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Re: role of Lakshmi

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Tue Sep 17 1996 - 15:29:41 PDT

I am glad that someone asked this question. Your name "Mohan" is not
familiar to me. I have been in this mailing list since the beginning.  I
could take up some details later on via telephone or person to person email
instead of over this group.

This question is very deep and involved and goes into our "Rahasya
Shastras". In short the answer is this:

Note that in the upanisads, there is hardly any mention of Lakshmi! and even
in Bhagawadgita there is no mention of Lakshmi (except according to
Madhvacharya... which we will not take up here). Why is this? 

As far as the Upanisads, Bhagawadgita and Brahmasutras are concerned, the
terms Brahman, Ishwara, Atman (in its original sense) refer to the duo of
Lakshmi Narayana, taking them together as one. The differentiation to those
fundamental texts does not serve any purpose.  The major purpose of
Upanisads, Bhagawadgita and Brahmasutras is to talk about the three entities
: souls, matter and Lord and the stress is more on the nature,
inter-relations, path for moksha etc.  The details of nature of the duo, are
more explained in the pancharatra texts.  One might ask, "Is it true that
the concept of Lakshmi Narayana a non-vedic view?". The answer is no.  Even
in the vedas "sritatva" is explained in different places : srisukta, nila
sukta, etc.  A lot of research has been done by Visistadvaitins on this
issue and since the two entities are said to be equal, coeval, both are
independent and equally powerful but by mutual consent , they are in perfect
agreement with each other and have taken a slightly different role among
themselves.  (punishment is mainly ascribed to Lord Narayana, while Sri is
said to be - nityam ajnata nigraham - ie. eternally ignorant of what
punishment is ?.).  even according to various vedic authorities it the
visistadvaita view regarding Lakshmi can be established. Please read Dr. SMS
CHari's "Vaishnavism" - chapter on Sri tatva. This book is absolutely a must
for any Visistadvaitin to understand this system clearly. This book is not
as tough as the other ones on satadushani etc. It is quite an "easy reading"
kind of a book.

The tengalai and vadagalai schools differ on this point; however, I would
rather discuss anything refering deeper to "rahasyas" offline on a one to
one basis. For now this is enough. 

The "dvaya" mantra was taken by a vedic origin - "Kata shruti". This shruti
is non-existent now.  Are visistadvaitins equally liable in citing shrutis
from a non-existent shruti? .... This cannot be so, since I think some other
people who belong to other schools possibly might have quoted from the same
shruti while it was extant in some work. 

Note to everyone: I would recommend one fast reading of SMS chari's book
before coming to any particular conclusion.

At 02:14 PM 9/16/96 -0600, you wrote:
>A couple of more questions.  This time, on the role of Lakshmi.
>Regarding the statement:
>  "...She is endowed with the three capacities of UPAYATVA
> (being the means) ,UPEYATVA ( being the end) and PURUSHAKAARA
> (being the mediatrix) --and is the ruler of the whole world."
>>From this, can we imply that one can recognize Lakshmi as the Upaya
>and Upeya independently of the Lord?  If so, would this not coflict
>with Dvayam, which expresses surrender and service to Narayana, along
>with Lakshmi?
>  "...Prapatthi to Her precedes the one at the feet of Her Lord to
>attain freedom from the cycles of deaths and births." 
>How can this statement be correlated to the Carama Slokam, in which
>the Lord says "Mam Ekam Saranam Vraja," i.e., prapatti should be
>performed solely to Him? 
>Daasanu Daasan,
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)