17. Kanakadhārā Sloka 11 to 21

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 11

 श्रुत्यै नमोऽस्तु शुभकर्मफलप्रसूत्यै
रत्यै नमोऽस्तु रमणीयगुणार्णवायै
शक्त्यै नमोऽस्तु शतपत्रनिकेतनायै
पुष्ट्यै नमोऽस्तु पुरुषोत्तमवल्लभायै

 Shrutyai Namo-[A]stu Shubha-karmā-Phala-Prasuutyai
Ratyai Namo-[A]stu Ramanniiya-Gunna-Arnnavaayai |
Shaktyai Namo-[A]stu Shata-Patra-Niketanaayai
Pussttyai Namo-[A]stu Purussottama-Vallabhaayai

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

From this point on Śrī Śankara, with His hands raised in Vandanam, calls out to Śrī Lakṣmī, expressing gratitude. As a reader, we should understand that this stotram is small compared to many other beautiful and magnificent stotrams given to us by our predecessors, and also recognize the fact we have already discussed numerous times, which is, a five-year-old boy did this and won the forgiveness of Śrī Lakṣmī.

Now, what are we to gain from this? To start with, we learned a way out of our miseries. Second, we learned that we have nothing to offer to Iśvara that is not already His. So, the only thing left to do is walk the path of Ḍharma and convey our gratitude for having received this existence. This is exactly what Śrī Śankaracharya did. All the slokas from this point on are his expression of gratitude (Vandanam), giving all credit to Śrī Lakṣmī and keeping nothing for himself. This is the very meaning of the word ‘‘Namaha’’, to relinquish ownership over what we thought was ours. In the word ‘‘Namaha’’, ‘‘Nama’’ means mine, ‘‘aha’’ means I relinquish it to you.

In our very early reading, we discussed Sribhashyam Appalacharyulu’s (a renowned scholar) message on how Śrī Lakṣmī would always feel complete when addressed through Her consort, Śrī Viṣṇu. Śrī Śankaracharya, at the end of each sloka, addresses Her as the Vallabha for Śrī Viṣṇu, meaning the one dearest to Śrī Viṣṇu. We should notice and cherish this beautiful pattern in the upcoming slokas during our Dhyāna(m). We also discussed the significance of a lotus flower and its analogy. This flower, more than any other, is referred to numerous times in Shastra (Śāstra). Śrī Śankaracharya keeps revisiting this beautiful flower and its features to address various aspects of Śrī Lakṣmī and Śrī Viṣṇu.

Shrutyai Namo-[A]stu Shubha-karmā-Phala-Prasuutyai”, meaning Namostu or Namaha to the voice heard by jñanis and Rśi/Rishis (‘Shruti), which is the very breath of Iśvara, given to us as the Vedā. This Shruti and its literature help us understand the purpose of our existence and the approach to prosperity, based on our sat:karmā (Shubha-karmā) resulting (Prasuutyai) in the fruit of our karmā (karmā:phala/Phala-Prasuutyai).

Ratyai Namo-[A]stu Ramanniiya-Gunna-Arnnavaayai” means Namostu to the “Rati”, who has a magnificent and sweet nature and endless qualities (Ramanniiya-Gunna). It is Your māyā in which we dwell with our desires. It is these desires that make us move forward towards self-preservation and towards exploring Iśvara.

Shaktyai Namo-[A]stu Shata-Patra-Niketanaayai” means Namostu to the “Śakti” who, in the form of Prakṛti, is depicted as the petals of the lotus, untouched and unblemished by its surroundings. In the same way, our Kundalini should bloom like a lotus because of jñana(m) and devotion (bhakti). Since it is the Divine Mother who has to give us devotion and uplift us toward jñana(m).

Pussttyai Namo-[A]stu Purussottama-Vallabhaayai” means Namostu to “Pussti”, the mother of Creation and a nourishing abode for us all, supporting the preservation of Creation, and dearest to Puruṣhottama (Puruṣa:Uttama = foremost among the Puruṣa).  (Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 12

 नमोऽस्तु नालीकनिभाननायै
नमोऽस्तु दुग्धोदधिजन्मभूत्यै
नमोऽस्तु सोमामृतसोदरायै
नमोऽस्तु नारायणवल्लभायै

 Namo-[A]stu Naaliika-Nibha-[A]ananaayai
Namo-[A]stu Dugdho[a-U]dadhi-Janma-Bhuutyai |
Namo-[A]stu Soma-Amrta-Sodaraayai
Namo-[A]stu Naaraayanna-Vallabhaayai ||

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Namo-[A]stu Naaliika-Nibha-[A]ananaayai”: Namostu to our Mother, whose Soundaryam is inexpressible, so we compare it with the beauty of a lotus.

Namo-[A]stu Dugdho[a-U]dadhi-Janma-Bhuutyai”: Namostu to the Divine Mother who manifests as a daughter to many like the king of the Ocean (Sagara).

Namo-[A]stu Soma-Amrta-Sodaraayai”: Namostu to Śrī Lakṣmī who is the ambrosia dripping from the moon and is a sibling of the moon since they both emerged from the ocean (King Samudra) as his children during Kṣīrāsagara Manthan(am).

“Namo-[A]stu Naaraayanna-Vallabhaayai”: Namostu to the one beloved to Śrīman Nārāyaṇa, who is our father and our preserver and in whom we all reside. His Shakti (Śakti) is our abode and supports the concept of preservation so that we can exist and cherish our lives in this dhara.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19), (Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.), Venkat Raman, C (n.d.).

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 13

नमोऽस्तु हेमाम्बुजपीठिकायै
नमोऽस्तु भूमण्डलनायिकायै।
नमोऽस्तु देवादिदयापरायै
नमोऽस्तु शार्ङ्गायुधवल्लभायै ॥

Namosthu hemambhuja peetikayai,
Namosthu bhoo mandala nayikayai,
Namosthu devathi dhaya prayai,
Namosthu Sarngayudha vallabhayai.

(Hindu God Aarathi Collection. K.S.L. 2014.)

Namosthu hemambhuja peetikayai”: Namostu to the one seated on “hemambhuja” – where “Hema” means Suvarna (glittering like gold) lotus that blooms and shines in the light of the Sun. Similarly, She blooms in joy when the sight of Śrī Viṣṇu falls on Her.

Namosthu bhoo mandala nayikayai”: Namostu to the one whose Śakti manifests as Prakṛti and as pure energy that moves this Creation through various phenomena. It is this Prakṛti and its energy that constitutes Bhumi (Earth) and She, the Divine Mother as Vasundara, is the source of all the riches, making Her the queen (nayika) of Bhumi.

Namosthu devathi dhaya prayai”: Namostu to the one who bestows daya (forgiveness) with Her Tadi to all Devatas.

“Namosthu Sarngayudha vallabhayai”: Namostu to the consort of the one who holds the Saranga (bow forged by Vishwa:karmā and presented to Śrī Viṣṇu).

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 14

नमोऽस्तु देव्यै भृगुनन्दनायै
नमोऽस्तु विष्णोरुरसि स्थितायै।
नमोऽस्तु लक्ष्म्यै कमलालयायै
नमोऽस्तु दामोदरवल्लभायै ॥

Namosthu devyai bhrugu nandanayai,
Namosthu vishnorurasi sthithayai,
Namosthu lakshmyai kamalalayai,
Namosthu dhamodhra vallabhayai.

(Hindu God Aarathi Collection. K.S.L. 2014.)

Namosthu devyai bhrugu nandanayai”: Namostu to the Divine Mother who comes as a daughter to many, like Bhargavi to Maharśi Bhrigu.

Namosthu vishnorurasi sthithayai”: Namostu to the one who has taken abode in the Hrudayam of Śrī Mahā Viṣṇu, becoming His very compassion, under which we prosper.

Namosthu lakshmyai kamalalayai”: Namostu to the one who resides in the lotus (one of many places where Śrī Lakṣmī resides, others being the head of an elephant, the rear of a cow, the temple of a woman wearing sindoor, and the Bilva leaf).

Namosthu dhamodhra vallabhayai”: Namostu to the consort of the one who allowed Himself to be bound by a simple rustic gopika (Yashoda) and attained the title Damodara, who still retains the marks and bruises around His waist to tell us that He was tied by those ropes of love, devotion, and innocence.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 15

नमोऽस्तु कान्त्यै कमलेक्षणायै
नमोऽस्तु भूत्यै भुवनप्रसूत्यै।
नमोऽस्तु देवादिभिरर्चितायै
नमोऽस्तु नन्दात्मजवल्लभायै

Namosthu Kanthyai kamalekshanayai,
Namosthu bhoothyai bhuvanaprasoothyai,
Namosthu devadhibhir archithayai,
Namosthu nandhathmaja vallabhayai.

(Hindu God Aarathi Collection. K.S.L. 2014.)

Namosthu Kanthyai kamalekshanayai”: Namostu to the one who is radiant (Kanthyai) and has the soothing hue of a lotus flower.

Namosthu bhoothyai bhuvanaprasoothyai”: Namostu to the one who, as the phenomena of Bhumi (Earth) and as Vasundhara, is the Mother to us all, and abode to all riches.

Namosthu devadhibhir archithayai”: Namostu to Her, who is “archithayai” (worshiped by reciting various titles) with the flowers of Kalpavruksham (divine tree that emerged during the Kṣīrāsagara Manthanam) by Devatas (devadhibhir = beings of Swarga:loka).

Namosthu nandhathmaja vallabhayai”: Namostu to the dear consort of the one who came and served as a son to Nanda and hence gained the title Nandanaya.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 16

 सम्पत्कराणि सकलेन्द्रियनन्दनानि
साम्राज्यदानविभवानि सरोरुहाक्षि
त्वद्वन्दनानि दुरिताहरणोद्यतानि
मामेव मातरनिशं कलयन्तु मान्ये

 Sampat-Karaanni Sakale[a-I]ndriya-Nandanaani
Saamraajya-Daana-Vibhavaani Saroruha-Akssi |
Tvad-Vandanaani Duritaa-Haranno[a-U]dyataani
Maam-Eva Maatar-Anisham Kalayantu Maanye ||

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Though Śrī Śankaracharya is not explicitly using Namostu in this sloka, he is continuing his flow of gratitude “Namaha”.

Sampat-Karaanni Sakale[a-I]ndriya-Nandanaani”: Namostu to the lotus-like eyes filled with Tadi, bestowing forgiveness, joy, and happiness that we enjoy through all our senses (Sakale[a-I]ndriya) because it is these senses through which we understand this physical creation (Prapañcha). Here Śrī Śankaracharya again addressed Sri Lakshmi as “Nandanaani” – similar to the previous sloka – and so he (Śrī Śankaracharya) is not letting go of his approach to keep addressing her through Śrī Viṣṇu.

Saamraajya-Daana-Vibhavaani Saroruha-Akssi”: Namostu to those lotus-like eyes (Saroruha-Akssi) that can bestow (Saamraajya-Daana) heaven and its kingship. If we recall, it is Her very sight that bestowed the kingship of heaven to Indra during Kṣīrāsagara Manthana.

Tvad-Vandanaani Duritaa-Haranno[a-U]dyataani”: We started this very discourse with  “Vandanaan”(salutations) to Ganesha and to the Divine Mother Gauri. Śrī Śankaracharya is now performing his Vandanam to Śrī Lakṣmī asking Her to remove our “Duritam” (difficulties and misfortunes), which are a result of our dush:karmā, with her dyataani meaning daya (compassion) which is Her tadi as we are Her children yet to learn and walk towards devotion and jñana(m).

Maam-Eva Maatar-Anisham Kalayantu Maanye”: May we always seek this Divine Mother’s forgiveness and become eligible for Her sight to fall on us by reciting and exploring Her glories. To do this we must be channeled by the Divine Mother Herself so that we can walk towards Iśvara. To gain devotion we have to ask the Divine Mother and this happens through the realization that this reality is not ours to create or control, and with our limited comprehension and time, we cannot perceive the karmā:phala that is going to catch up.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19, Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d., Venkat Raman C, n.d.).

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 17

सेवकस्य सकलार्थसम्पदः
संतनोति वचनाङ्गमानसैस्_
त्वां मुरारिहृदयेश्वरीं भजे

Sevakasya Sakala-Artha-Sampadah |
Samtanoti Vacana-Angga-Maanasais_
Tvaam Muraari-Hrdaye[a-I]shvariim Bhaje ||

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Namostu to the Divine Mother’s partially opened eyes filled with compassion, who is the beloved queen (Hrdaye[a-I]shvariim) of  “Muraari” (Sri Hari, who abolished Murasura and freed Prāgjyotiṣa Purá city from his bondage). Serving Her (Sevakasya), one can be bestowed (Kattaakssa) with purpose and meaning in one’s life (Sakala-Artha), as well as prosperity (Sampadah). It is to Her sight and lotus-like eyes to whom I chant and sing (Bhajan) and express my gratitude through words (Vacana), my emotions and thoughts (Maanasais), and through upacharas (Sevakasya) with these hands (Angga). It is through these services that all meaning (Artha) can be earned, hence the word “Sampadah”.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 18 & 19

 सरसिजनिलये सरोजहस्ते
भगवति हरिवल्लभे मनोज्ञे
त्रिभुवनभूतिकरि प्रसीद मह्यम्

 Sarasija-Nilaye Saroja-Haste
Dhavalatama-Amshuka-Gandha-Maalya-Shobhe |
Bhagavati Hari-Vallabhe Manojnye
Tri-Bhuvana-Bhuuti-Kari Prasiida Mahyam

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

 दिग्घस्तिभिः कनककुम्भमुखावसृष्ट_
प्रातर्नमामि जगतां जननीमशेष_

 Dig-[G]hastibhih Kanaka-Kumbha-Mukha-Avasrsstta_
Svar-Vaahinii-Vimala-Caaru-Jala-Pluta-Anggiim |
Praatar-Namaami Jagataam Jananiim-Ashessa_
Loka-Adhinaatha-Grhinniim-Amrta-Abdhi-Putriim ||

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Śrī Śankaracharya incorporated this mantra from Śrī Sūktam where Śrī Lakṣmī is addressed as “Sarasija-Nilaye”, meaning the one who is seated on a lotus, and “Saroja-Haste”, meaning holding a lotus flower in the hand. In our earlier reading, we discussed the significance of a lotus and why most of Iśvara’s manifestations are depicted and admired using a lotus. In the next phrase, Śrī Lakṣmī is called “Dhavalatama-Amshuka-Gandha-Maalya-Shobhe”, meaning the one whose radiance is soothing and fragrance is like Gandha (sandalwood). This is similar to our discussion in sloka 6 on how Śrī Lakṣmī’s soothing radiance covers Śrī Viṣṇu like a garland and overwhelms the radiance of the jewel “Kaustubha”. It is Her radiance in which we can realize our father (the preserver of Creation) because She is the dear consort of Śrī Viṣṇu (Hari-Vallabhe) and the mother of the three lokas (Tri-Bhuvana), with whose grace all lokas attain happiness and prosperity.

Śrī Śankaracharya then refers to the second sloka from Śrī Sūktam where abhisheka(m) (ritual holy bath) is performed by “Dig-ghast” (also known as diggaja(m), which are elephants holding the world on their forehead and preventing it from submerging into the abyss of the ever-expanding universe). These diggaja(m) are pouring holy water using golden pots (Kanaka-Kumbha) causing Her magnificent beauty to appear even more splendid. If we recall, we discussed a similar reference when Śrī Lakṣmī emerged from the ocean (Samudra) during Kṣīrāsagara Manthan(am) and abhisheka(m) (ritual holy bath) was performed, where Ganga (the innate controller or Śakti of river Ganga) gave water in “Purna Kalasha” (Kalasha = vessel).

We should visualize this ritual of abhisheka(m) during our Dhyāna and convey our gratitude by performing Namaskar, especially during the auspicious time of the day which is Praata:kālá(am) (Prata = early hours before sunrise, kālá(am) = time/period), hence the phrase “Praatar-Namaami”. In this sloka, Sri Lakshmi is addressed as “Jagataam Jananiim”, meaning Mother to all realities. She is also addressed as “Grhinniim”, meaning the homemaker of the Preserver-of-Creation and lord of all lokas – hence the phrase “Loka-Adinaatha-Grhinniim”. Finally, She is addressed as the daughter of King Sagara (Amrta-Abdhi-Putriim), from whom arose the ambrosia of immortality (Amrta).

This is a beautiful sloka where one can go into a deep meditative trance (Tantra), dwelling on Her abhisheka(m) and evoking Her essence from different angles – as a mother to us all, as the consort (Śakti) to the Preserver, and as the daughter to King Sagara. During Shodash:opachara pūjā (16 forms of offerings) wherein we perform the holy bath by saying “Snanam Samarpayami”, Maharśis tell us to imagine this scenario of Śrī Lakṣmī receiving this magnificent abhisheka(m).

So why did Śrī Śankaracharya bring the mantra from Śrī Sūktam into Kanakadhārā? First, let us understand that Śrī Śankaracharya was not composing a stotram in leisure or attempting to formulate an artistic symphony. He, in His devotion and compassion, was reciting this stotram extempore and so came a Dhārā (continuous flow), and this mantra from Śrī Sūktam came as a part of it. Hence, when we say Śrī Śankaracharya incorporated this mantra, it is to be understood that He did not meticulously and thoughtfully craft this as a formula. A Dhārā (a flow) makes its own path and not a designated route. Another reason being, not everyone is able to memorize the mantra of Śrī Sūktam with swara(m) (proper rhythm/meter) and interpret it; in this way, we can harness its magnificence as a part of Kanakadhārā. Śrī Sūktam is a magnificent stotram and its slokas can be found in many other stotrams and rituals.

(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19), (Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 20

 कमले कमलाक्षवल्लभे
त्वं करुणापूरतरङ्गितैरपाङ्गैः
अवलोकय मामकिञ्चनानां
प्रथमं पात्रमकृत्रिमं दयायाः

 Kamale Kamala-Akssa-Vallabhe
Tvam Karunnaa-Puura-Taranggitair-Apaanggaih |
Avalokaya Maam-Akincanaanaam
Prathamam Paatram-Akrtrimam Dayaayaah ||

(Green Message Kanakadhārā Stotram, n.d.).

Śrī Śankaracharya’s Namaha continues by addressing Śrī Lakṣmī as the Mother who is like the majestic lotus, hence the word “Kamale” and “Vallabhe”, meaning consort to the one who also has eyes like the lotus petal (Kamala-Akssa). Let us recollect once again that Śrī Lakṣmī is often addressed not just by her own majestic titles but in relation to Her consort Śrī Viṣṇu. This is why Śakti and Puruṣa should always be worshiped together as one (Śrī Viṣṇu, Uma-Maheśvara, Vani-Hiranyagarbha).

Śrī Śankaracharya then says “Karunnaa-Puura-Taranggitair-Apaanggaih”, meaning the eyes are filled with compassion (Karunnaa), and may that glance fall upon me and vanquish my dush:karmā. But before that Śrī Śankara asks Śrī Lakṣmī to make us worthy of Her glance. Making us worthy is by giving us devotion (bhakti) and giving us the strength to walk the path of Ḍharma.

Śrī Śankara is saying, that it is to the Divine Mother that “I” pray, referring to himself on our behalf, so when we read this stotram it will refer to us all and make us eligible to a glance from the gracious and compassionate eyes. As we have discussed earlier, to get devotion we must ask for devotion from the Divine Mother, making it the first step towards the path of devotion. It is at this point that we should realize that this Creation is not ours to own. With our buddhi (intelligence) and viveka (discrimination) we can try to interpret the phenomenon and try to use it; however, we must understand the existence of a higher consciousness so that, with humility, we can ask for knowledge (vidya) to understand Ḍharma rather than to use it to seek more comforts.  (Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

Kanakadhārā Stotram Sloka 21

 स्तुवन्ति ये स्तुतिभिरमूभिरन्वहं
त्रयीमयीं त्रिभुवनमातरं रमाम्
गुणाधिका गुरुतरभाग्यभागिनो
भवन्ति ते भुवि बुधभाविताशयाः

 Stuvanti Ye Stutibhir-Amuubhir-Anvaham
Trayiimayiim Tri-Bhuvana-Maataram Ramaam |
Gunna-Adhikaa Gurutara-Bhaagya-Bhaagino
Bhavanti Te Bhuvi Budha-Bhaavitaa-Shayaah ||

Elders of this culture say that one who recites (Stuti) and dwells on the Kanakadhārā each day, will gradually evolve in both prosperity and jñana(m), without explicitly asking Iśvara for one’s desires to be fulfilled (desire in line with Ḍharma). The Divine Mother, as Shakambhari, will automatically take care of us by fulfilling our necessities. She is the Mother of the three worlds and is called “Tri-Bhuvana-Maataram” (Tri = three, Bhuvana = worlds, and Maataram = Mother). If we recall, Śrī Śankara addressed the Divine Mother earlier in a similar fashion by calling Her “Triloka-Mata”, meaning the Mother of the three lokas. Śrī Śankara has constantly tried to emphasize the Divine Mother through Her Motherhood, as the consort of the Puruṣa (Śrī Viṣṇu in case of Śrī Lakṣmī), as a daughter to many, and finally referenced Her glorious aspects through the features of a lotus, and it is through this approach that he sought the “Tadi” in Her eyes. It is we who should appear in Her sight and purge our dush:karmā, because She is the one with endless virtues and characteristics, hence the phrase “Gunna-Adhikaa” (Gunna = characteristics and Adhikaa = abundance). It is due to these endless Guṇas, like Her compassion and anunayana(m), that She is called “Trayimayi” (the essence of the Vedās), which is the very breath of Iśvara. It is with such constant exploration towards comprehending Iśvara, that our buddhi can awaken and help us walk towards our own upliftment. This is the meaning of “Budha-Bhaavitaa-Shayaah”.

Note: This last stanza is very similar to the Gayatri mantra, wherein we request Iśvara to help us awaken the buddhi so that we can comprehend His glory and His creation.

At this point, Śrī Śankaracharya – with his hands held together performing vandanam – stood still in the midst of Śrī Lakṣmī’s Kanakadhārā. At the end of this dhara he lowered his hands and walked away. Not a single golden amla was touched by him. He waited for no appreciation, no gratitude, no credit or reward. Does this remind us of an analogy we discussed numerous times? If we recall, we discussed an attribute of Iśvara in comparison to the dark clouds which shower rain and go away, seeking no recognition. Śrī Śankaracharya did the same – no one asked him to come, nor asked for forgiveness or for prosperity. He came, he advocated, made golden amlas shower and walked away while Prakṛti (nature or creation) and kālá(am) (time) witnessed a Jagat Guru blossom that day and pass on a legacy for generations to come so that we can uplift ourselves from karmā and be eligible to be noticed by the eyes of Iśvara.  (Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-19)

~ Vande Jagat Guru Śrī Śankaracharya ~

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