Somavarma and the 8 Lakshmis
Today I’ll tell you all a beautiful story told by my grandmother:
There was a prosperous and righteous king called Somavarma who ruled his large kingdom with dharma and he was known for his charity.
One day, Indra disguises himself as a Brahmin and comes to Somavarma. After all rituals and formalities of welcoming the Brahmin are completed, the king asks him what his need is, and the Brahmin says that he wants all of the king's wealth.
The king readily agrees to it, invokes all the 8 Lakshmis and requests them to leave with the Brahmin. Subsequently, He is parted with everything except his enormous Gow Santati. Indra accepts it all and takes away the 8 Lakshmis with him.
As Indra and the Lakshmis walk away from the kingdom, each Lakshmi one by one vanishes from Indra's side, leaving him confused. He encounters Narada muni and enquires about this, and Narada replies, Lakshmi is only stable in Gowmata and is vulnerable everywhere else, and hence becomes Maya.
All the Lakshmis one by one return back to Somavarma.
This is the reason why in Uttaragograhanam in Mahabharata, Gowmatas are considered such an important entity of wealth, and are valued so highly.