Adi Sankaracarya was born at Kaladi during the eight century at a time when Sanatana Dharma was at state.

Nirisvara vada was at its peak. Superstition was highest. Animal sacrifices were furious and dreaded, internecine fights between the worshippers of Sakti, Surya, Ganapati, Visnu and Siva took ugly turn i.e., the Sakteya, the Soura, the Ganapataya.The vaisna and Saiva cults lost their mutual identity and understanding.  It was Sankaracarya who cemented the bonds among all the five cults by instituting panacayatanpuja incorporating all the five Gods and making every body understand that worship of one God amounts to worship of all by his Advaita Siddhanta.

He established five peettahs one at Sringeri in the south at Karnataka for the propagation of Yajurveda, the second on the East at Puri in Orissa for Rkveda and third at Dwaraka for Sama Veda in the West at Gujarat and the fourth at Badari in North in Uttar Pradesh for Atharvana Veda.  These four pittahs are effectively functioning even to day as per the priciples and procedures laid down by Bhagavatpada Sri Sankaracarya.  Sankaracarya during his Brahmacari Bhikshatana one day visited the house of a poor Brahmin lady, whose husband also went to the village for Bhiksha and nothing was available in the house to offer.  She was very much upset and worried that she could not offer any thing to such a great person who came to her house.  She earnestly searched for some thing to be given in her house.  At last she found an Amla fruit (Emblic myrobalan).  She was feeling very shy to offer but she gave it with all humility and respect in the bowl of Sankaracarya.  Sri Sankaracarya was very much moved at the sight of the poverty, stricken woman and immediately in an extempore way started imploring Goddess Lakshmi to be merciful towards this poor Brahmin lady to drive away her poverty.

He recited twenty two slokas in praise of Goddess Lakshmi Who was very much pleased and appeared (Satkshathkara) before Sankaracarya and asked for his cause and all of prayer.

Sankaracarya pleaded her to grant riches to the Brahmin lady.

Goddess Lakshmi said that this Brahmin lady did not qualify to get any riches in this life as she did not to do any charities in her previous life and carry consideration and she deserves sufferance and justified her stand of not confering any wealth on her.

Sankaracarya while accepting her sand replied that in this life she gave him Amla fruit with very great reverence inspiteof not having any thing due toher extreme poverty and this act ofher alone will justify to shower riches on her. 

Hearing upon this Goddess Lakshmi was greatly moved and immensely pleased with the advocacy of the argument of Sri Sankaracarya and showered instantly golden rain of Amla fruits (Emblic myrobalan).

Thus the stotra of Sankaracarya towards Goddess Lakshmi was sacred, famous and popular known as Kanakadhara Stotra.  Bhagavatpada Sankaracarya’s Kanakadhara  Stotra also called by him as Surarnadhara Stotra studded with Anugraha Bijakshar as aiming at Sri Lakshmi.

Lakshmi in her manifestation is Arogya Lakshmi (giver of health), Keerti Lakshmi (bestower of name and fame), Santana Lakshmi (blesses children and continuing progeny), Vijaya Lakshmi (ensures victory in all the efforts), Dhana Lakshmi (Showers continuing wealth, Dhanya Lakshmi (restores abundant crops), Moksha Lakshmi (grants liberation), Sowbhagya Lakshmi (unending harmony and auspiciousness), Santa Lakshmi (giving peace).  Thus she is apparently one in all the eight forms (Ashta Lakshmi) who also confers Ashta Siddhis, which are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Eesitva and Vasitva.

Sankaracarya with (Lokanugra Drusti) eye on the welfare of the people has recited the Kanakadhara Stotra to alleviate the sufferance of the people in their variety and grant them all the boons of Asta Lakshmi.

If one has all the Wealth and no health, wealth ceases to have any significance.  Like wise the important of all manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi.  If one has wealth, health and no children all these will be futite.  Hence Lakshmi (Asta Lakshmi manifestation fulfill all desires.

The prayer of Lakshmi is aimed to grant the missing wants of the devotees by the Goddess.

In Gayatri Mahamantra the Second pada “Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi” has the Beejakshara “Sreem” of Sree Lakshmi and represents yajurveda and “Aham Brahmasmi”

Adwaita Siddhanta of Sri Sankaracarya.  Sree Maha Devi seated on the Hrdaya (chest) of Sri Visnu carries all the power of him coupled with her Sakti.

Sankaracarya while reciting the Kanakadhara Stotra brought out alike the greatness and glory of Visnu ventilated that such divinity was being presided by Sree Lakshmi.

Lakshmi Devi was being extolled in all her eight qualifying manifestations as (Asta Lakshmi) and her varied boons to be conferred on the those who are desirous of them.

There are three slokas in ancient palmyra leaves in addition to the twenty two slokas said to have been recited by Adi Sankaracarya.

These three are also incorporated for the benefit of the devotees since they fall in line with the main slokas in their spirit.  These slokas were brought to the notice by Brahmasri Bhutapuri subrahmanya sarma with great benediction, which are as follows.

1.  Bilvatavi Madhya lasatsaroje
    Sahasra patre sukhi sannivistam |
    Astapadambhuruha panipadmam
    Stuvarna Varnam pranamami lakshmeem ||

Bilvatavi madhye = In the middle of bilva garden; Sahasra patre = with thousand petals; Lasat = emitting light; saroje = In the lotus; sukha sannivistam = Sitting happily; Astapada mhuruha = The eight petalled golden lotus flower; panipadmam = lotus like hands, holding them; suvarna varnam = having golden hue colour; lakshmim = OH! Rama Devi (the wife of Visnu); pranamam = Salutations to you.

OH! Sri Maha Lakshmi who is adorning in the middle of the thousand petalled lotus in Bilva Vana, Holding Golden Lotuses in her hand, possessing golden hue colour. To her my Salutations.

2. Kamala sana panina lalate
    Likhita mokshara punkti masya jantoh |
    Parimarjayam mata ranghrinate
    Dhanika dvara nivasa dukha doghrim ||

Kamala sanapanina  =  with the hand of Brahma;  Asyajantoh  =  To this living being;  Lalate  =  on the fore head;  likhitam  =  having been written;  Dhanika  =  People with wealth;  Dvara  =  at the door steps;  Nivasa  =  due to the fact of residing there;  Dukha  =  Sorrow;  Dogdhrim  =  resulting in;  Akshara panktim  =  the letters (the fate) written on the fore head (face), Matah = OH! Mother; Te = your Anghrina = with your feet; Parimarjaya = wipe it out.

OH! Mother Goddess; remove my fate having been written by Brahma that I have to stand and work at the doorsteps of the wealthy people and drive away such situation and purify me.

3.  Amho ruham janma gruham bhavatya 
    Vaksha sthalam bhartu gruham murareh
    Karunyatah kalpaya padma vase |
    Leelagruham mehrudaya ravindam ||

Ambhoruham = Lotus; Janmagruham = Mother’s house; Bhavatya = Forour sake; Vakshasthalam = the chest; Bhartugruham = The house of husband; murareh = The enemy of Murasura i.e. Sri Maha Visnu; Me = Belonging to me; Karunyatah = with all benevolence; Kalpaya = Create them; padmavase = The one that lives on lotus; Lilagruham = As the pompous house; Hrdayaravindam = As the lotus of mind.

OH! MahaLakshmi!  Your origin and birthplace is Lotus flower.  Your aunt’s house (husband’s mother) also is the Chest of Sri Maha Visnu.  Like wise make my lotus heart as pompous and enjoyable house and make me ever grateful to you.  Lotus has a special bearing on Goddess Maha Lakshmi.  She is born on the lotus and her eyes are like lotus and her hands resempble lotus.

Lotus leaves contain Gold and eating on the lotus leaf enhances health.  In Gayatri Homam red lotus flowers are collected and dipped in Ghee and offered in Havis in Homa Khund with the Swahakara Mantra of Gayatri to propriate Goddess Lakshmi to obtain Gold.  Several Hundreds of red lotuses are offered in Gayatri Maha Yajna depending upon the purascaran as and the desires of the disciples.

Futher persons interested in Soura Jajna (i.e. Yaga of Sun God) the Homa Kunda has to be prepared digging a wide pit measuring upto knee, fill it with water and upon it spread lotus leaves and on them the twigs of lotus plants and above them lotus flowers, to make it as a flat form.

On this open space on the flatform place fire lit it as usual and perform, Boma with mantras in the Agni Kunda.  By performing this yajna of Sun God, the paramatma residing in the middle of Surya mandala will be immensely pleased and he will obtain liberation(Arunam).

Lord Narayana’s abode is Nira (water) and Narayani (Lakshmi) stays on lotus on the water.Water is available before srusti and cause of srustis water only.

Sankaracarya ventilated in this small, concise and powerful Kanakadhara Stotra the impregnated truth of dive splendour and his mission to grant happiness and peace to the ennobling people.  Bhagavatpada prayed and wrote powerful and protracted hymns on every diety he visited during his wide travels along the length and breadth of this Country.

Hinduism owes its existence today to Adi Sankaracarya for its renaissance and his exposotion of Hindu pantheon.  Kanakadhara Stotra thus enhances our vision and bestows the grace of Sri Lakshmi to fulfill our desires.

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

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