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Sri Sukta--Prayer that Moved Me

by Michael Ketterhagen

One morning I woke feeling rather blah and quite slothful. It was as though I had no desire, no energy, to even move through the day. Many people say that I might have been depressed. However, I wasn’t down about anything, just sort of empty. I wasn’t pushing any emotions down, which is my indication of depression for me. I was just sort of moping around.

In my state of lethargy, I picked up Pandit Rajmani’s last book, Sri Sukta: Tantra of Inner Prosperity, where he expands in detailed prayer-fashion the recitation of a group of 16 Sanskrit mantras that I had been doing to the past year.

The Sri Sukta itself is a prayer to the Divine Mother (God) spoken out loud. This prayer is directed to one of the manifestations of the Divine Mother called Agni Jatavedas. Agni Jatavedas (meaning “the fire of life within all those known to be alive”) would correspond, in the Christian Tradition, to the Holy Spirit. Jatavedas is really referring to the Fire that resides in the center of our being, usually residing, according to the Tantric Tradition, in our manipura chakra, the digestive center of the body.

As I read this expanded interpretation of the Sanskrit version, I could feel the power of my life force raise. I felt infused with clarity and enthusiasm for some important tasks ahead of me. I felt as though I was being carried and empowered to become my best self. This was quite amazing for me.

In this expanded English interpretation of the Sanskrit Sri Sukta prayer to God (Jatavedas), I was asking God’s brilliant carrier of prosperity and fullness, Lakshmi, to help me “recognize and embrace … the radiance of your (God’s) intrinsic omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.”

I read further as if I were talking directly to God in the Tantric Tradition: “May this resplendent Lakshmi” (think ‘Holy Spirit’ in Christian terms) “infuse my mind with the understanding that it is you (Lakshmi) … who transports my oblations (prayers) to the realm of divine providence (think ‘The Father’ in Christian terms) where destiny is created.

“…help me recognize you, O Jatavedas (Oh God), as … the omniscient being who emits the energy of joy and innocence. O Jatavedas, may your intrinsic radiance enable me to reclaim and retain the purity and spontaneity of my childhood…. Guide me, O Jatavedas, so that I succeed in all my endeavors but consume only what my body and mind can digest and assimilate.

“May I hear and heed you when you speak to me through the mouth of the world. May I comprehend the intention behind people’s actions, and may I respond to their actions with full awareness that your will always prevails.”

After reading this, my heart was lifted and I stepped into my day with joy and a renewed commitment to act on those tasks ahead, knowing that the God of Life was with me and guiding me. I no longer felt blah and empty.

Alleluia! Thank you, O Jatavedas!


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