Bhagyada Lakshmi – 1

Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma is a beautiful and very popular composition of Sri Purandaradasa, who is regarded as the Grandsire of Carnatic Music. It is an invocation to Goddess Lakshmi, the presiding deity of Shukra-vara (Friday), and it is usually sung in mangala ragas (tunes) like Sri or Madhyamavati. Purandaradasa was initially a very wealthy and miserly tradesman who would not even part with a coin in the name of charity. But having obtained the grace and blessings of Sri Hari, he was totally transformed and gave away his entire material wealth in charity. Years later the Saint composed this song, invoking the Goddess of Fortune and Prosperity!

The songs of Sri Purandaradasa, the greatest of Haridasas are known as “Purandara Upanishad”. The songs soaked in bhakti are in simple kannada language and can be easily tuned and sung. Apart from the simple word meaning, there is a very significant and deep inner meaning expressed in all the songs. They indicate the purpose of human life, the ultimate goal to be reached and the path to be taken to reach it.

Significance of Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma:

Pallavi : “bhAgyada lakShmi bArammA nammamma ni sau”

Chorus: “Come, O Mother of All, verily an Embodiment of Auspiciousness, Bhagyada Lakshmi, come…..” 

‘Bhagya’ comes from the word ‘bhaga’. ‘Bhaga’ represents the six divine glories: Lordliness, Strength, Knowledge, Fame, Prosperity and Dispassion. Whoever has these six glories in immeasurable quantities is known as Bhagavan or Bhagavati. The Goddess is one who possesses these qualities – Bhagyada Lakshmi. Lakshmi comes from the word ‘lakshya’. It means ‘One who leads and guides’. She also represents the ‘goal’ to be reached. Lakshmi Sampat (wealth) represents the ‘noble and divine values’. Hence the invocation here is not just for material wealth. It is an invocation, an ardent prayer to the Divine Mother of the Universe, who is the Bestower of all that is Good and Auspicious, both for our materialistic and spiritual life. She is not only Dhanalakshmi (wealth), but also Vidyalakshmi (knowledge), Dhairyalakshmi (courage), Veeralakshmi (strength), Dhaanyalakshmi (food & grains), Vijayalakshmi (victory), Bhaktilakshmi (devotion) and Mokshalakshmi (liberation). Any asset that comes to us, materialistic or spiritual, is nothing but ‘Lakshmi Herself in a different form’.

VERSE 1: “hejjaya mele hejjeyanikkuta gejje kAlgaLa dhvaniya tOruta
sajjana sAdhu pUjeya vELege majjigeyoLagina beNNeyante”

“Just as butter manifests out of the churning of buttermilk, similarly, during the auspicious time of worship and upasana undertaken by the virtuous and devoted seekers, O Mother, step by step, slowly but surely, accompanied by the tinkling sound of your beautiful anklets enter our lives.”
Goddess Lakshmi represents Knowledge, and also Values. Hence she is invoked by the noble and virtuous people. Knowledge does not easily come to the seeker. Values also do not come to a person overnight. They have to be ardently courted and a lot of effort has to be put forth. Only then they come into our life…slowly….very slowly, but surely, just like butter comes out of the efforts of the process of churning the buttermilk. And when the divine values come, they bring along with them a divine fragrance, a divine aura which can be felt vividly around the person. This is indicated by the tinkling sound of the anklets. The beautiful sound vibrations made by the silver anklets are very auspicious and beneficial in creating a positive atmosphere around and that is the reason why women wear anklets.

VERSE 2: “kanaka vrushtiya kareyuta bAre manakAa manaya siddhiya tOrE
dinakara kOTi tEjadi hoLeva janakarAyana kumAri bEga”

“O Daughter of King Janaka, whose aura surpasses the brilliance of countless suns, may the showers of your divine grace and blessings (kanaka vrishti), fulfill all our desires”. 
Goddess Lakshmi manifested as Seeta from the bosom of Mother Earth. She has all the innumerable and inexhaustible qualities of Bhudevi. She was brought up by King Janaka, who was a unique combination of Jnana and Karma. Seeta personifies all these characteristics, and represents a personality incomprehensible and incomparable. It is through her sheer grace and blessings that Hanuman bestows nava-nidhi (material wealth), ashta-siddhis (supernatural powers) or rama-nama (the antidote to the malady of samsara) to his devotees. She not only rains down material riches on her devotees but also bestows upon the seeker the brilliant ‘Light of Knowledge’ with which the seeker can achieve his goal of Self-realization.

[The 2nd part will be post on Friday – 14th Aug 2020]

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