“Shri Shukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus one should worship Lord Vishnu, who is known as Shrinivasa, along with mother Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, by offering prayers according to the process mentioned above. After removing all the paraphernalia of worship, one should offer them water to wash their hands and mouths, and then one should worship them again.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 6.19.15)
इत्यभिष्टूय वरदं श्रीनिवासं श्रिया सह ।
ity abhiṣṭūya varadaṁ
śrīnivāsaṁ śriyā saha
“At the office I have been placed on a new assignment. It’s a long-term project, and there are many people involved. There is a formal system to manage everything, to ensure proper progress, to deal with issues, to manage resources, and so forth.
“There is a regularly occurring meeting and one thing I noticed is that we have several people with the same name. It is Srinivas. There might be variations to the spelling, but it is confusing regardless. They have resorted to referring to people as ‘Srini’ and then by the initial of their last name.
“It is still confusing, and I can’t help but retain that name in my memory. I find it the funniest thing. I finally asked around as to the origin, and I was surprised to learn that the name refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“I probably should have known but I was thrown off by everyone shortening the name to Srini, which actually cuts through the second part of the name in the original Sanskrit. The name is actually shri and nivasa, which refers to the home of the goddess of fortune. Can you elaborate further?”
1. Worship of God together
The name shows how God is most often worshiped together. There is a male and a female side. Not that one is better than the other. They are two aspects to the complete whole. There is a household in the spiritual sky, except it has no beginning and no end.
Shri is the energy of God, specifically in the way of giving pleasure. Shri is the energy and her resting place is the energetic. Vishnu is Shrinivasa because the goddess of fortune is always with Him.
2. The ideal marriage
The name references the ideal marriage. The common depiction is of Shri massaging the feet of Vishnu, who is lying down in rest. Vishnu is not tired. He is not exhausted by the process of glancing over the pradhana and instigating the shifts to prakriti which result in creation, expansion, maintenance, and eventual dissolution of the universe.
यत्तत्त्रिगुणमव्यक्तं नित्यं सदसदात्मकम् ।
प्रधानं प्रकृतिं प्राहुरविशेषं विशेषवत् ॥
yat tat tri-guṇam avyaktaṁ
pradhānaṁ prakṛtiṁ prāhur
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The unmanifested eternal combination of the three modes is the cause of the manifest state and is called pradhana. It is called prakriti when in the manifested stage of existence.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.26.10)
Rather, that work is the easiest for Vishnu. It is practically effortless. He can lie down and everything gets accomplished. The husband still carries out His work and the wife is there to support Him. Shri does not consider whether her husband has fatigue or not. She will offer service anyway. This is love without any outside motivation.
3. The home of fortune
Shri is opulence. Shri is fortune. Others can worship her for receiving benedictions, but that fortune always has a home. If it arrives to us, it is something like on loan. Like a key that opens a specific lock, the blessings from the goddess of fortune are meant to have the same home.
As Vishnu is the resting place for Shri, He is automatically the most fortunate. No one can claim to be at a higher standard. They may attempt to replicate the same, over many lifetimes, but they will never be at the same level.
4. The level of devotion in the goddess of fortune
There is the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” Shri is always with Vishnu. Her devotion is pure. She does not want anything else. Her thoughts are always on how she can better serve her beloved. This is the model way to live.
That is to say, the living entities are also the energy of God. They are of the jiva classification due to the conditioned experience in choice. We can fall into illusion and choose to serve someone else. We can be devoted to illusion instead of Vishnu. Fortunately, the name Shrinivasa can remind us of the proper way to live.
5. She cannot live anywhere else
As seen specifically in the adventures described in the Ramayana, the goddess of fortune cannot live anywhere else. A fiend like Ravana may try to force separation, to drag her away, against her will, but the home is always the same.
जीवेच्चिरं वज्रधरस्य हस्ताच्छचीं प्रधृष्याप्रतिरूपरूपाम्।
न मादृशीं राक्षस दूशयित्वा पीतामृतस्यापि तवास्ति मोक्षः।।
jīvecciraṃ vajradharasya hastācchacīṃ pradhṛṣyāpratirūparūpām।
na mādṛśīṃ rākṣasa dūśayitvā pītāmṛtasyāpi tavāsti mokṣaḥ।।
“O Rakshasa, It might be possible for a person to live for a long time after forcibly taking away Shachi Devi, a woman of unmatched beauty and wife of the wielder of the thunderbolt [Indra]. But a person who abuses me shall not be released from death even if they were to drink amrita [nectar which grants immortality].” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 48.24)
It is not possible for a person to live for a long time under that model. To take Shri away from her home is the work of the demons, and they always meet destruction. The devotees always worship Vishnu in the way that most pleases Him, with the goddess of fortune by His side.
With Lakshmi by His side,
Like in Vaikuntha to reside.
Such that happy to see,
In proper placement to be.
Devotees worship in this frame,
Taught by Shrinivasa the name.
Demons always to meet frustration,
Since flawed any other orientation.
Categories: the five