Vedic reference to Alakshmi can be found in Sri Sukta.

क्षुत्पिपासां मलां ज्येष्ठामलक्ष्मीं नाशयाम्यहम्।

अभूतिमसमृद्धि च सर्वान् निर्णुद मे गृहात्॥

It is a prayer to Lakshmi Devi, Goddess of abundance and wealth that Alakshmi be driven away from home.

Alakshmi is responsible for hunger and thirst (poverty).

Thirst in this context also means greed and material pursuits.

Alakshmi is described as dirty and impure.

She is the elder sister (of Lakshmi).

She causes scarcity of everything including food and wealth.

Why is Alakshmi called Jyeshta?

Both Lakshmi and Alakshmi came out from the milky ocean while it was being churned.

Alakshmi came out first, hence she is called Jyeshta or the elder one.

Responsibilities of Alakshmi

मां प्रणम्य पुनर्देवा ममन्थुः क्षीरसागरम् ।

तस्मिन् प्रमथ्यमाने तु मया देवैश्च भाविनि ! ॥

ज्येष्ठा देवी समुत्पन्ना रक्तस्रग्वाससावृता ।

उत्पन्ना साब्रवीद्देवान् किं कर्त्तव्यं मयेति वै ॥

तामब्रुवंस्तदा देवीं सर्व्वे देवगणा भृशम् ।

येषां गृहान्तरे नित्यं कलहं संप्रवर्त्तते ॥

तत्ते स्थानं प्रयच्छामो वासस्तत्र शुभानने ! ।

यस्य गेहे कपालास्थिभस्मकेशादिचिह्नितम् ॥

परुषं भाषते नित्यं वदन्त्यनृतवादिनः ।

सन्ध्याकाले च ये पापाः स्वपन्ति मलचेतसः ॥

तेषां वेश्मनि संतिष्ठ दुःखदारिद्र्यदायिनी ।

कपालकेशभस्मास्थितुषाङ्गाराणि यत्र तु ॥

तत्र ते सततं स्थानं भविष्यति न संशयः ।

अकृत्वा पादयोः शौचं यस्त्वाचामति दुर्म्मतिः ॥

तं भजस्व सदा देवि ! कलुषेणावृता भृशम् ।

तृणाङ्गारकपालाश्मवालुकायसचर्म्मभिः ॥

दन्तधावनकर्त्तारो भविष्यन्ति नराधमाः ।

रमस्व कलिना देवि ! तेषां वेश्मसु नित्यशः ॥

तिलपिष्ठञ्च नक्तञ्च कालिङ्गशिग्रुगृञ्जनम् ।

छत्राकं विड्वराहञ्च विल्वकोषातकीफलम् ॥

अलावुश्रीफलं ये वै खादयन्ति नराधमाः ।

तेषां गृहे तव स्थानं देवि ! दारिद्र्यदे ! सदा ॥

इत्यादिश्य सुराः सर्व्वे ते ज्येष्ठां कलिवल्लभाम् ।

पुनश्च मन्थनं चक्रुः क्षीराब्धिं सुसमाहिताः॥

In the above passage from Padma Purana,  responsibilities of Alakshmi are described.

After coming out from the milky ocean, Alakshmi asked the Devas what was the purpose of her creation.

Devas told her that -

In whichever household frequent quarrels are there, she can go and live there.

She can also occupy a house where people talk to each other harshly.

Alakshmi can enter houses where inauspicious objects such as hair, skull and bones are kept.

She should spread poverty and misery in such places.

She should also enter places where people sleep during sunrise and sunset.

Alakshmi can catch hold of those who perform achamana without washing their feet first.

She can also attack those who brush their teeth with forbidden materials such as grass and leather.

She can also occupy households where forbidden food is consumed.

Alakshmi enjoys causing poverty and grief.

She can do so in the company of her husband Kali (Kali is the governing God of Kali-yuga; not to be confused with Goddess Kaali).

According to Ramayana, Alakshmi can occupy houses devoid of pujas, houses that are damaged and not repaired, and houses in which broken vessels are there.

Alakshmi’s clothes and garland are red in color.

Alakshmi in Linga Purana

In Linga Purana, Alakshmi is described as the wife of Dusshaha (दुष्षहः).

Dusshaha is another name for Kali.

She is to assist Dusshaha when he harasses atheists, the wicked, and those who insult Lord Vishnu.




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