Commentary by Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher Yawu Miller
The virtue of abundance calls to mind the earth’s bounty—the gifts of rain and sun, the multitude of plant and animal life on our planet, and the billions of stars and galaxies that illuminate the night sky.
A hymn from the Rig Veda, the Shri Suktam, praises this expansive divine energy. One of the verses says:
चन्द्रां प्रभासां यशसा ज्वलन्तीं श्रियं लोके देवजुष्टामुदाराम्
तां पद्मिनीमीं शरणमहं प्रपद्येऽलक्ष्मीर्मे नश्यतां त्वां वृणे ॥५॥
candrāṁ prabhāsāṁ yaśasā jvalantīṁ śriyaṁ loke devajuṣṭām udārām,
tāṁ padminīmīṁ śaraṇam ahaṁ prapadye ‘lakṣmīr me naśyatāṁ tvāṁ vṛṇe.
I seek refuge in Shri,
Who manifests as the world’s abundance.
I seek refuge in the one garlanded with lotuses,
The one who manifests as the moon’s beautiful luminosity,
The one celebrated by all of the gods.
O Shri, send misfortune afar!1
In their worship of Shri, the Vedic seers recognized and honored the source of abundance in the universe.
Abundance, from the Latin abundantia, means fullness and plenty. In Sanskrit, abundance is represented by the word shri, which connotes sacredness, beauty, grace, and auspiciousness. Shri is also a name for Mahalakshmi, the goddess of abundance and an aspect of the divine energy that creates and pervades the universe.
In Gurumayi’s book Enthusiasm, she says:
When you allow your entire being to become still in its own subtle vibration, you can experience God’s power. It is shri. It is filled with auspiciousness, beauty, sacredness, abundance, nobility, dignity, and good fortune. Know that all this exists within yourself.2
The qualities of abundance associated with shri exist within our own being; truly, we can experience the expansiveness of the universe in our own heart. As we continue coming back to this experience and reminding ourselves that shri is inherent in our nature, we cultivate a more constant awareness of abundance in our lives.
One way of cultivating abundance that I find particularly effective is to simply acknowledge the many blessings I have received in my life: the life-transforming gift of shaktipat initiation, the guidance of the Siddha Yoga Gurus, my family and friends, good health, and the beauty of the natural world that surrounds me and everyone.
In Baba Muktananda’s spiritual autobiography, Play of Consciousness, Baba describes the abundance of the divine Self:
What are you running after to possess? There is nothing in the world but you. It is you who pervade the universe, who are the perfect and undying principle. There is no difference between you and the world. There is no duality. You fill the whole universe, without differentiation. You are the serene, imperishable, and pure Kundalini, the light of Consciousness.3
The abundance of the world with its innumerable forms reflects the light of Consciousness, which resides in the heart of every being. To truly grasp the immense abundance of the universe, we must turn within.
I seek refuge in Shri,
Who manifests as the world’s abundance.4