Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Kojāgirī Lakşmī Pūjā Vrata Kathā

Lakşmī-Nārāyaņa

Once Nārada Muni was roaming happily, playing on his Vīnā and singing the gliries of Lord Vişņu. He was so immersed in the sentiments of devotion that he did not realise when he arrived at Vaikuņțha. There he saw Śrīman Nārāyaņa seated on a throne, with Devī Lakşmī by His side. Overcome with the devotion, the sage circumbulated Lakşmī-Nārāyana and saluted them again and again.

While Nārada Muni was gazing at Devī Lakşmī with devotion, a sudden thought stuck his mind and he said “Mātā! Why is it so that you are so whimsical? Unlike Bhagavatī Girijā, why don’t you stay at a place permanently? I have seen homes where the family is starving due to shortage of food supply and are extremely malnutritioned.”

Devī Lakşmī turned to Śrīman Nārāyana and gazed at Him mirthfully. Then turning to Nārada, She exhaled and spoke thus “Devarşi! It is not that I am partial or that I despise certain people; it is solely the Karma of the people on the basis of which I either reward or abandon them. Hey Brahmanańdana! I wish to speak to The Lord in private. Why don’t you go and take a round of Trilokas?”

Nārada bowed reverently and took his leave.

Devī Lakşmī turned to Mahāvişņu & asked “Is there any way to grace humans? What should I do?”

The Lord said “Hey Kamale! You should preach your worship on earth so that humans may attain your grace by serving you. On the night of Śarada Pūrņimā, let people worship you in the evening after fasting for the entire day. One who will undertake this Vrata will be bestowed with peace & prosperity, and his sorrows will vanish by your blessings.”

Hearing these words of Madhusūdana, Devī Lakşmī happily appeared at the city of Avańtī, which was the capital of King Dhaneśvara. Purported to be equal to Kubera in riches, he was a just king who would rule his kingdom peacefully. With passage of time, the pious king attained heavenly abode, leaving behind his widowed wife and seven sons. The princes had no unity among them and after an indicisive battle, chose to split the kingdom into seven parts. However, none of them bothered to take in their aged mother; hence the old queen went deep into the forest with the intention of committing suicide.

The moment the queen was about to end her life, Devī Lakşmī arrived there in dusguise of a villager woman and asked “Mother! Who are you? Why have you come to this dense forest?”

The Queen started weeping and narrated her story to Devī.

Upon hearing the voeful tale of that poor woman, Devī Lakşmī said “My Lady, you should observe Lakşmī Vrata on Śarada Pūrņimā. You will see that the sun of sorrows will set soon. Suicide is not a solution, for it causes one to fall into the pits of hell. The houses where Kojāgiri Lakşmī Vrata is observed, Devī Kamalā resides there permenantly.”

After speaking thus, Devī Lakşmī stood up and assumed real form. When the pious queen beheld The Daughter of Ocean before her, she prostrated before Sińdhujā and saluted Her again and again. When she rose her head to see Haripriyā once again, she saw that Devī has vanished. As directed, the queen returned to her home, gathered her family and described to them how she had the vision of Devī Lakşmī and how she was directed to observe Lakşmī Vrata.

In the evening, the old queen and her curious daughter-in-laws worshiped duly Devī Lakşmī and listened to Her Vrata Kathā. To the queen’s surprise, there came a change in the behaviour of her daughter-in-laws, and the unity, peace & prosperity of the household returned.

They began to live happily and following the lead of the pious queen, many more women started observing Kojāgiri Lakşmī Vrata. The households where this Vrata of Mātā Sińdhusutā is observed, never faces shortage of food, remains prosperous and the inmates become righteous. The house where Lakşmī is worshiped maintains high standards of hygine and peace & prosperity never leaves them.

विश्वरूपस्य भार्यासि पद्मे पद्मालये शुभे ।
सर्वतौ पाहि मां देवी महालक्ष्मी नमोस्तुते ।।

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