In Hinduism, Mahalakshmi is the supreme Mother Goddess and is believed to be the root of all creations. The popular Hindu Goddess Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth, auspiciousness and fortune is only an attribute of Mahalakshmi. But today both Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi mean the same for majority of the people. Mahalakshmi as supreme mother goddess is similar to Durga and this form is mentioned in Tantric texts and is popular in western
Mahalakshmi is an attempt made by human mind to find the root of all creation and define the formless responsible for it. Scriptures like Lakshmi Tantra and Pancharatra mentions that she is Prakrti, Maya and Shakti. That which is animate and inanimate rise and fall in her.
But in Vaishnava tradition Mahalakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu and is the only way to reach Narayana (Vishnu) and attain Moksha – escape from the endless cycle of birth and death. In this form, she is the bountiful aspect of nature and she represents righteousness and compassion but is associated with Vishnu.
Vishnu here is the fatherly figure and Lakshmi is motherly figure. Forgiveness for sins committed (breaking Dharma) has to be given by Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi helps each devotee by pleading his/her case. This is the reason why great Vaishnava saints like Vedanata Desika mentions it is easy to approach Lord Vishnu through Goddess Lakshmi.
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