The circumstances under which Sri Vadiraja Swamy composed the Shri Shrishagunadarpana Stotra is very interesting.
The King of the Vijayanagara kingdom, Achyuta Raya lost all his wealth in the treasury. He approached Sri Vadiraja Swamy and pleaded for help. Sri Vadiraja then composed the Shri Shrisha Gunadarpana Stotra and taught him a certain method of chanting the same. He asked the King to chant the stotra and “Narayana Kavacha” in the form of a mala. Starting with the stotra, the King was to chant the Narayana Varma next and then the stotra once again. Sri Vadiraja asked the King to chant this combination one thousand times!
Some other scholars present with the King objected to this. Their contention was that the “Lakshmi Hrudaya” stotra was more powerful and forced the King to perform the 1000 repetitions using Lakshmi Hrudaya instead of the stotra. The King’s situation did not improve. When the King came back to Sri Vadiraja, Swamiji smilingly told him that though the Lakshmi Hrudaya was a very powerful stotra, it was cursed by Lakshmi herself.
Sri Vadiraja went on to narrate a story that a certain devotee had requested Lakshmi to shower him with wealth by chanting the Hrudaya. When Lakshmi told him that it was not in his Prarabda Karma to obtain the wealth, the devotee changed his name and insisted that it was equivalent to a rebirth now. Lakshmi showered him with wealth for a brief duration and then made the curse that the Hrudaya stop having its effect then on.
Sri Vadiraja’s story convinced the King. He went on to perform the Japa 1000 times. Needless to say, it worked!
It is believed that chanting the stotra in the above manner 1000 or 100 or 54 or 28 or 12 or 8 or 5 times is extremely beneficial.
Note: Maha Lakshmi is the Bhagya Devate and not just the giver of wealth, as is the common misconception.
Note: No stotra in Kali Yuga is a magic wand. Prarabda Karma and proper efforts are both required.
Note: You can download the stotra from the Mantras page.