Knowing and praying to Mahalakshmi in the twenty-six places she resides, will win us Her Divine Blessings…
1. In Thirumal’s chest
Thirumagal (Lakshmiji) resides in Thirumal’s chest and so Srinivasan is also called Thiruvuraimarban. To get Thirumagal’s grace, we must also worship Thirumal. Do not worship Thirumagal alone and ignore Thirumal. Thirumagal is considered ‘Purushakaram’, i.e., she urges Thirumal to bless His devotees.
2. The rear part of a cow
The cow is worshipped by the devas, the Trimurtis as well as the three Devis as Gomatha. This is because in every part of the cow’s body, a god resides. Mahalakshmi resides in the rear part of the cow. Amongst the things one should see first thing in the morning is the cow’s rear. Giving arugampul to a cow is equivalent to doing thirty-two kinds of charities. Thirumoolar said, “Giving one handful of food to the cow which is the mother of all is the most noblest job.”
3. The elephant’s forehead
The forehead of an elephant looks like Omkaram/Pranavam. Thirumagal resides there.
The king among flowers is the lotus, and is much-praised in Tamil literature. The lotus bestows wealth. Gold is measured in Padmanidhi and Sanganithi. Padma means lotus. All gods are seated on the lotus. Padmasana is considered the best way to sit. Thirumagal is also seated on the lotus and is also called Malarmagal.
5. The divine lamp
There is no prayer without the lamp. We can worship all gods in the light of the lamp. That is why Vallalar (Sri Ramalinga Swamigal) saw the divine as the Great Light (arutperunjothi). Though all deities can be seen in the lamp, our tradition is to consider it as Mahalakshmi.
Mahalakshmi resides in the auspicious sandal. In the 16 ways of serving the God, applying sandal paste is one. It is essential for all auspicious events.
Thamboolam is auspicious. It is required for all festivals and during Pooja. Exchanging thamboolam is the confirmation of a new bond being formed (being followed in our culture when a marriage getting fixed).
8. Komayam (cow dung)
The five products that we get from the cow – urine, dung, milk, curd and clarified butter, are appropriate to be offered to God. Together they are called, Panchagavyam. Appar says, ‘Ainthaaduvaan Aran’. (Lord Siva dances in the five). If we clean the entrances and interiors of our homes with cow dung, instead of germs, Lakshmi will reside in our homes. By having panchagavyam, we can avoid falling ill. Panchagavyam is considered a great medicine.
Chaste virgins are the epitome of divine grace. They reflect Lakshmi’s grace. It is common to say a woman looks like Mahalakshmi.
Lakshmi resides in the palm. Every morning, look at your hand when you wake up. Our life depends on our hands. Only if we put our hands to good use can we see Dhanalakshmi. The hand represents power and strength. “He has a large (generous) hand,” refers to someone with wealth.
11. The dust from the cow’s feet
Sin does not stay where a cow’s feet falls. Instead, that place will be filled with prosperity. The cow means wealth!
12. The smoke from the sacrificial fire
The smoke from the sacrificial fire protects life. During the Bhopal tragedy, the poisonous gas did not enter the two homes where they had done a yagna. That smoke gives good health. It causes rains and the earth to prosper.
The conch and its sound are auspicious. Sangam – conch is considered a kind of treasure along with the lotus according to Navarasar.
14. Vilva tree
Mahalakshmi appeared at the foot of the vilva tree during the tenure of Raivatha Manvanthiram (a Manu King). The vilva leaf is associated with Siva, and nothing can be better than that leaf. Srirangam’s sthala tree is the vilvam, and Thirunagari is called Vilvanarayanam. In Thiruvahindrapuram, Lakshmi is offered the vilva leaf. This Goddess of Wealth resides at the foot of the vilva tree.
15. Gooseberry tree
Gooseberry is an elixir for longer life and good health. Mahalakshmi resides at its foot. The gooseberry is blessed by Thirumal. It is also called Hariphalam. Lakshmi resides in the home that has gooseberry tree. Only if the gooseberry is included in the meal on the 12th day of the waning and waxing moon will one benefit from the 11th day fasting.
16. In the hearts of those with pure thoughts
17. Where white doves live
18. Where chaste women live
19. In the granary
20. In a clean pile of rice
21. With those who are courteous and soft-spoken
22. Those who share with others
23. Those who speak less
24. Those who are gentle
25. Those who respect women
26. Those who wear clean clothes
Lakshmiji resides in all the above.
I pay obeisance at the feet of Goddess Mahalakshmi.