Early references of Goddess Kamala address her as Sri. They relate her to all the positive qualities and energies. The word Sri means, 'auspicious.' The Satapatha- Barahmana relates her with food, royal power, luster, fortune and beauty. The Sri- Sukta which is an early hymn that dates back to pre- Buddhist times elaborately reflects her positive qualities and auspicious nature. The goddess is considered as the bestower of wealth and other desired objects to her devotees. The goddess is adorned with costly ornaments and is associated with fertility and growth.
Sri- Sukta also associates Sri with the lotus and the elephant. These proved to be both central and essential in her subsequent history and reflect significant aspects of her character. The lotus that the goddess bears has two general meanings. First, it is associated to life and fertility. On a cosmic scale the lotus represents the entire universe created by Gods. The cosmos like the lotus advocates a world that is organic, dynamic and attractive. It is the fecund vigour suggested by the lotus that is revealed in Sri. She is considered as the life force that pervades creation.
In connection to Sri, the lotus suggests spiritual purity, power and authority. In the Hindu and Buddhist iconography the lotus seat is considered as a common theme. Gods and Goddess, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have been seen seated or standing on a lotus. Like the lotus which is rooted in the mud but whose blossoms are uncontaminated by it, these spiritual beings are understood to transcend the earthly limitations of the world. Sri's association with the lotus suggests that she symbolizes a certain perfection or state of refinement that transcends the material world, it is rooted in it.
Sri's association with the elephant relates other prospects of her character that are ancient and persistent. One of the most widespread images of Sri depicts her flanked by two huge elephants that shower her with water from their trunks. The elephants represent two meanings. In Hindu tradition, elephants have been related to clouds and rain and hence they signify fertility. Second elephants stand as royal authority. In ancient times kings and emperors used to keep stables of elephants. They used to ride them during processions and also used them in military campaigns. Kings were also held responsible for bringing timely rains and for the fertility of the land generally, their possession of elephants is probably related to that role too.