Saturday, October 21, 2006

Prayers for prosperity
Divine Chants Of Mahalakshmi (Times Music)

Divine Chants Of MahalakshmiMahalakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and power, is worshipped the year round by the devout, and all the more so during the Divali days. People of Mumbai believe that the riches of the metropolis come from the presence of the Mahalakshmi temple there.

This album has apparently been released this month to coincide with the festive season. It has 10 prayers dedicated to the consort of Lord Vishnu and the sister of Mahasaraswati and Mahakali.

Sung by Uma Mohan in a typical South Indian style, the album has music (direction and arrangement by Prithvi Chandrashekhar) which reminds you of lounge music.

The album opens with a salutation to Lakshmi-Ganesha. It is followed by Agasthya Kritam Lakshmi Strotram in which Agasthya, the most intelligent Brahmarishi of Vedic times, propitiates the goddess.

Next come the highly popular Ashtalakshmi Stotram and Mahalashmi Suktam. The first speaks of her eight aspects (experiences, food, courage, memory, progeny, victory, knowledge and good fortune). The latter Vedic chant is used in havans as a symbol of worship and adoration.

As the name itself indicates, Indra Krita Mahalashmi Ashtakam has been composed by Indra, the God of Gods. Chanting this prayer grants freedom from sinful nature and sends out pleasing vibrations that remove negativity.

Based on Gayatri, the root mantra, Sri Mahalakshmi Moolmantra strives to help the devotee focus his attention on his goal.

Sri Suktam is a mantra from the Rig Veda which is used to attract and anchor Lakshmi-consciousness through Agni, the god of fire, while doing Mahalakshim havan and pooja.

Adi Sankara created Kanakdhara Strotram to bring down a shower of golden rain. This masterly composition is sung to alleviate poverty. Brahma himself wrote Brahma Kritam Mahalakshmi Kavacham to protect the human body and make it a vehicle of divinity.

The album closes with Naam Jap mantra. The first part of the mantra seeks forgiveness for the mistakes committed by us knowingly or unknowingly. The second part comprises the chanting of her various names, enabling us to connect with her and thank her for her strength and energy.

The third part celebrates the ecstasy that comes with the divine success of being blessed with ultimate awareness.