It is an interesting story--
Once Vishnu and Lakshmee had an argument about "who was greater" between them. Vishnu said that I am greater as wherever I live, the person does not know you; while Lakshmee's logic was that wherever You live, I also live there and then Vishnu is no more important to him. Now how to decide it? So they decided to test this....
Vishnu Comes to the King
There was a king who was living very peacefully in his kingdom and was ruling his kingdom in a very justified way. So first Vishnu went to him assuming the form of a Sanyaasee. The King welcomed Him and said to Him - "Please, welcome. We needed a Sanyaasee to live in our company. It is good that you have come here. Please live with us." Vishnu said - "I need a place to live." King was king, he did not have any shortage of anything, so within no time a place got ready for the Sanyaasee. Vishnu Jee started living there and the King started having Satsang, preachings, discussion on Ved and Mantra etc with Him. The days were passing in great peace and earning knowledge. The King was very happy with this environment. Raajya Lakshmee (the treasury of the kingdom) got converted into happiness and the kingdom became very peaceful.
Lakshmee Comes to the King
After a while Lakshmee came there assuming the form of a female beggar and said to the King - "Bhikshaam Dehi" (give me alms). The King thought, "She is a Mother, maybe She is hungry, so he arranged many kinds of food for Her. The Mother took out five golden pots from Her bag and said to the King - "Please put your food in these pots." The King got very surprised to see that a beggar had five golden pots to eat from. He said - "Brahme Vaachapprahee Lokaam, Hey Maataa, Bhojanam Mam Brahme". She ate Her food and said to the King - "Now you can take these pots, because I do not take food from the same pots twice." Hearing this the King was very much astonished. The King thought, "If she stays here for even a few days I will be very rich." He sent those golden pots inside his palace. Now She daily took food there and every time She gave 5 golden pots to the King. King was very happy.
When Lakshmee noticed that now the King has moved from his Dharm (it means that he moved from Vishnu too), one day She declared that now She wanted to go somewhere else. Hearing this the King became restless and said to Her sadly - "Where do you go, Maataa? Are you not happy here? Don't you get good food here? Do you need something else."
Lakshmee said - "No Its not like that, but I have my principles. Till you have that Sanyaasee in your Vaatikaa (garden), I cannot live here." The King could not think of Her relationship with Sanyaasee, still he said politely - "He is my honorable Guru. He educates me, I am His disciple. I cannot do this to Him." Lakshmee announced Her judgment - "Then I cannot live here." The King said - "Please, think of some way to stay back here." At this Lakshmee said - "Yes, There is way. If you do not go to him, nor you send Him food, He Himself will go away." The King was so much blind with wealth that he accepted Lakshmee's conditions and he did the same as Lakshmee told him. He stopped going to Sanyaasee and sending Him food too. After a while Vishnu left the place. Lakshmee continued to give golden pots to the King for some time.
Lakshmee Wants to Leave the King
After some time Lakshmee asked the King his permission to go away from there, that She wanted to go away. The King got very surprised to hear this, he again asked - "Now what happened, Maa? Why do you want to go away now? As you said I sent that Sanyaasee also from here and now you are also going away leaving me. This will be a curse for me." Lakshmee said - "No, O King, Now I cannot live here. He was my husband Vishnu. Wherever the husband lives, his wife also lives there. You have not given food to my husband, that is not Dharm. My husband is Dharm in person. You have insulted Dharm. Lakshmee is the wife of Dharm, so Lakshmee should be used properly." Saying this Lakshmee left the King's place. Surprisingly enough the golden pots which Lakshmee gave to the King got converted into worldly metal pots, as if they were never made of divine gold.
The King sat at in disappointment at the same place lowering his head, he said to himself - "What a great sin I have committed. I have sent that great Sanyaasee from my place and now my whole kingdom is also destroyed. What do I do now?"
Thus Lakshmee lives in his feet who knows his Self (Lakshmeem Brahm: Vaacho:); and if "Lakshmeem Brahme Vrataa:"; who does not worship Lakshmee (worship means "appropriate use") he loses Lakshmee. And who uses his wealth with Dharm, Lakshmee lives only in his house. And what is the appropriate use of wealth? Performing Yagya for Devtaa, performing good action through it. Whenever a person misuses it, he gets destroyed. When the Dharm is disregarded, then only the person starts misusing Lakshmee. Thus only Dharm is the protector of human being because if the person follows Dharm, he is wealthy, and if he has wealth, he can perform many good actions, and if he performs good actions, he attains meritorious regions after his death.