Dive into (author of Story Power) Kate Farrell’s retelling of the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi- story by Sydney Solis.
Along time ago there was a King named Rawal Prithvi Singh. He had conquered many lands and became very prosperous. His city and palace of Jaiselmer were beautiful and marveled by all—a great testament of his success. However, his success made him foolish and narrow-minded.
One day a merchant came to the palace to sell the King some valuable and precious jewels. The King wanted to show off his extreme wealth. He purchased all of the glimmering jewels and diamonds, then ordered them tossed into a ditch.
This foolishness and arrogance infuriated the Goddess Lakshmi. “I’ll teach him a lesson,” she said. She cast a spell on him and led him into gambling.
The King quickly lost everything. Despondent and humiliated, the King left his kingdom in poverty, along with his wife, the beautiful, intelligent, and clever Rohini. The couple ended up staying on the outskirts of the city of Patan to try their luck. Now, Rohini was not only beautiful, intelligent, and clever, but a great devotee of Vishnu as well.
“There must be a spell on my husband,” she thought. “I will meditate and fast and perform pujas to break this spell and restore our prosperity.”
One day after her meditation and ritual, she stepped out of her hut and worshipped the tulsi tree. There she saw a dead snake. Just then, a bird with a necklace in its beak swooped down, dropped the necklace and snatched the snake before flying off again.
“This is a sign from God!” Rohini exclaimed.
The necklace belonged to the Queen of Patan, who was bathing in a lake and had left her necklace with her clothing on the shore when the bird took it. After bathing, the Queen was bewildered at what could have happened to her necklace and announced a reward for its return. News swept quickly through the city, and King Rawal—who was in the city at the time—heard the news as well. Upon returning home, he narrated the story to his wife.
“Oh, husband!” Rohini cried. “I am overjoyed at this news! We must go to the palace at once and explain how this necklace came to me!”
Rohini and her husband appeared before the Queen and King of Patan, told the story and returned the necklace. The Queen was overjoyed to have the necklace back and asked Rohini what kind of a reward she would like to have.
“I do not desire money nor land,” Rohini said. “All I wish is that on Diwali night, no house in the whole city, including the palace, shall be lit with lamps. Only my hut will have lamps. Those who want to light lamps may come to my hut and light them around it.”
The King and Queen were surprised by this wish, but agreed to grant it.
Diwali soon came, and the King ordered Rohini’s request. The whole Kingdom was dark. That night, the Goddess Lakshmi arrived, expecting to see the lamps light her way to their homes. She was surprised that all she found was blackness. Except in the distance, outside the kingdom, at Rohini’s hut— there she saw the light.
Lakshmi approached her hut, but Rohini was at the door with a stick and barred the Goddess from entering.
“Dear Goddess, please lift the spell from my husband. Promise to help get our kingdom back and grant us prosperity once again,” Rohini begged. “Then I will let you in.”
“It is done. I promise.” The Goddess said.
A large smile crept across Rohini’s face. She allowed the goddess to enter her hut, where Lakshmi spent the entire night and blessed the couple.
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