Today is Varalakshmi Vratham. a popular festival of married ladies in the Southern States of India – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and also Maharashtra. Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu and the goddess of power, wealth and prosperity is worshipped today. Also, traditionally prayers are offered to the Goddess first as because of her kind heart, she will intercede with Lord Vishnu for granting any boon.
The name Varalakshmi itself 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 honoured. The different types of benefits that will accrue thanks to performing the Varalakshmi puja are “dhan” (money), “dhanyam” (grains or food), “arogyam” (health), “sampath” (property), “sathsanthanam” (virtuous offspring) and “dheerga saumangalyam” (longevity of the husband).
Origins of the puja
One of the stories suggests that it was a game of dice which caused a small tiff between Lord Shiva and Parvati as to who was the victor. An honest gana, Chitranemi, was asked to arbitrate and he decided in Shiva’s favour. An angry Parvati cursed him to suffer from leprosy. When Shiva pleaded with her, she gave in and said the day women in the world observed Varalakshmi puja, Chitranemi would get deliverance. Chitranemi got relief when he observed some women performing the puja. Ever since then, this vratham has been observed.
Saarumathy is said to have celebrated this pooja first.
How to do the puja
Performing the Varalakshmi puja is said to be equivalent to worshipping all the different forms of Lakshmi. The evening before the day of the puja, the area for its performance is
During the day of the Vratham, make the house very clean and put rangoli on the floors, set up an area about 1 feet in width and height and one that place a plate spread the rice in it. On the rice, place a small Silver Vessel (or) any other good vessel. Decorate the vessel applying it with Sandalwood (Sandanam), Kumkum, Flowers and a Coconut smeared with Turmeric powder. Chant the Sri Lakshmi Prayer and finally dedicate sweets towards Sri Lakshmi. Before that, tie a small thread that is smeared with Turmeric with 9 knots in it and keep this towards the Kalasam (the vessel). After the offerings are made, tie the knotted thread around the neck.
After the puja is over, give the Turmeric and Kumkum to everyone and tie the thread around the right hand.
The Lakshmi Sahasranam is chanted during the puja. Some slokas are
Sri Lakshmi Gayathri
“Om Maha Lakshmyacha vithmahae Vishupathanycha theemahee:
Thannao Lakshmi Prachodayathu”
Sri Mahalakshmi Mantram:
“Thurithouka Nivaarana Praveenae
Vimalae Paasoora Paathu Devavapuae
Pranavapprathi Paathya Vasthiyae
Spuranakyae HariVallabae Namasthae”
If you do this puja every year how do you perform it? Any special family customs that you’d like to share?