And why should we not? After all, the acquisition of material wealth or Artha is one of the prime duties of a Grishastha or a householder, for it is artha alone that will enable him to see to the welfare and progress of his family. Here we worship Goddess Laxmi or Sri as the Goddess of Abundance in the true sense. It is not merely abundance of money that she personifies but an abundance of good fortune, glory, purity, generosity, grace and beauty, wealth being just an external manifestation of these attributes.
Hence the words Shubh and Laabh mean much more than mere wealth or prosperity. The two words are inseparable because the Laabh or wealth that one earns has to be Shubh - earned worthily in a manner that brings respect, honour, peace of mind, and contentment to the household.
Shubh Laabh is thus incomplete without the worship of Lord Ganesha. Ganesha worship has always formed an important part of Laxmi Sadhanas.
It is said the Lord Ganesha is capable of bestowing both Bhog (worldly pleasures) and Moksh (spiritual attainments). His worship results in counteracting all the sins committed in the past life so as to enjoy to the fullest all the wealth, prosperity and all pleasures in this life, thus paving the way for total fulfillments and ultimately spiritual elevation. He is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations.
The two Shlokas sung inn the glory of Shri Ganesh and Goddess Mahalaxmi.
O Lord Ganesha, of the large body, the curved trunk, the one who shines with the luster of a million suns, please make my life and my work free of obstacles - forever.
O Supreme Goddess, who dwells in all living beings as the benevolent Goddess Laxmi, accept my humble salutations over and over again.
The Punyavachan has its origin in the Yajurveda, the sacred treatise that deals essentially with performance or rituals, and perhaps in its later off-shoots.
The Punyavachan is a prayer by the householder to the Supreme Spirit that his entire day right from dawn to dusk may be auspicious. He recognizes that The Supreme Sprit has transformed itself into this beautiful Universe. The Punyavachan invokes the Supreme Spirit to bestow some of its divinity and auspiciousness upon the worshipper.
The Swastik symbol is regarded as the symbol of all-round prosperity in India. It gets its name from the Sanskrit word Svastika, meaning well-being and good fortune. It might also be an amalgam of the terms ‘Su’ and ‘Vastu’ pronounced as as ‘Swastu’ meaning ‘a good habitation’. On a more philosophical plane, the four arms of the Swastika may be likened to the four Purusharthas or aims of man, namely.
Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha; the perfect symmetry between them symbolizing the need to keep a balance in our pursuit of these four aims.
The Swasti Vaachana are hymns or ‘richas’ as they are known as, from the Yajurveda and some from the Rigveda that pray for the well being of the world and exhort that peace should prevail upon the earth and the Universe.
This stotra, taken from the Puranas and composed by our ancient rishis extols the virtues of Lord Ganesha, the God of good luck and prosperity.
He is the Pranava Swarupa (embodiment of Aum). He has no superior above Him. Hence, the first prayer is always addressed to him.
His is also known as Vighneshvara or Vighnaharta, the Lord of and destroyer of obstacles. He is worshipped for ‘Siddhi’ (success in undertakings) and Buddhi (intelligence). We hold him in awe and trepidation for he is also known to be the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride.
A mantra is a divine combination of divine syllables or sounds which when chanted with devotion, faith and emotion gravitate the concerned God or Goddess or deity and secure their divine blessings. Different mantras are chanted to propitiate different deities for different ends-wealth, prosperity, fame, fearlessness, success or even spiritual elevation.
‘Kanaka dhaara’ means ‘shower of gold coins’. Adi Shankaracharya, the eighth century philosopher and founder of Advaita philosophy, composed this verse in praise of Goddess Mahalakshmi. There is an interesting story behind this composition. In his younger days, as he wandered around for alms in keeping with his duty as a Brahmachari, he knocked on the doors of a poor Brahmin lady. She opened the door and was stunned by the radiance on the face of the young lad. Despite her extreme poverty, she was most anxious not to send such a divine and enlightened soul empty handed. She searched all over her house to see if she could give him something suitable. There was nothing that she could give and be proud of. All she found was an old amalaka fruit, which she put into his bowl, head bent low with shama. The young Shankara divined that the small gift came from a heart as expansive as the sky itself. At that very moment, he composed and sang these verses, which go by the name of Sri Kanakadharastavam. He sang the praises of Goddess Mahalaxmi in all her eight qualifying manifestations as (Asta Lakshmi) and all the varied boons that she is capable of bestowing on her devotees. He then prayed to her to come to the rescue of the poor lady. In the same way as showers relieve the parched condition of the scorching summer heat he prayed that the cooling grace of the Mother should relieve the sufferings of the poor householder. And behold, there was a rain of gold amalaka fruits in the house. This prayer of Lakshmi is aimed to grant the missing wants of the devotees by the Goddess. Such is the potency of the mantra that it was recite this stotra daily it has the power to relieve us from poverty, sufferings and afflictions and sins (daaridrya, taapa and papa) and fill our lives with untold riches.