The Story Behind The Kanakadhara Stotram

The Story Behind The Kanakadhara Stotram

Kanakadhara means “stream” (dhārā) of “gold” (kanaka). Kanakadhara Stotram is a hymn (stotra) composed in Sanskrit by the legendary hindu saint and philosopher Sri Adi Sankaracharya. It consists of 21 stanzas praising goddess Lakshmi. Only Goddess Lakshmi can change one’s destiny or fortunes.

The hymn was written in the 8th century CE by Adi Sankara, a revered Hindu philosopher, Jagad Guru(Master to the world).  Sankara took Sanyasa at the age of eight.

 

One day, as a young boy, he was on bhiksha for alms to prepare his lunch and happened upon the doorstep of a very poor Brahmin lady. Having nothing edible in her home, the lady frantically searched her house, only to find a single amla (gooseberry) fruit which she then hesitantly offered to Sankara. Sankara was so moved by the incredible kindness and selflessness of this woman that he burst forth into poetry and sang 22 stanzas in praise

of Goddess Lakshmi.

 

 

 

 

Pleased by the beauty and power of the hymn, the Goddess appeared before him and asked him why he had remembered her. Sankara pleaded with the Goddess to reverse the fortunes of this lady’s family by granting her riches. At first, Goddess Lakshmi refused to do so, saying that the lady had not been charitable in her previous birth and was bound by the laws of karma to have a fate bound to poverty in her current birth. Sankara implored the Goddess that the lady’s act of absolute selflessness should absolve her of her sins of the past and that Lakshmi was the only one capable of changing the fate of someone by erasing or changing the writings of the future made by Lord Brahma. Goddess Lakshmi was so pleased that she instantly showered the lady’s house with goose berries made of pure gold.

 

 

 

By: Vihan, 11yrs

 

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