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What is Varalakshmi Varatam, When and How did it start? Explained

Aug 20, 2021
Varalakshmi Varatam pooja. Image source

Worshipping the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, many devotees come together to celebrate Varalakshmi Vratam every year. Varalakshmi, meaning the one who grants wishes or boons, is worshipped by people, especially women, in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The festival falls on the Friday before full moon day in the month of Shravana in the Hindu calendar.

Vrat or the day of fasting is commemorated by married women, who pray for the well-being of their loved ones in the family, for their husband and for their future generations. One of the common beliefs is that worshipping goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to offering prayers to Ashtalakshmi or the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.

Devotees believe that goddess Parvati observed rigorous fasting for Lord Parameshwara and for the happiness and prosperity of her family. Commemorating Parvati’s devotion and love for her consort, many married women began fasting for the well-being of their husband and children. They begin the day by waking up early and take part in fasting.

They abstain from certain foods throughout the day, which changes from one region to another. For instance, while there are no rules to follow in some regions, in others women are only offered Thamboolam — a combination of slaked lime, betel leaf and areca nut. They perform Varalakshmi pooja wherein they offer flowers, sweets and fruits, known as Vayana, to the goddess. A brass pot known as the ‘kalash’ representing the goddess, filled with rice or water, coins, betel nut and five different kinds of leaves, is wrapped in a saree, on which a swastika symbol is drawn using vermillion and sandalwood paste. Mango leaves and a coconut with turmeric smeared on it is kept at the mouth of the vessel and flowers and gold is kept in front of the pot, as offerings to the goddess.

The next day, the water from the pot is sprinkled all around in the house and the raw rice grains are used to prepare a meal for the family.

Why and How did the Varalakshmi Varatam start??

According to one Hansindia.com , the history as this.

Once Goddess Parvati asked her husband, Lord Shiva, to help her with a ‘Vrat’ which makes people get relieved from sorrows and mangalya balam (husband’s long life). Then Lord Shiva will dole out the Pooja Vidhanam of ‘Varalakshmi Vratam’ and also says that ladies who observe this vratam will stay happy and get relieved from all types of financial issues and health problems too.

It is also said that a highly pious housewife and devotee of Goddess Lakshmi, Charumati regularly offered prayers to the Goddess. Thus Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in the dream of Charumati and directed her to observe the ‘Varalakshmi Vratam’. Charumati followed the instructions of Goddess Lakshmi and performed the Pooja in the same way. She also invited her neighbours, friends, relatives and near & dear. Thus, all of them participated in this Pooja and blessed Charumati.

Slowly, ‘Varalakshmi Vratam’ got spread all over and it became a traditional vidi for all the married ladies to perform this Pooja on every 2nd Friday of Sravana Masam.

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