prīyethā me mahā-bhāge
loka-mātar namo ’stu te
viṣṇu-patni—O wife of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-māye—O energy of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-puruṣa-lakṣaṇe—possessing the qualities and opulences of Lord Viṣṇu; prīyethāḥ—kindly be pleased; me—upon me; mahā-bhāge—O goddess of fortune; loka-mātaḥ—O mother of the world; namaḥ—obeisances; astu—may there be; te—unto you.
[After profusely offering obeisances unto Lord Viṣṇu, the devotee should offer respectful obeisances unto mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, and pray as follows.] O wife of Lord Viṣṇu, O internal energy of Lord Viṣṇu, you are as good as Lord Viṣṇu Himself, for you have all of His qualities and opulences. O goddess of fortune, please be kind to me. O mother of the entire world, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.
The Lord has multifarious potencies (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate). Since mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is the Lord’s very precious potency, she is addressed here as mahā-māye. The word māyā means śakti. Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme, cannot exhibit His power everywhere without His principal energy. It is said, śakti śaktimān abheda: the power and the powerful are identical. Therefore mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is the constant companion of Lord Viṣṇu; they remain together constantly. One cannot keep Lakṣmī in one’s home without Lord Viṣṇu. To think that one can do so is very dangerous. To keep Lakṣmī, or the riches of the Lord, without the service of the Lord is always dangerous, for then Lakṣmī becomes the illusory energy. With Lord Viṣṇu, however, Lakṣmī is the spiritual energy.
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