Laxmi Puran Religious Text
Balaram Das, a major poet of Oriya literature, and considered as the senior most poet in the Age of Panchasakha wrote the Lakshmi Purana in 15th century . In this Purana, once the Goddess Lakshmi visited Shriya, a scavenger low caste woman , for which Balaram, the elder brother of Jagannath (Lord Vishnu) got angry with Lakshmi, and she was turned out from Jagannath Temple of Srikhetra or Puri, one of the four most sacred place places of pilgrimage (Dham) of the Hindus. Lakshmi leaves the temple, and avenges the insult by cursing her husband and elder brother-in-law to go through a prolonged ordeal without food, water or shelter. The Purana raises voice against the evil practices of Untouchability in society. It also stresses importance on feminism, and empowers the female power to resist male hegemony. It is perhaps the first attempt in India towards feminism. The Purana describes the social structures and gender inequality persisting in the society. It is also a protest against male hegemony. Lakshmi was thrown out of her home by her husband. But it also gives a guideline for the women to perform their duties and responsibilities honestly.