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Varalakshmi Vratam

The traditional month of Sravanamasam / Aavani is considered to be very auspicious especially for
women. Women perform the famous Mangalagouri vratam on Tuesdays and Mahalakshmi puja on
Fridays during the month. Varalakshmi Vratam is the most important of festivals of them all.
Varalakshmi vratam happens to be a sacred day for the Hindus. Popularly known as “Varalakshmi
Vrata” it is performed by married Hindu ladies on Friday before the full moon day during the month of
Sravana(August). Those who are unable to perform it on that day can do it on any of the Friday
during that particular month.

The Vratha is performed more in the Southern part of India in states such as Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu and also in some parts of Orissa and Maharashtra.

The puja is performed by Hindu women who are married to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu, who
is considered to be the God of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that worship of Goddess Lakshmi
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. This puja is performed by the women folk irrespective of their caste and creed.

The name Varalakshmi can be interpreted in two ways. In one sense, Varalakshmi is one who grants
boons. In another, she is the Goddess who is invited into the home and honored. The different types
of benefits that will accrue thanks to performing the Varalakshmi puja are Dhan (Money), Dhanyam
(Gains or Food), Arogyam (Health), Sampath (Property), Sathsanthanam (Virtuous offspring) and
Dheerga saumangalyam (Longevity of the husband).

Significance

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. In fact, Vishnu representing the preservative
aspect of the universe, radiates these forces from him. These forces are personified and worshipped
as Lakshmis, since abstract force is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary people. As health,
wealth and prosperity depend upon the rythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said
to be to obtain these three. Only a woman can sympathise with women. Lakshmi is a woman. So
she will more readily sympathise with women. Hence this festival is observed largely by women,
invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children.

Varalakshmi Nomu believed to be the day in which Goddess Lakshmi was born from Sea falls on
July 31, 2009. Praying to Goddess on this day is said to be equivalent to worshiping Ashtalakshmi
(the eight goddess of wealth, earth, learning, love, fame, peace, pleasure, and strength) especially
Dhanalakshmi. That is the reason why families also have a habit of buying gold jewellery or gold
coins during Varalakshmi Vratam, as a sign of welcoming Dhanalakshmi into their houses.
Varalakshmi Vratam is performed by married women for the welfare of their husband, children and
household. It is believed that if one worships Goddess Lakshmi on this day, she will present the
entire family the gift of health, wealth, peace and happiness.

Legend of Varalakshmi Vratam

Varalakshmi Vratam Story

One day when Lord Eswara is relaxing in Kailasa giri, Goddess Parvathi approached Him and asked
him to tell a vrata that gives wealth and prosperity. The Lord tells her that performing Varalakshmi
Vratam will bring in sowbagyam to the women folk. He narrates the story and explains the process of
performing the vrata to Goddess Parvathi. This vrata has to be performed on Friday that falls before
Poornima in Sukla Paksham in Sravanamasam.

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. Varalakshmi Astottaranamavali is
recited

As the legend goes, this is a pooja that was pronounced by no other than Lord Parameswara to be
performed by his consort Parvathi to seek prosperity and happiness for the family. Thus it came to
be emulated by married women who sought boons (varam) for the health, wealth and knowledge for
the entire family. In some cases, women prayed for being blessed with children. The prescribed day
for the pooja is the Friday of the month of Sravan in the fortnight known as Sukla paksha, preceding
the full moon day.
Another Legend or Story of Vara Laxmi Vratram is explained here. Vara Laxmi Vrata is observed on
the Friday which comes before Shravan Purnima during Shravan month. Charumathi, a Brahmin
woman lived in a town, Kundina. She was very humble and kind in her nature. She was very much
devoted to her husband and family.

One night, Goddess Laxmi appeared in her dream and told her to worship Vara Laxmi and seek her
blessings. Goddess Laxmi also explained the Vrata procedure and the best day to observe Vara
Laxmi Vrata. Laxmi asked Charumathi to observe Varalaxmi Vrata on the Friday just before Shravan
Purnima, the Full Moon day in Shravan Month.

Charumathi informed about the dream to his husband and family. She also told to her friends and
the word spread throughout the town. On the Friday before Shravan Purnima, Charumathi along with
her family, friends and the women of the town observe Vara Laxmi Vrata. They worshipped Vara
Laxmi with utmost devotion and offered special recipes and fruits to please her.

Goddess Vara Laxmi appeared before them and granted boons to all of them. Their houses were
filled with grains, diamonds, jewels and gold. They all lived happily in their rest of life. Since the time,
women have begun observing Vara Laxmi Vrata every year on the specific Friday.

Celebration of Varalakshimi Vratam

Women tidy their home, keep it clean. The front yard is decorated with rangolis (colorful design
drawn on the floor). They wear beautiful clothes and deck themselves up with jewelry. Married
women perform the puja and invite neighboring ladies in the evening to receive offerings. Devotional
songs are sung in praise of the deity.

Preparation for Varalakshmi Vratham

Ancient texts say that those who perform the puja have to observe fast on the eve of Varalakshmi
Vratam. The preparation for the puja begins few days before the actual puja day. Women shop gold
ornaments and new clothes (that are placed before the Goddess Lakshmi on the puja day). Goddess
Lakshmi loves cleaner and tidier homes. Hence, it is a general practise to make the house clean and
tidy the day before the puja day itself. Puja related vessels are cleaned and polished. The actual
puja day will be a very busy one. Women gets up early in the morning (during Brahma Kalam) and
take bath. The household should be cleaned and the entrances of the house are smeared with
turmeric powder. Kum kum marks are applied. A small Mantapam (or mandapam) is set up by
drawing rangoli. Rice is spread on the rangoli and a kalasa is placed on the rice. The kalasa
comprises of a small pot on which a coconut is placed. The coconut is applied with turmeric and is
richly decorated with kumkum. Atop the coconut, a cloth is placed to 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. Flowers are used to enhance the decoration.

Lord Ganesh is worshipped first which is the usual practice before any puja or ritual. The main puja
of Varalakshmi Vratam is performed after that. Special eateries (called pindi vantalu) are cooked.
According to the legend, a brahmin woman Charumathi, an ideal housewife serving her in laws and
husband dutifully has a dream in which Goddess Mahalakshmi appears and asks her to perform
puja to Varalakshmi. She, therefore, organizes the puja and invites her friends and relatives to the
puja, after which Charumathi as well as all those who attend were bestowed wealth.

Ritual of Varalakshmi Vratam

One method of making kalasam exists where only gold jewellery is placed within the kalasam and is
partially filled with holy water from any river. This method is gaining ground among the society as
this also adds to the families riches in the form of jewellery. The puja begins by arranging the
kalasha or what is known as the sacred pot. The pot is filled up with water and rice symbolizing
prosperity. It is then covered with mango as well as betel leaves . Then a coconut that is smeared
with vermillion and turmeric powder is placed on the Kalasha. A new cloth is placed on the coconut.
Some decorate the Kalasha with jewels to make it appear more beautiful. The puja starts with the
worship of Lord Ganesha, who is considered to help in getting rid of obstacles as well as evil forces.
Subsequently, the devotees invoke Goddess Varalakshmi to enter the Kalasha. Then torams ( it
consists of nine threads with about nine knots) are worshipped and one is tied around the Kalasha,
while another one is tied on the right hand of the woman, who is performing the puja. Then they
chant Lakshmi Ashtottara Shatanamam (it is a list consisting of a hundred names praising the
Goddess). Nine types of sweets as well as savories are offered to the Goddess. Hymns are sung in
praise of the deity. Another woman is invited; who is considered to be Goddess Varalakshmi and
sweets as well savories are offered. In the evening all the ladies in the locality are invited and are
offered tamboolam (betel leaves, betel nuts fruits, turmeric as well as dakshna (money). Together
they sing songs in praise of the Goddess.

Varalakshmi Vratam is an auspicious occasion for a married Hindu woman. She prays for prosperity
and wealth in her home. The deity is worshipped through an elaborate puja.

Varalakshmi Astottaranamavali
Om prakrutyi namaha
Om Vikrutyi namaha
Om Vidyayai namaha
Om Sarwabhoota hita pradai namaha
Om Sraddayai namaha
Om Vibootai namaha
Om Surabhai namaha
Om Paramatmikamai namaha
Om Vache namaha
Om Padmalai namaha
Om Padmai namaha
Om Suchai namaha
Om Swahai namaha
Om Swathatai namaha
Om Dhanyai namaha
Om Hiranmai namaha
Om Lakshmai namaha
Om Nityapushatai namaha
Om Vibhaavarayai namaha
Om Adityai namaha
Om Deeptai namaha
Om Vasudaai namaha
Om Kamalayai namaha
Om Kantayai namaha
Om Kamakshai namaha
Om Rakrodasambhavai namaha
Om Anugrahapradayai namaha
Om Buddai namaha
Om Anughooai namaha
Om Harivallabhai namaha
Om Asokhai namaha
Om Amrutai namaha
Om Deeptai namaha
Om Lokasokavinasinai namaha
Om Dharmanilayai namaha
Om Karunai namaha
Om Lokamatrai namaha
Om Padmapriyai namaha
Om Padmahastai namaha
Om Padmashai namaha
Om Padmasundrai namaha
Om Padmodbhavai namaha
Om Padmamukhai namaha
Om Padmamaladharai namaha
Om Ramaaai namaha
Om Daivai namaha
Om Padminai namaha
Om Padmagandhinai namaha
Om Punyagandhayai namaha
Om Suprasannai namaha
Om Prasadabhimukhai namaha
Om Prabhai namaha
Om Chandravadanai namaha
Om Chandrai namaha
Om Chandrasahodarai namaha
Om Chaturbhujai namaha
Om Chandraroopai namaha
Om Indirai namaha
Om Induseetalai namaha
Om Ahladajannai namaha
Om Pushtai namaha
Om Sivai namaha
Om Sivakartai namaha
Om Satai namaha
Om Vimalai namaha
Om Viswajannai namaha
Om Pushtai namaha
Om Daridraynasinai namaha
Om Preetipushkaranai namaha
Om Santai namaha
Om Sukla malyambarai namaha
Om Srivai namaha
Om Bhaskarai namaha
Om Bilwanilayai namaha
Om Vararohai namaha
Om Yasiswai namaha
Om Vasunadharai namaha
Om Vudaaragai namaha
Om Harinyai namaha
Om Hemamalinai namaha
Om Dhanadhayakartai namaha
Om Siddiai namaha
Om Shtanasowmayai namaha
Om Subhapradai namaha
Om Nrumavesmagataa nandanai namaha
Om Varalakshmai namaha
Om Vasupradaai namaha
Om Hiranyaprakrai namaha
Om Samudratanai namaha
Om Jayai namaha
Om Mangaladevai namaha
Om Mangalai namaha
Om Devayai namaha
Om Vishnuvakshastalastitai namaha
Om Vishnupatnai namaha
Om Prasannshai namaha
Om Nnarayana samasritrai namaha
Om Daridradamsai namaha
Om Daivai namaha
Om Sarvopradavarinai namaha
Om Navadurgai namaha
Om Mahakalai namaha
Om Brahamavishnusivatmikai namaha
Om Trikalagyana sampanai namaha
Om Bhuvaneswarai namaha
Om Varalakshmai namaha