THE NINTH BOOK
On the story of Mahâ Laksmî
1-3 Nârada said :-- O Lord! I have heard in the discourse on Sâvitrî and Yama about the Formless Devî Mûla Prakriti and the glories of Sâvitrî, all true and leading to the endless good. Now I want to hear the story of the Devî Laksmî. O Thou, the Chief of the knowers of the Vedas! What is the nature of Laksmî? By whom was She first worshipped? and by what Mantra? Kindly describe Her glories to me.
4-33. Nârâyana said :-- Of old, in the beginning of the Prâkritik Creation, from the left side of Krisna, the Supreme Spirit, appeared in the Râsamandalam (the Figure Dance) a Devî. She looked exceedingly handsome, of a dark blue colour, of spacious hips, of thin waist, and
with high breast, looking twelve years old, of steady youth, of a colour of white Champaka flower and very lovely. The beauty of Her face throws under shade millions and millions of autumnal full moons. Before Her wide expanded eyes, the midday lotus of the autumnal season becomes highly ashamed. By the Will of God, this Devî suddenly divided Herself into two parts. The two looked equal in every respect; whether in beauty, qualities, age, loveliness, colour, body, spirit, dress, ornaments, smile, glance, love, or humanity, they were perfectly equal.
Now she who appeared from the right side is named Râdhâ and she who came from the left side is named Mahâ Laksmî. Râdhâ wanted first the two armed Srî Krisna, Who was Higher than the highest; then Mahâ Laksmî wanted Him. Râdhâ came out of the right side and wanted first Krisna; so Krisna, too, divided himself at once into two parts. From His right side came out the two-armed and from his left side came out the four-armed. The two-armed person first made over to Mahâ Laksmî the four armed One; then the two armed Person Himself took Râdhâ. Laksmî looks on the whole universe with a cooling eye; hence She is named Laksmî and as She is great, She is called Mahâ Laksmî. And for that reason the Lord of Râdhâ is two-armed and the Lord of Laksmî is four-armed. Râdhâ is pure Aprâ kritic Suddha Sattva (of the nature of pure Sattva Guna, the illuminating attribute) and surrounded by the Gopas and Gopîs. The four-armed Purusa, on the other hand, took Laksmî (Padmâ) to Vaikuntha. The two-armed person is Krisna; and the four-armed is Nârâyana. They are equal in all respects. Mahâ Laksmî became many by Her Yogic powers (i.e., She remained in full in Vaikuntha and assumed many forms in parts). Mahâ Laksmî of Vaikuntha is full, of pure Sattva Guna, and endowed with all sorts of wealth and prosperity. She is the crest of woman-kind as far as loving ones husbands is concerned. She is the Svarga Laksmî in the Heavens; the Nâga Laksmî of the serpents, the Nâgas, in the nether regions; the Râja Laksmî of the kings and the Household Laksmî of the householders. She resides in the houses of house-holders as prosperity and the most auspicious of all good things. She is the progenetrix, She is the Surabhi of cows and She is the Daksinâ (the sacrificial fee) in sacrifices. She is the daughter of the milk ocean and she is Padminî, the beauty of the spheres of the Moon and the Sun. She is the lustre and beauty of the ornaments, gems, fruits, water, kings, queens, heavenly women, of all the houses, grains, clothings, cleansed places, images, auspicious jars, pearls, jewels, crest of jewels, garlands, diamonds, milk, sandal, beautiful twigs, fresh rain cloud, or of all other colours. She was first worhipped in Vaikuntha by Nârâyana. Next She was worshipped by Brahmâ and then
by Sankara with devotion. She was worshipped by Visnu in the Kshirode Samudra. Then she was worshipped by Svâyambhuva Manu, then by Indras amongst men, then by Munis, Risis, good householders, by the Gandharbas, in the Gandharbaloka; by the Nâgas in the Nâgaloka. She was worshipped with devotion by Brahmâ for one fortnight commencing from the bright eighth day in the month of Bhâdra and ending on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the three-worlds. She was worshipped by Visnu, with devotion in the three worlds on the meritorious Tuesday in the months of Pausa, Chaitra, and Bhâdra. Manu, also, worshipped Her on the Pausa Sankrânti (the last day of the month of Pausa when the Sun enters another sign) and on the auspicious Tuesday in the month of Mâgha. Thus the worship of Mahâ Laksmî is made prevalent in the three worlds. She was worshipped by Indra, the Lord of the Devas and by Mangala (Mars) on Tuesday. She was then worshipped by Kedâra, Nîla, Subala, Dhruva, Uttânapada, Sakra, Bali, Kasyapa, Daksa, Kardama, Sûrya, Priyavrata, Chandra, Vâyu, Kuvera, Varuna, Yama, Hutâsana and others. Thus Her worship extended by and by to all the places. She is the Presiding Deity of all wealth; so She is the wealth of all.
Here ends the Thirty-ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the story of Mahâ Laksmî in the Mahâ Purânam Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.