Varalakshmi Vratam is an important pooja performed by many women in the month of Sravanamasam / Aavani. In this month many women perform Mangalagouri vratam on Tuesdays and Mahalakshmi puja on Fridays.VaraLakshmi Vratham is performed on The 2nd firday of Sravana maasa or the firday before full moon day (Pournami).It is believed that worship of Goddess Lakshmi on this day will bring health, wealth and prosperity. Vara means boon. Needless to say, performing puja (in the form of a Vratam) to Goddess Varalakshmi will bring in boons to those who performs with utmost devotion. Those who fail to perform the Vratam can do it so on any other Friday of the Sravanamasam.
Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvati (learning), Priti (love), Kirti (Fame), Santi (Peace), Tushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength). Each one of these forces is called a Lakshmi and all the eight forces are called the Ashta Lakshmis or the eight Lakshmis of the Hindus. Vishnu is also called Ashta Lakshmi Padhi which is equivalent to saying that he is the asylum for the eight-Lakshmis or forces.
Lakshmi is a woman. So she will more readily sympathise with women. Hence this varalakshmi Vratam is performed by women invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on their family and bless them with health, wealth and prosperity.
Preparation of Varalakshmi Vratham :
Goddess Lakshmi loves cleaner and tidier homes. Hence,the pooja room and the house is cleaned on previous day itself. Puja related vessels are cleaned and polished. On the Puja day Women woke up early morning clean the pooja room and make kolam (rangoli) with rice flour.
Keep a flat wooden platform/ plate spread a blouse piece over it. Over the blouse piece spread a cup of rice . Place a cloth and spread some raw rice on it and place kalash on it. The Kalash is half-filled with water and decorated with betelleaves, usually five in number.The Kalash tray can be filled with turmeric, kumkum, sandalwood and other Pooja items..
The coconut is applied with turmeric and is richly decorated with kumkum. Now close it with with coconut with red cloth folded like pyramid,(look like a cap). The features of the Goddess are also drawn on the coconut to make the image of Her to facilitate worship. Jewelry is put round the coconut. Decorate and place some flowers.
Varalakshmi Vratam Story :
The story happens in a beautiful town called Kundinagaram located in the Kingdom of Vidarbha (Vidarba Rajyam). In that Kundinagram town, Goddess Adilakshmi, being pleased by her devotion tells Charumathi in a dream and directed her to perform the vrata to enable Her to fulfil her desires. Charumathi wakes up and tells her husband about the dream. Charumathi along with some neighbourhood women takes bath in the wee hours and prepare a mandapam and invites Varalakshmi Devi. She recites the following sloka along with other women with utmost faith and devotion.
Lakshmi Ksheerasamudra rajatanyam sri rangadhameswareem
Dasibootha samastha devavanitham lokaika deepamkuram
Sri manmanda kataksha labdhivibhat brahmendra gangadharam
Twamtrayamlokyakutumbhineem sasijavandemukunda priyam
Then she wore nine threads Thoranam to right hand and offers naivadyam to Goddess Lakshmi Devi. On the completion of the first circumstance, she heard she found Gajjelu, Andelu and other ornaments. On the second circumstance, they found kankanams made of navaratnams to their hands. On completion of the third circumstance, they found immense wealth. Then Charumathi offers Tambulam to the brahmin priests and distribute the vrata prasadam to the relatives and lead a happy life. Since then, Hindu women perform this vrata with utmost faith and trust till today. With this, Lord Eswara concludes telling the story to Goddess Parvathi.
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