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The Lakshmi Ashtakam which starts as

Indra uvācha:

Namosthesthu Maha Maye,
Sree peede, sura poojithe,
Sanka , chakra, Gadha hasthe,
Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe. 1

Namasthe garudarude,
Kolasura bhayam kari,
Sarva papa hare , devi,
Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe. 2 ...

Who is the composer of this ashtaka? Is it Indra as its starts as Indra uvācha or someone else? Where else does this get referred to?

Also, it is believed that Goddess Sri Lakshmi is fully loaded with karuna and had never punished anyone. In that case the phrase Kolasura bhayam kari means that she killed Kolasura, after which the name of the city Kolhapur has arrived:

Hindu mythology holds that Kolhapur was founded by Kolhasur, a Rakshasha (demon spirit). Kolhasur was killed by Lakshmi(Ambabai) ( or Mahalakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity). Kolhasura's dying wish was to have the city named after him and his wish was granted.

What is the backing for the statement that she killed Kolasura or any other asura for that matter?

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I'm answering the first part of your question regarding the composer and the source of the Mahalakshmi Ashtakam.

The composer is Indra ,the king of Gods, and the Ashtaka is found in the Padma Purana.

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