Friday, August 20, 2010

Mahalakshmi-Varalakshmi Vrata Puja

Varalakshmi Vratam or Varalakshmi Vrata is a special ritual performed by married women in South India, particularly in the regions of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Varalakshmi Vrata Festival is celebrated to worship and seek the blessings of Goddess Varalakshmi, one of the Ashta Lakshmi or Ashtalakshmi (eight Lakshmis). Goddess Varalaksmi, the Goddess who bestows Beautiful Boons, and is considered as the Goddess of wealth, power and prosperity. Vara Lakshmi Vratam is observed on Friday before the full moon day during the month of Sravan or Aadi (July - August).

How to perform the Varalakshmi Vrata Pooja?

The preparation for the Varalakshmi Vrat puja starts in the evening before the day of worship. The place where puja is performed should be cleaned thoroughly. Usually, the women decorate the place with rangolis and flowers. A kalasam (bronze pot) is filled with water or rice and coins, betel leaves, betel nut and mango leaves and decorated with turmeric, sandal paste, vermillion, with a new cloth tied around its neck. A coconut is rubbed with turmeric paste around it and kept on the top of the kalasam. The mango leaves are made to fall on the sides of the kalasam. An image of Goddess Lakshmi (made of any kind of materials) is fixed on the pot. Then arathi is taken to the kalasam.

Next morning, the kalasam is placed on raw rice and then the Varalakshmi pooja starts, with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. Varalakshmi slokas, Ashtalakshmi Stotram, and Lakshmi Sahasranamam are recited throughout the pooja. Sweets, fruits and flowers are offered to Goddess. At the end of the Varalakshmi puja, women tie yellow colored threads to their wrists. Thamboolam (betel leaves, betel nuts fruits, turmeric and dakshna (money) are offered to other sumangalis (married women) who are invited for the pooja. Fasting is observed by the women who perform the pooja. The water in the pot is sprinkled in the house on the next day.

History of Varalakshmi Vrata

Legends say that Vara Lakshmi Vrata pooja was stated by Lord Parameswara to be performed by his consort Parvathi, to get prosperity for the family. Hence, it is followed by married women to seek boons (varam) for the health, wealth and knowledge for their family.

Importance of Varalakshmi Vrat

It is believed that observing Varalaksmi Vratham would bless a woman with eight forces or energies, namely, Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Saraswati (learning), Priti (love), Kirti (Fame), Santhi (Peace), Tushti (Pleasure) and Pushti (Strength).

Hindu Devotional Blog - Tamil Festivals

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