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Invoking Lakshmi


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 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 Laksmi 1. The Awseome Power of Auspiciousness: Laksmi of the Vedic Traditions The Primordial Lotus Goddess The Goddess of Auspiciousness: Sri's Essence, Laksmi's Form Alaksmi the Inauspicious 2. Living the Good Life: Laksmi of the Puranic Traditions The Burgeoning World of the Puranas Laksmi and the Lords of the Three Realms: Indra, Visnu, and Bali All Women are Embodiments of Laksmi Laksmi, Embodiment of the "Four Wealths" (Caturartha) The Absence of Laksmi: Is Lady Luck a Fickle Goddess? 3. Living the Powerful Life: Laksmi of the Tantric Traditions The World According to Tantra Laksmi as Kundalini Laksmi, Siva, and the "Ten Great Wisdom Goddesses" (Dasamahavidyas) The Grace-Bestowing Mother Laksmi 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 (Sutkas) Ritual Application of the Vedic Hymns 5. The Power of Puranic 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 Laksmi The Potency of a Woman's Recitations Literary Genres of the Tantric Songs Structure of Tantric Songs Part Three: Ceremony Introduction: Invoking Laksmi In Ceremony: Laksmi Puja Creating Space to Receive the Goddess The Ancient Art of Hospitality Structure of the Ceremony Laksmi Puja Text Preparation and Purification Heart of the Ceremony: Receiving the Goddess Outline of the Laksmi Puja Part Four: Song Vedic Hymns to Laksmi Hymn to Sri (Sri Suktam) Hymn to Laksmi (Laksmi Sutkam) Puranic Songs of Laksmi Song for Laksmi, Gracious Bestower of Blessings (Prasannavarada Sri Laksmi Stotram) Song for the Glorious Lotus Goddess (Sri Kamala Stotram) Lord Indra's Song for Laksmi (Devaraja Indrakrta Laksmi Stotram) The Heavenly Gods' Praise Song for Laksmi (Sri Daivakrta Laksmi Stotram) Eight Verses Praising Mahalaksmi (Mahalaksmyastakam Stotram) Tantric Songs to Laksmi The Secret Heart of Laksmi (Sri Mahalaksmi Hrdayam) Praise-Song for the Bestower of Wealth (Dhanada Stotram) Song-Amulet of the Bestower of Wealth (Dhanada Kavacam) Praise-Song for the Lotus Goddess (Kamala Stotram) 108 Names of the Glorious Lotus Goddess (Sri Kamala Astottarasatanama Stotram) Song-Amulet of the Lotus Goddess (Kamalatmika Kavacam) Song for the Laksmi of Spiritual Power (Sri Siddhalaksmi Stotram) Song for the Glorious "Eyes of Indra" (Sri Indraksi Stotram) Song-Formulary of the Glorious Mahalaksmi (Sri Mahalaksmi Panjara Stotram) Secret Laksmi Incantation That Yields Immediate Results (Sadyah Phalada Laksmistava Hrdayam) Epilogue: The Goddess Returns Home Transliterated Sanskrit Texts Laksmi Puja Text Verdic Texts Puranic Texts Tantric Texts Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

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.


"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

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