By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Mahalaksmi, MahAlakSmi, Mahaalakshmi
The two aspects of Mahālakṣmi are:
- The first is the same as Lakṣmī, the consort of Viṣṇu.
- The second aspect, as depicted in the Devimāhātmya or Durgāsaptaśati, she is the same as Durgā or Pārvatī, who destroyed the demon Mahiṣāsura.
Portraiture of Mahālakṣmi
Mahālakṣmi is described as light red in complexion and seated on a lotus. She has eighteen arms holding various weapons and things like:
- Bow and arrow
As per Prādhānikarahasya
In the annexure to the same work known as Prādhānikarahasya, she is depicted as the first to appear before the other deities like Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara and their consorts. He believes that everything including the deities have emanated out of her. The Mahālaksmī sect is essentially Śākta in orientation.
The most famous temple dedicated to her is at Kolhāpur (also known as Karavīraksetra) in Maharashtra.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore