Sri or Lakshmi : The Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Prosperity & Abundance
Sri Suktam, is a Sanskrit devotional hymn revering Goddess Sri or Lakṣmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity fertility and abundance. Sri Suktam is recited, with a strict adherence to the Chandas, to invoke the Goddess’ blessings. The hymns are found in the Rig Veda.
The Goddess Sri or Lakshmi is the personification of auspiciousness and royal qualities.
Sri Suktam describes Sri as glorious, ornamented, royal, lustrous as gold, and radiant as fire, moon and the sun. She is addressed as the bestower of fame, bounty and abundance in the form of gold, cattle, horses and food.
She is entreated to banish her sister Alakṣmi (misfortune), who is associated with need, hunger, thirst and poverty. The hymn also associates Sri with fertility. She is described as dwelling in cow dung and producing abundant harvest.
The Sri Sukta uses the motifs of lotus (Padma or Kamala in Sanskrit) and elephant (Gaja in Sanskrit). The lotus is thought to be symbolic of purity, beauty, spiritual power, life, fertility, growth & the entire manifested universe.
Elephants are symbolic of royalty, and in Hindu mythology, they are also related with cloud and rain, thus reinforcing Sri or Lakshmi’s stature as the Goddess of abundance and fertility.