“Laksmidevi does not bestow her favor on any materialistic person. Although sometimes a materialist becomes very opulent in the eyes of another materialist, such opulence is bestowed upon him by the goddess Durgadevi, a material expansion of the goddess of fortune, not by Laksmidevi herself. Those who desire material wealth worship Durgadevi with the following mantra: dhanam dehi rupam dehi rupa-pati-bhajam dehi. “”O worshipable mother Durgadevi, please give me wealth, strength, fame, a good wife and so on.”” By pleasing goddess Durga one can obtain such benefits, but since they are temporary, they result only in maya-sukha (illusory happiness). As stated by Prahlada Maharaja, maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan: those who work very hard for material benefits are vimudhas, foolish rascals, because such happiness will not endure. On the other hand, devotees like Prahlada and Dhruva Maharaja achieved extraordinary material opulences, but such opulences were not maya-sukha. When a devotee acquires unparalleled opulences, they are the direct gifts of the goddess of fortune, who resides in the heart of Narayana.

The material opulences a person obtains by offering prayers to the goddess Durga are temporary. As described in Bhagavad-gita (7.23), antavat tu phalam tesam tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam: men of meagre intelligence desire temporary happiness. We have actually seen that one of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wanted to enjoy the property of his spiritual master, and the spiritual master, being merciful toward him, gave him the temporary property, but not the power to preach the cult of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. That special mercy of the power to preach is given to a devotee who does not want anything material from his spiritual master but wants only to serve him. The story of the demon Ravana illustrates this point. Although Ravana tried to abduct the goddess of fortune Sitadevi from the custody of Lord Ramacandra, he could not possibly do so. The Sitadevi he forcibly took with him was not the original Sitadevi, but an expansion of maya, or Durgadevi. As a result, instead of winning the favor of the real goddess of fortune, Ravana and his whole family were vanquished by the power of Durgadevi (srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka).”

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Fifth Canto, Chapter 18 – Text 22

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