Varalakshmi Vratham, Significance of Wealth and Prosperity:
Varalakshmi Vratham is very important to Indian women. The Indian people celebrate many festivals which significantly influence our society. Some festivals are celebrated throughout the country; some are only in certain parts of our country.
Varalakshmi Vratham is celebrated mainly in south India. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states are very famous for celebrating this festival. Varalakshmi Vratham is a significant festival, especially for the women in these two states. Varalakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and the consort of Lord Vishnu. This festival also celebrates in some parts of Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Maharashtra. Varalakshmi is one of the most important goddesses in Hinduism, and married women celebrate the festival with great devotion. Usually, this festival falls in July or August. Performing Varalakshmi Vratham means worshipping all the different names of Goddess Lakshmi. Those who perform Varalakshmi Puja can achieve the following benefits in life they are:
|2. Dhanyam||grains or food|
|5. Sathsanthanam||Virtuous of spring|
|6. Dheerga Saumangalyam||Long Married Life|
Rituals and Celebrations of Varalakshmi Vratham:
Varalakshmi Vratham is celebrated on the second Friday of Shravana month. On the day of Varalakshmi Puja, the married women wake up early and prepare the house very clean. After the bath, they wear new clothes, clean the Puja room, and decorate it with rangolis. They keep the puja items in the pooja room and hang the garlands to the frame of Lakshmi or the idol of Lakshmi Devi. They took the bronze or silver pot, decorated it, and prepared it as Kalasam. The swastika symbol was drawn on the bank and smeared with sandalwood paste.
The Kalasam is filled with raw rice or water, coins, a single whole lime, five different kinds of leaves and beetle nuts. Sometimes the kalam is covered with a cloth, and mango leaves are placed on the mouth of the kala sham. Then a coconut smeared with turmeric is used to close the Kalasam and keep an image of Goddess Lakshmi. Pongal is the main prasadam to offer to Goddess Lakshmi. The devotees chanted the mantras praising Lakshmi and asked Her to bring fortune to their works. Finally, perform aarti to Goddess.
The next day the kalasam kept on a bed of rice and welcome Goddess Lakshmi Devi into their house to bless the family members. Later the Kalasham was dismantled, and the water in the kalasam was sprinkled throughout the house to bless the house from Goddess Lakshmi.
Stories Behind the Celebration of Varalakshmi Vratham:
There are many stories behind the importance of performing Varalakshmi Vratham. According to Skanda Purana, Goddess Parvati, asked her husband, Lord Shiva, which ‘vratam’ most benefits women and their families. Then Lord Shiva narrated the story of Charumati. Charumati was a profoundly devoted woman and continuously chanted for Goddess Lakshmi. Then pleased Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratham and explain how to achieve the Vrata in the plan. The next day Charumati invited all her neighbours and relatives and performed Varalakshmi Puja as directed by Goddess Lakshmi. After all, the rituals were performed, and all the participating people were blessed with wealth and prosperity.
Another Story about Varalakshmi Vratham:
Shyamabala is the daughter of King Bathrasiravas and Queen Surachandrika. Once, Goddess Lakshmi came to the country as an older woman and asked the queen to perform the Varalakshmi Pooja for the prosperity of her kingdom, but the queen is not tolerated Goddess’s words. But the Princess asked the older woman how to perform the Varalakshmi Vratham and performed in her husband’s kingdom. With the performance of Varalakshmi puja, her kingdom started prospering at every level of governance. At the same time, her parents lost their wealth and the country was thrown into misery. Then Shyambala explained to her mother, Queen Surachandrika, the importance of Varalakshmi Vratham and made her perform the pooja. After completing the pooja, the queen attains the previous glory.
Festival Recipes in Varalakshmi Vratham:
The festival recipes are boiled pulses, Holige, Kadubu, kosambri and evade. People prepare deep-fried dishes like kadabu, chakli, bajji and pale in some places.