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See also Shree Yantra
The Shat Rudreeya, Purush Sookt, Naaraayan Sookt and Shree Sookt are generally recited in a series in most of the temples of worship, especially during the performance of the holy ritual of Abhishek. These hymns, which are from the original Ved, represent in quintessence an invocation of the Almighty manifest as Rudra-Shiv, Naaraayan as the Viraat-Purush, and Lakshmee as the Goddess of Prosperity.
Shree Sookt is a prayer to the God of Fire/ Yagya (Jaatvedaa) asking him to invoke the Goddess "Shree" and bring her home. The Goddess is referred to in the 15 (sometimes 16 verses) in myriad ways as "Shree" (Auspicious/ Noble One), sometimes as simply "Devee" (Goddess), at times called just "Mother". This Shree/ Devee/ Mother is the same as Lakshmee, the Goddess of Wealth. The last verse, a Shaanti verse, renders Lakshmee as the consort of Vishnu. Shree Sookt is considered by the Shree Vaishnav Sampradaaya as one of the Panch (five key) Sookt.
The Shree Sookt is an invocation to Mahaa Lakshmee as the Divinity presiding over all prosperity in every form - material and social, as well as spiritual. Intriguingly, the feminine gender is used in addressing Lakshmee as the Goddess of Fortune, in keeping with the tradition in human thought that the universe is the Glory of God, the Power of God, conceived almost as the Consort of God, for purpose of popular adoration and worship. This would explain the mystery behind the gender. In fact, God and His Powers are beyond the range of human evaluation or values, and thus above the ideas of male and female.
Shree Sookt of the Ved is recited with benefit especially on Fridays, together with formal worship of the goddess for the peace, plenty, and all round prosperity. Lakshmee is the consort of Naaraayan. Naaraayan represents God, and Lakshmee represents the magnificence, abundance, plentifulness and grandeur of Naaraayan. Naaraayan and Lakshmee, says the Vishnu Puraan, are like fire and heat, flower and fragrance, oil and greasiness, water and liquidity, sun and light, etc. And by such comparisons it is made out that the two are in fact One Being envisaged as twofold for meditation and worship. The tradition, among the Vaishnav especially, is that Narayana cannot be approached except through Lakshmee, even Krishn's devotees hold that Krishna cannot be approached except through Raadhaa, or Rukminee. This is to say that the Absolute can be reached only through the relative. The Invisible can be contacted only through the visible.
The four Purushaarth - Dharm, Arth, Kaam and Moksh - mentioned in the scriptures, very wisely lay down the principles of an integration of living, so that we have to be properly aligned inwardly not only in our body, mind and spirit, but also outwardly in respect of the manifold articles of creation—animate, inanimate, organic or inorganic. Lakshmee is prosperity, and all the wealth of life is nothing but prosperity. By wealth we are not to understand merely gold and silver, and the like. All forms of happiness, satisfaction, abundance and status come under Lakshmee. Any form of superior grandeur, greatness and glory is Lakshmee.
It is believed that Shree Sookt should be recited in the night only.
As the Supreme appears in the form of Vishnu to uphold and protect the world. The operation is done through the power of Vishnu for which the terminology is Lakshmee. She is the Brahm revealed in its mother aspect as creator and nourisher of the three worlds. Her description appears in the Shree Sookt, where she has been lauded in golden words and in glorious terms...Just as there is no difference between Power-Holder (Vishnu) and Power (Lakshmee)... She is the presiding deity of all divine manifestation.
For the adoration of Lakshmee, there is no hymn equal to the Shree Sookt... The letters, syllables and words in the 15 verses of Shree Sookt, collectively form the sound body of Lakshmee, the presiding deity of this Hymn. As it has come to us from the consciousness state of the Rishi (seer), the substance is Chit, the creative energy in Vaikharee or gross from of sound.
The universe is conceived and born of sound. Light is nothing but a sound of a particular frequency. All that we see in this worlds in solid, liquid, or gaseous state has emanated from sound. Even our mind is the crystal of sound. Naam (name) is sound from which Roop (form) has come. To cut it short, Shree Sookt is a Siddha Mantra and is a radiant mass of energy. By proper Saadhanaa, the Jeev can raise itself to a divine status, but to attain this, it is very vital that the meaning of the Mantra are correctly understood, intoned and also remembered at the time of recitation.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 05/30/13