The Mahalakshmi Ashtakam is a hymn or a mantra dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. She is the deity of wealth and prosperity in Hinduism. This hymn sings praises of the powers and glory of the Goddess. Chanting this mantra can give one material as well as spiritual happiness and make life successful.
Origin Of This Sacred Prayer
The Mahalakshmi Ashtakam was first mentioned in the Padma Purana. Lord Indra had uttered this mantra. The Padma Purana is also one of the 18 major Puranas, the sacred religious texts. It derives its name from the lotus on which Lord Brahma is seated. Lord Indra recited this shloka when Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the ocean of milk.
Also known as samudra manthana in Hindu mythology, sacred Hindu texts describe this episode of the churning of the ocean of milk. In this incident, sage Durvasa cursed all the gods. As a result, they became weak and powerless. Thus, the world came under the power-seeking demigods (asuras). Following which, Lord Vishnu advised the gods to come to an understanding with the asuras. Consequently, the gods and the demigods decided to form an alliance to extract the nectar of immortality or ‘amrit’ from the ocean of milk by churning it. Lord Vishnu also made sure that the gods would get the nectar.
A number of objects and creatures emerged from the churning of the ocean. Some of them were divine nymphs (Apsaras), precious gems, a wish-fulfilling tree(Kalpavriksh), a wish-fulfilling cow (Kamadhenu) and also a divine 7 headed-horse (Ucchaishravas). Amongst these was Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of wealth and fortune. Eventually, she became Lord Vishnu’s consort. When Lakshmi Devi emerged from the ocean of milk, Lord Indra sang the Mahalakshmi Ashtakam in praise.
What Is The Meaning Of The Mahalakshmi Ashtakam?
The meaning of the word ‘ashtakam’ is octet. The Mahalakshmi Ashtakam has 8 couplets. It contains a total of 16 verses. It is written in the Sanskrit language.
Let’s try and understand the meaning of every couplet in the first half of this prayer:
Indra Uvaca (as said by Indra)
1.Namasthesthu Mahamaaye Shreepeete Surapoojithe
Shankachakra Gadhahasthe Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to Devi Mahalakshmi who is the Mahamaya (primordial cause of creation), and who is also worshipped in Sri Pitha (Devi’s abode) by the suras. Salutations to her, who is adorned with the conch (shankha), disc (chakra) and mace (gadha) in her hands, I worship and salute to Mahalakshmi Devi.
2. Namasthe Garudaroode Kolhasurbhayankari
Sarvapapahare Devi Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to the One who rides Garuda, to the One who destroyed the demon Kolhasur. I worship and also salute Devi Mahalakshmi, remover of all sins.
3. Sarvagne Sarvavarde Sarvadushtabhayankari
Sarvadukhahare Devi Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: To the One who possesses all knowledge and awareness, the giver of boons, and a terror to all evil beings, the remover of all sorrows, I salute to Mahalakshmi Devi.
4. Siddhibuddhipradhe Devi Bhuktimuktipradhaayani
Mantramoorte Sada Devi Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to the One who bestows knowledge, success and prosperity, to her who leads our lives towards liberation. I worship Devi Mahalakshmi, the One who is always present in every mantra, in every being.
Second Half Of the Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
5. Aadhyantarahithe Devi Aadyashaktimaheshwari
Yogaje Yogasambhoothe Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to Devi who has no beginning or end, to her who is also the Shakti (energy) behind every creation. To the One born from Yoga and united with Yoga, I pay obeisance to thee.
6. Sthoolasookshmamaharaudre Mahashaktimahodhare
Mahapapahare Devi Mahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to the one whose powers are both subtle and great; is in the most terrorizing form of Rudrarani. She is also the all-powerful source of energy that can create anything. I worship Devi Mahalakshmi who cleanses the universe of all sins.
7. Padmasanasthithe Devi Parabrahmasvaroopini
Parameshi JaganmaatraMahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: To the Goddess seated on the lotus as the supreme Brahman, and also the Devi of the Universe, I worship and salute to thee.
8. Shwethambaradhare Devi Nanalankarabhooshithe
Jagathsthithe Jaganmaatrmahalakshmi Namosthuthe
Meaning: Salutations to the Devi dressed in white garments and adorned with ornaments. To her who is also the Mother of the universe, I worship thee.
Additionally, there are 3 more couplets that talk about the benefits of reciting this mantra regularly. According to this, anyone who reads the Mahalakshmi Ashtakam with faith and devotion will come to possess plenty of wealth and will also be immensely successful.
Reading this mantra once a day can destroy all your sins. Additionally, if read twice a day, it can bring your prosperity and riches. Reciting the mantra thrice a day can defeat one’s greatest enemy- the ego. We will be closer to attaining a spiritual relation with Goddess Mahalakshmi, liberating us. She will also be present in us with her auspicious qualities.
Mahalakshmi Ashtakam Benefits
Reciting this mantra regularly has the power to make you wealthy, prosperous and happy. Listening to the recitation of this mantra can also provide spiritual bliss and peace of mind. You can listen to the Mahalakshmi Ashtakam with lyrics here.