Once when Alakshmi found Lakshmi living happily for ever with Vishnu as his consort in paradise, she cried, “though I am elder to Lakshmi ,I have neither husband nor home” Feeling sorry for her Lakshmi decreed , Mrityu, god of death ,decay and degeneration will be Alakshmi’s husband and she will dwell wherever there is dirt,ugliness,slot , gluttony,envy rage, hypocrisy, greed and lust”. Hence those who want Alakshmi to stay out of their lives must clean their house and their hearts.
Thus the tradition of lighting and decorating and cleaning of houses during Deepawali festival arose along with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is fickle and she will leave us the moment she will discover dirt and filth in our surroundings and in our heart and Alakshmi will take her place instead.
Lakshmi even disappeared from Lord Indra’s abode by the curse of sage Durbasha, because he found Indra totally drunk, amusing and indulging himself with his courtesans and ignored the sage completely. Sage Durbasha cursed Indra “ You do not respect the wealth and power bestowed upon you. May you be deprived of it all. May Lakshmi abandon you”. No sooner did Durbasha utter his curse, Goddess Lakshmi dissolved herself in the ocean of milk.. Instantly ,a pall of gloom descended upon the three worlds: cows stopped giving milk,plants did not bear flower or fruit. The sun did not shine,gems did not sparkle. There was death and Alakshmi throughout the universe.
Lakshmi was finally churned out of the ocean under the guidance and leadership of Vishnu . It was an enterprise of cosmic proportions with both devas and asuras serving as the force and counterforce of the churn with Mount Meroo served as the spindle, the serpent Anantashesa was the churning rope and the turtle Akupura was the steady base as per the legend and mythology of “Samudra Manthan “. The project lasted for thousands of years, before they could churn “Lakshmi” out , for without efforts there is no reward.
Let us all do this symbolic churning during this year’s Deepawali celebration and bring back Lakshmi once again in our life and drive out Alakshmi from our life for ever.