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Invoking Lakshmi
The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony
Invoking Lakshmi
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Constantina Rhodes - Author
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 291 pages
Release Date: October 2010
ISBN10: 1-4384-3321-2
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3321-9

Price: $32.95 
Paperback - 291 pages
Release Date: July 2011
ISBN10: 1-4384-3320-4
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3320-2

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

A multifaceted portrait of Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. Includes translations of verses used to invoke this goddess.

Beautiful, beloved Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, happiness, and abundant good fortune. This fascinating book is the first comprehensive guide to this celebrated goddess, her worship, and the deeper spiritual domain of prosperity she reveals. Constantina Rhodes presents over five hundred elegantly translated Sanskrit verses, including devotional songs, mantras, visualizations, and ceremonial instructions that devotees use to invoke Lakshmi.

Rhodes uses these texts to develop a richly detailed portrait of Lakshmi, revealing unexpected dimensions of this enigmatic deity. Even as Lakshmi is best known as a goddess of wealth and well-being, she also maintains a strong esoteric presence, expressing herself as Siddhi, the magnificent Tantric goddess of spiritual power, and as Kundalini Shakti, the transformative cosmic force that exists within each individual. These identities express the “prosperity consciousness” that is the essential nature of the goddess and the divine source of all wealth. Invoking Lakshmi is not only a matter of calling upon the external form of the goddess but also of aligning one’s consciousness with the very essence of prosperity.

“Rhodes is a skilled scholar of ancient texts … She is also a fine writer and a person who has a very deep appreciation of Hindu spirituality herself. In this highly readable book on the goddess Lakshmi, Rhodes analyzes and integrates material from a wide range of traditional sources … Highly recommended.” — CHOICE

Constantina Rhodes teaches in the Program in Religion at the City University of New York’s Hunter College. Her books include Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir: A Translation and Study of Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali and Meditations on Shiva: The Shivastotravali of Utpaladeva, both also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Goddess Arrives in Delhi

What Does It Mean to Invoke a Goddess?
On the Format of This Book
Sources: Sanskrit Texts and Popular Worship Manuals

Part One: The Divine Personalities of Laksmī

1. The Awseome Power of Auspiciousness: Laksmī of the Vedic Traditions

The Primordial Lotus Goddess
The Goddess of Auspiciousness: Śrī's Essence, Laksmī's Form
Alaksmī the Inauspicious

2. Living the Good Life: Laksmī of the Purānic Traditions

The Burgeoning World of the Purānas
Laksmī and the Lords of the Three Realms: Indra, Visnu, and Bali
All Women are Embodiments of Laksmī
Laksmi, Embodiment of the "Four Wealths" (Caturārtha)
The Absence of Laksmī: Is Lady Luck a Fickle Goddess?

3. Living the Powerful Life: Laksmī of the Tantric Traditions

The World According to Tantra
Laksmī as Kundalinī
Laksmī, Śiva, and the "Ten Great Wisdom Goddesses" (Daśamahāvidyās)
The Grace-Bestowing Mother
Laksmī as Siddhi: Magical Attainment, Spiritual Power

Part Two: The Power of Poetry to Summon the Goddess

4. The Power of the Vedic Hymns: Generating Auspiciousness

Reciting the Hymns (Sūtkas)
Ritual Application of the Vedic Hymns

5. The Power of Purānic Songs: Drawing Down the Goddess

Reciting the Songs of Praise (Stotras)
The Propitious Glance of the Goddess
Fruits of the Recitations (Phala)

6. The Power of Tantric Songs: Waking Up the Goddess

Alchemy of the Goddess: The Magic of Transformation
Vibratory Essence: Engaging the Sound Forms of Laksmī
The Potency of a Woman's Recitations
Literary Genres of the Tantric Songs
Structure of Tantric Songs

Part Three: Ceremony

Introduction: Invoking Laksmī In Ceremony: Laksmī Pūjā

Creating Space to Receive the Goddess
The Ancient Art of Hospitality
Structure of the Ceremony

Laksmī Pūjā Text

Preparation and Purification
Heart of the Ceremony: Receiving the Goddess
Outline of the Laksmī Pūjā

Part Four: Song

Vedic Hymns to Laksmī

Hymn to Śri (Śrī Sūktam)
Hymn to Laksmī (Laksmī Sūtkam)

Purānic Songs of Laksmī

Song for Laksmī, Gracious Bestower of Blessings (Prasannavaradā Śrī Laksmī Stotram)
Song for the Glorious Lotus Goddess (Śrī Kamalā Stotram)
Lord Indra's Song for Laksmī (Devarāja Indrakrta Laksmī Stotram)
The Heavenly Gods' Praise Song for Laksmī (Śrī Daivakrta Laksmī Stotram)
Eight Verses Praising Mahālaksmī (Mahālaksmyastakam Stotram)

Tantric Songs to Laksmī

The Secret Heart of Laksmī (Śrī Mahālaksmī Hrdayam)
Praise-Song for the Bestower of Wealth (Dhanadā Stotram)
Song-Amulet of the Bestower of Wealth (Dhanadā Kavacam)
Praise-Song for the Lotus Goddess (Kamalā Stotram)
108 Names of the Glorious Lotus Goddess (Śrī Kamalā Astottaraśatanāma Stotram)
Song-Amulet of the Lotus Goddess (Kamalātmikā Kavacam)
Song for the Laksmī of Spiritual Power (Śrī Siddhalaksmī Stotram)
Song for the Glorious "Eyes of Indra" (Śrī Indrāksī Stotram)
Song-Formulary of the Glorious Mahālaksmī (Śrī Mahālaksmī Pañjara Stotram)
Secret Laksmī Incantation That Yields Immediate Results (Sadyah Phaladā Laksmīstava Hrdayam)

Epilogue: The Goddess Returns Home

Transliterated Sanskrit Texts

Laksmī Pūjā Text
Verdic Texts
Purānic Texts
Tantric Texts


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