious harati ceremony is performed, which celebrates the offering of our own souls to Mother. Special lotuses and other sacred articles are offered to Mother as auspicious divine music is played in her presence. This ceremony continues with the offering of many types of scented smoke and trays with different numbers of lights, according to Amma’s specific guidance. Harati culminates with maha mangala harati, the final supremely auspicious offering of 108 auspicious lights.
Each Friday during Sravana, a special homa for Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi will be performed with 1008 lotuses. A number of other homa ceremonies will also be done, in order to attract various aspects of divine grace for healing different problems. These homas include Sri Lakshmi Ganesha homa, Sri Narayana Mula Mantra Homa, Sri Maha Lakshmi Samputita Sri Sukta Homa, Sri Kamalatmika Lakshminarayana Hrudaya Homa, Sri Maha Lakshmi Mula Mantra Homa, and Sri Maha Lakshmi Gayatri Homa.
These Homas have the power to heal problems in family relationships, encourage harmony between husband and wife, and attract every kind of prosperity into one’s home. As always, the homa ceremony will end with purnahuti, the supreme offering to the homa fire, mangala harati, the offering of auspicious lights, and naivedyam, the offering of consecrated food.
Truly, Sri Maha Lakshmi represents subtle light, subtler than the subtlest tejas, or divine effulgence. In the physical world, the closest phenomenon through which one can witness this most subtle effulgence is the yajna, the sacred fire ceremony. The Veda rishis say that the power of the yajna fire is the effulgence of Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi. A rishi, or sage, means “a being with immense faith.”
During a Homa ceremony, numerous mantras are chanted by a group of highly trained Brahmin priests. A mantra is an assembly of specific syllables combined with the power of divine thought and principle. When a mantra is chanted repeatedly by a single person or by a group of people for 108 times or even 1008 times, these sound waves create circular energy waves that emanate outwards to create a field with a supreme potential. This energy field cannot be witnessed by the naked eye. However, a flow of supreme, divine energy is generated in this field. What happens to this flow of energy? As the field expands rapidly, the energy flows through the entire atmosphere of the Earth, enveloping it in divine energy. This cosmic flow of energy can create wondrous things in this external world according to one’s noble wishes.
The seed letters contained within a mantra are indestructible. The powerful effulgence of these seed letters fills those who hear the mantras and also those beings for whom these seed letters are being chanted. The circular waves of power and energy that emanate from the chanting of the mantras can traverse this entire cosmos. Not only this, these waves enter deeply into the inner minds of those for whose benefit the mantras are being chanted. This phenomenon is not limited by how far away the beneficiaries reside.
“Prana Shakti”, or life energy, can travel wherever “bhavana Shakti”, the power of thought, can travel. There is much potency even in the casual words spoken by a person. But compared to the power of casually spoken words, the power of mantra is far more powerful. With a power that is beyond this external world, the radiance of a mantra can spread throughout all the galaxies of this universe. The radiance of a mantra also enters into the inner world, and awakens the energy centers of the subtle body, no matter how fast asleep these centers may be. Thus, they fill the individual with indescribable effulgence. Those who are immersed in the chanting of a mantra will radiate a light and power that is completely beyond this external world. The inner consciousness of these practitioners will blossom at once.