VSN #18 – Wealth Considerations

by Sahadev Komaragiri

Imagine for a moment that wealth is transformed into a very beautiful, chaste and smart woman.  Let’s say she is given a chance to choose her husband from a group of warriors, saints, scholars and people from various walks of life. It is given that wherever she goes all the luxuries of the world will follow her and whoever she picks will have nothing to fear about anything. But she will need someone who will provide her with best care, protection, understanding and utility for the longest time possible. Who would she choose? This situation is analyzed and conveyed as an unforgettable story in the puraaNas.

This post is part of the series on viShNu sahasra naamaM

The purpose of the churning of the milky ocean was to churn out a special nectar which when consumed will provide immortality, everlasting youth and freedom from any form of illness or disease. During the churning several things came out of the ocean. The first one to arrive was poison; Lord Shiva consumed it and saved the world from a major disaster. Once the worst thing ever was out of the way, the ocean started churning out several useful items that were awarded to various deities, rulers and rishis. Than came Lakshmi Devi the goddess of wealth. Her extraordinary beauty floored everyone. Indra offered her a seat. The sacred rivers offered her their services, fruits, cows and holy waters. Brahma gifted her with a lotus flower. There was a desire in almost everyone that was present to take her as his wife. A compromise was reached and it was decided that she will chose her own husband. Among those present, she rejected everyone citing a very valid reason.

  • Knowledgeable scholars have not won over their desire to know more.
  • Great achievers did not overcome their desires to achieve more.
  • Those who performed great penances with utmost discipline have not conquered their anger.
  • Very wealthy people were dependent on others for sustaining their riches.
  • Righteous people cared too much for their own way of life and their own opinions.
  • Those who sacrificed their life for others did not know that sacrifice alone does not grant liberation.
  • Great warriors have uncertain future.
  • Those who have no interest in the material world were always lost in their own world.
  • Great rishis who were bestowed with boons to live a very long life do not possess impeccable character.

She decided to accept Lord Vishnu as her husband as He was beyond space and time, free from all desires and possessed all the great and auspicious qualities in complete measure. The flaws that are found in others are not to be found in Him. The greatness attributed to Him is not to be found in anyone else. Lord Vishnu accepts her as His wife.

A series of names in verses 64 and 65, a total of 14 names, describe this relationship between Sri Maha Lakshmi and Sri Maha Vishnu. The monosyllable word Sri in itself represents wealth and it is attributed to Sri Maha Lakshmi. It is customary to chant Lakshmi Ashtotram either before or after chanting the viShNu sahasra naamaM. That in itself shows the inseparable relationship between Lord Vishnu and His consort Sri Maha Lakshmi. While writing letters to our parents it is a tradition to address our mothers equating them to Sri Maha Lakshmi (in Telugu it is mahaa lakshmi samaanuraalu amma) and our fathers with the title of Sri Maha Vishnu (in Telugu it is maharaaja sri naannagaru)

SrIvatsa vakShaH SrIvaasaH SrIpatiH SrImataaM varaH ||
SrIdaH SrISaH SrInivaasa SrInidhiH SrIvibhaavanaH |
SrIdharaH SrIkaraH SrEyaH SrImaan lOkatrayaaSrayaH ||

In order to remain permanently bonded to Sri Maha Vishnu, Lakshmi Devi requests Lord Vishnu to implant her on His chest and He obliges. Therefore the One who has the symbol of goddess Lakshmi on his chest is called SrIvatsa vakShaH. We fail to notice this, but whenever you see Lord Narayana’s picture or deity in the temple you should also be able to spot goddess Lakshmi on his chest.

He is called SrIvaasa as Lakshmi Devi makes Him her own abode. He is SrIpati, the husband of Sri Maha Lakshmi. Among the wealthiest He is the best. For this reason He is called SrImataaM varaH.

He is called SrIdaH as He bestows wealth on others in proportion to what they deserve. He is also SrISaH, the One who is the Lord of all the wealth. He is to be visualized wherever there is wealth and prosperity, for He is SrInivaasa. There is no wealth, no prosperity, no auspiciousness that is not in Him, He is the very embodiment of wealth, SrInidhiH.

Wealth and prosperity brings with it some semblance of greatness. This greatness is bestowed by Sri Maha Vishnu and therefore he is called SrIvibhaavanaH, the One who bestows greatness. He is the Bearer of SrI, hence SrIdharaH. He controls the flow of wealth and decides the true value of the material things around the world, for He is SrIkaraH.

He possesses many types of wealth, the wealth of knowledge, the wealth of health, the wealth of lasting happiness and various other kinds and that is why He is called SrImaan. Wealth without the associated happiness is of no value, He is the source of happiness that is part of the wealth and prosperity and He who bestows happiness is called SrEyaH.

dhanamoolamidaM jagat is an age old adage. It conveys the fact that the entire world revolves around money. Each and everything that we possesses, whether material or otherwise, has a value associated with it. This value is mostly measured in monetary terms. Money on its own does not bring happiness. Even if it does, it is momentary. We should understand that wealth comes into our lives just as our mothers do. It is there to take care of us in our need and we have to respect and care for it just as we are supposed to respect and care for our mothers.

The true value of an object depends on what’s in it for you, whether it is happiness, security, health or any other tangible value. It is this true value that we seek from our possessions. Just as we seek value from our possessions, wealth seeks out its own companion as indicated in the story narrated in the puranaas. It is averse to insatiable desires, endless seeking, bravery without purpose, discipline without peace, sacrifice without devotion and knowledge without wisdom.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

N.K. Ramani March 13, 2014 at 6:07 am

Thank you. May God Bless you in your mission. I am very happy to learn that you sacrificed all your comfort living, promising career and taken interest in spirituality and spreading the education.


N.K. Ramani


Sahadev Komaragiri March 14, 2014 at 5:01 am

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.
Warm Regards
– Sahadev


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