[Lavanya Deepak]

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Varalakshmi Vratham

Varalakshmi Vratham

[Lordess Ashta Lakshmi]

Friday August 4, 2006 is celebrated all across the southern states of India (AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharastra and Kerala) with deep piousness and devotion to the Lordess Mahalakshmi (the Lordess of Prosperity), which is known as Varalakshmi Vratham. Colloquially, in Tamil it is also known as Varalakshmi Nonbu.

The Goddess is also symbolized as Varalakshmi (aka) granter of boons. The festival is observed before the full moon day in the month of Aadi (July - August). This festival is predominantly observed by married women and girls and is significantly noted for its very strict adherance to certain austerities and practices.

The Rituals

Day Before:

  1. The house is cleaned the previous evening of the festival.
  2. A bronze or a silver pot filled with rice or water, coins, turmeric, a whole lime and a betel nut.
  3. A photograph of Lordess Lakshmi is adored with jewels and is placed in front of a cocunut.

On the Day:

  1. The next day morning (on the day of Varalakshmi Vratham), women sing a song near the specially erected pandal to welcome the Lordess.
  2. The poojas starting from prayers to Lordess Ganapathy and followed by prayers to Lordess Lakshmi are chanted. The significant prayers to Lordess Lakshmi are Lakshmi Astotram, Lakshmi Saharasranamam, Sri Sthuthi and Sri Sooktham.
  3. A yellow thread called saradu is worn by the ladies in thier right wrists. The women who are observing the fast eat the food that has been offered to the Lordess.
  4. In the evening, women visit one another and greet themselves with Thamboolam.

The Next Day (Punar Pooja):

  1. The holy water is sprinkled through out the house and/or the rice used in the Pooja is added to the storage.

Though it is significantly observed by women, everyone tries to visit Lordess Lakshmi temples. Here are the famous Lakshmi temples in India. Readers: Please feel free to update nearest temples that you visit and your Varalakshmi pooja in your area for the benefit of other readers.

  1. Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai
  2. Ashta Lakshmi Temple, Chennai