Sri Maha Lakshmi appears in the ‘ocean of milk’, the ksheerabdi – How and Why?
Today, Utthara Phalguni is the birth star of Sri Maha Lakshmi. Does Sri Maha Lakshmi also have a time of birth like us? Isn’t she beyond the cycle of births? Isn’t she inseparable from Sri Maha Vishnu, if so – why is today celebrated as the appearance day of Sri Maha Lakshmi alone?
An excerpt from Sri Swamiji that not only answers all these questions, but also explains the significance of the day, it’s relevance to Sitha Devi and Ranganayaki Tayar (of Sri Rangam), and Gadya Trayam composed by Ramanujacharya!
Sun rays are inseparable from Sun. However, the rays reach us to energise us every day! Do the rays disconnect from Sun to do so? No, they remain connected to Sun all the way through. Keep this in your thoughts, we will see how it connects to the appearance of Sri Maha Lakshmi in a minute as you read on.
God has a beautiful form reflecting two main qualities, compassion and power. Sri Maha Lakshmi is the personification of the quality, compassion. If she is under the influence of His power, then we are at loss! God will not tolerate any of our mistakes and sins. But, if His power is accompanied and under the influence of compassion, then we are safe!
Therefore, the compassion takes a form (whom Vedas refer to as: Sri Maha Lakshmi) and comes close to us (like the sun rays) to protect us. Thus she appears, and Utthara Phalguni is the star on which she chose to appear.
The ksheerabdi is an ocean of milk (thoughts driven by our qualities). It gives rise to many things (sensual pleasure, arrogance etc) when churned by asura (bad side of us) and sura (good side of us). When the churning continues, it also yields Sri Maha Lakshmi (personified compassion). All of this is only possible when the entire event is supported by Narayana (personified power) at every step. This is what sagara mathanam means (the churning of manas)!
Seek refuge of Narayana (personified power) when He is accompanied by Sri Maha Lakshmi (personified compassion), then your life is beautiful with their divine presence! Until then, it is a roller coaster drama driven by other things such as the sensual pleasures, arrogance etc!
Example: When Ravana (our heart) does NOT seek refuge of Rama (Narayana) even after Sita (Sri Maha Lakshmi) suggested, then he faces war with varied kinds of defeat every day and finally dies!
Whereas Kaakasura (our heart) sought refuge of Rama (Narayana) in the presence of Sita (Sri Maha Lakshami) even after hurting Her, he was still saved (with minor punishment)! Such is the grace and greatness of Sita’s (personified compassion) company for Rama (personified power)!
Sri Maha Lakshmi in ksheerabdi, Sitha Devi in Janakapuri, and Ranga Nayaki Tayar in Sri Rangam are all manifestations of the same divine mother, the personified compassion, the permanent resident of Sri Maha Vishnu’s (Narayana) heart!
Being the birth star of such graceful Sri Maha Lakshmi, this is the ONLY day that Sri Ranganattha Swami comes to Ranganayaki ammavar in Sri Rangam temple and spends time together. This divine union is what every one of us should meditate on and seek protection from. Today is therefore a great celebration! Ramanujacharya reached Sri Rangam temple on this day. Amazed at the festivities and celebration, he composed the beautiful Gadya Trayam:
Saranagati Gadya signifying all three mantras – Ashtakshari, Dwaya mantram and Charama slokam, and showing the divine union as the only way to seek protection (saranu).
Sri Ranga Gadya signifying all the great qualities (guna:s) of Ranganattha Swami, such as gyana, bala, shakthi, veerya, thejas, aishwarya, satya sankalpa, satya ka:ma, karunya, gambheera, vaatsalya… and more!
- From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami, - 21st March 2019, Divya Saketham
This Gadya Trayam is till date sung in all 108 Divya Desams. Divya Sakthem also celebrated the event under the divine presence of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. Enhancing the joy of Sri Maha Lakshmi’s birth, the entire campus was filled with precious and pious coloured water of turmeric and kunkum.