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So I recently read the Vishnu Purana and was stunned that, contrary to what I had seen on a lot of shows, theee is not really a swayamvara for Lakshmi. She is venerated upon emerging but pretty much directly reunites with Vishnu. Implication being that they are already together and got separated so now they are reunited - the churning of the ocean is not Lakshmi Devi’s first ever appearance.

Is there any Purana that actually mentions a swayamvara? Also any Purana that specifically says Vishnu marries Bhu Devi?

So many of these stories seem to be exaggerated!!

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Srimad Bhagvatam Purana , Book 8 , chapter 8 verse 17-23 mentions the swayamvara. Look here

The relevant verses are

Holding in one of Her hands a wreath of lotuses with (a swarm of) black bees humming about it, and wearing a most charming face with a bashful smile playing on it and (brilliant) ear-rings hanging against Her lovely cheek, Goddess Sri, who (in the form of a golden streak)had (already) taken Her (permanent) abode in the auspicious bosom of Sri Hari, moved about (in search of a match of Her choice).(17) Having a pair of symmetrical and closely set breasts, painted with sandal-paste and saffron, and marked with an exceedingly slender waist and moving hither and thither (in that distinguished assemblage) accompanied by the sweet jingling of anklets, She shone like a (mobile) creeper of gold. (18) Looking out among the Gandharvas, Yaksas, Asuras, Siddhas, Caranas, gods (lit., the denizens of heaven) and others for a husband for Her—a husband free from blemish, eternal and possessed of everlasting virtues, She did not find any. (19) (She said to Herself:—)"There is no full control of anger in him of whom asceticism can be surely predicated. (Likewise) wisdom is found in some individuals; but it is not free from attachment. A third one is great (no doubt); but there is no complete mastery of concupiscence in him. And how can he be a lord, who depends (for his existence and power) on another ? (20) There is righteousness in some; but there is no love for living beings in them. (Again) there is liberality in some individuals; but in their case it is not conducive to Liberation (their liberality being actuated by some interested motives). (Similarly) there is prowess in a certain individual; but it is not immune from the ravages of Time. (And) surely he who is (entirely) free from attachment to the objects of senses cannot be a (fit) companion (inasmuch as he will choose to remain absorbed in abstract meditation and will have nothing to do with me). (21) There is long life in some; but there is no amiability nor auspiciousness (of the kind coveted by women). In some (others') there is amiability and auspiciousness too; but the duration of their life cannot be (easily) known. In some rare individual both these qualities (longevity as well as amiability) exist; but he too is inauspicious (in outward conduct). (Of course) there is one who is very auspicious too (besides being long-lived and amiable); but he does not long for me." (22) Having thus deliberated, Goddess Rama (Lakshmi) chose for Her husband (none other than) Lord Visnu (the Bestower of Liberation), the most worthy of all from the point of view of His everlasting virtues (such as righteousness and wisdom) and (absolute) independence, who is beyond the (three) Gunas (modes of Prakrti) and was coveted by Her, nay, who is wooed by all excellences, even though He does not feel interested in anyone.(23)

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