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Goddess Lakshmi And Bilva Tree – Stories Associated with Mahalakshmi and Bilva

Hindus in certain regions of India consider Bilva tree as ‘the tree of great success’ and therefore Hindus walk around the tree before starting any important work. It is said that Goddess Lakshmi once made Bilva tree her home and thus it is associated with the Goddess. The tree is also known as Shri Vriksha, the tree of prosperity and good fortune.

Agni Purana states that in some temples Goddess Lakshmi murti carries a bilva fruit in her left hand.

It is mentioned in Kurma purana that the fruits of Bilva tree is the breast of Goddess Lakshmi (Kurma Purana 2.18.19).

A story found in the Skanda Purana, once Bhagavan Vishnu was worshipping Shiva and He ran out holy offerings. Goddess Lakshmi who was present created the bilva tree to continue the offerings without a break. Vishnu Bhagavan plucked leaves from the tree and offered it to Shiva.

There is another belief that Goddess Lakshmi once took the form a cow and the bilva tree appeared the dung.

Another legend has it that Goddess Lakshmi did intense penance to propitiate Shiva. But Mahadev did not appear for a very long time and then Goddess Lakshmi became the bilva tree. Shiva then made the tree his abode.

During Durga Puja rituals, Goddess Lakshmi is invoked by touching the murti with a twig of the bilva tree.