We may have all heard of the famous Kanakadhaara stotram. Kanaka refers to gold, while dhaara is its flow.
Whenever someone is impacted by financial troubles, the remedy suggested is this beautiful ode to Goddess Lakshmi. But why will she give us gold or money? Spirituality asks us to give up attachments and desires. Here on the other hand, we are asking for more?
A quick background is helpful to contextualise this: Adi Sankaracharya, as a young Brahmin boy, went to a poor lady’s house for alms for his lunch. The lady, mired in poverty, offered him the only possession she had – a single amla (gooseberry) fruit. Sankara was touched by her kindness and selflessness and sang 22 stanzas in praise of Goddess Lakshmi, which is now known as the Kanakadhaara stotram.
The Goddess appeared before him and asked why he had remembered her. Sankara implored her to reverse the lady’s fortunes by granting her riches.
But Goddess Lakshmi refused! She said the lady’s fate was bound to poverty due to karma from her prior births. Sankara pleaded for the Goddess to absolve the lady’s past sins and change her fate, saying that she has surely transformed spiritually now, given she gave away the only thing she had! Goddess Lakshmi was pleased and granted Sankara’s request, showering the lady’s house with golden gooseberries, aka the flow of gold.
To get some, we have to give some, or maybe give all!