Goddess Lakshmi
Varalakshmi Vrath is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, one of the Hindu Trinity. Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam). It is an important pooja performed by many women in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and North Tamil Nadu. The Hindu festival going by the name 'Vara Lakshmi Vrata' is celebrated on the Second Friday or the Friday before full moon day - Poornima in the month of Śravaṇā, also called Śawan in Hindi and Aadi in Tamil which corresponds to the English months of July–August.

Varalakshmi Vrata is performed by married woman for the well being of all the family members, especially husband, to get progeny etc. It is believed that worshiping Goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshiping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength. Because of the popularity in some states of India, it is declared as an optional official holiday in India.
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History and Epic of Varalaksmi Vratam:
In the kingdom of Magadha of yore, there lived a Brahmin woman called Charumathi in a town named Kundina. The prosperous town was the home of Charumathi and her husband. Impressed by her devotion to her family, Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to worship Vara-Lakshmi (Vara = boon, Lakshmi = goddess of wealth) and seek to fulfill her wishes. Varalakshmi is yet another form of Lord Vishnu's consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The prayer/worship was prescribed to be offered on the Friday of Sravana month preceding the night of full moon.

When Charumathi explained her dream to her family, she found them encouraging her to perform the pooja. Many other women of the village joined her in performing the pooja in a traditional way and offered many sweet dishes to the Goddess Varalakshmi. They prayed with deep devotion:
SanskritEnglish transliterationEnglish translation
पद्मसने पद्मकरेPadmaasane Padmakare(She) who sits in the lotus, (she) who holds the lotus ("Lotus-sitter, Lotus-holder")
सर्व लोकैक पूजिते।sarva lokaika poojithe(She) to whom all the worlds pray
नारायणप्रिये देविNarayanapriya deviGoddess who is dear to Narayana
सुप्रीता भव सर्वदा॥supreethaa bhava sarvadabe kind/good to me
On this occasion women worship Goddess Lakshmi with utmost devotion offering sweets and flowers, usually a kalash(representing the deity) will be decorated with a saree, flowers and gold jewelry with offerings placed in front.

This pooja can be done with no restriction to caste or creed. To this day many women observe this traditional festival praying Varamahalakshmi for her blesses in form wealth and well being of their family.
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Epic and Story
On one occasion, Parvati and Parameswara were playing a game of paramapatham. Parvati was winning game after game by the rules, but Parameswara is said to have claimed the victory at each game, wantonly, to Parvati's intense chagrin. So Parvati demanded to have an umpire and one Chitranemi, a creation of Parameswara, was chosen. As an underling of Parameswara, he sided with his master most unjustly. This provoked Parvati's anger and she cursed Chitranemi that he should become a leper for discharging his duty in this most unfair manner.

When Chitranemi begged Parvati's forgiveness and Parameswara added his entreaties to it, she is said to have relented and modified the curse by adding that he would be cured of his leprosy by observing the Vara Lakshmi Vrata. By doing this, Chitranemi was, it is said, rid of the loathsome disease.

The history of the origin Of the Vara Lakshmi Vrata is rather interesting. Lakshmi is said to have visited a pious woman by name Sarmadi, living in the city of Kuntinapura in Magadha (Bihar), in one of her dreams and expressed her satisfaction at her devotion to her children. When she woke up from her sleep, she took a bath and worshiped Lakshmi to ensure her blessings. When the other ladies heard of her dream and her worship of Lakshmi, they too began to worship her, and the custom is then said to have spread everywhere throughout the land in course of time..

Significance of Varalakshmi Vratam
Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Siri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvathi (learning), Prithi (Love), Keerthi (Fame), Shanthi (Peace), Santhushti(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 Pathi 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 worshiped as Lakshmis, since abstract force is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary people. As health, wealth and prosperity depend upon the rhythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said to be to obtain these three. This festival is observed largely by women, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children.

Legend of Varalakshmi Vratam
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.

How to Celebrate Varlakshmi Vrath:

Items or things required:
1.Face of Goddess Lakshmi (available in market)
2.Haldi (turmeric powder)
3. Kumkum
4. Chandanam (sandal wood paste)
5. Akshatha (consecrated rice)
6. Betel leaves (Thamalapaakulu)
7. Bananas ‐ 14
8. Coconut ‐ 3
9. Thoram (sacred thread made of 9 strings)
10 Milk
11. Panchamritham
12. Dry Date fruits
13. New blouse pieces for Kalasham, decoration of puja place
14. Maamidi Thoranam (Mango leaves’ garland) & Mango leaves
15. Flowers
16. Naivedyams (based on your traditional recipes) (Payasam, Purnam Boorelu, Appam, etc)
17. Fruits

Prerequisite steps for Varalakshmi Puja & Decoration of Puja Place
On a wooden plank or plate keep Lakshmi idol. Pooja mandapam or the Goddesss idol should be faced East. Clean the idol, lamps, bronze or steel pot & other pooja vessels. On the plank or peeta, spread few cups of rice. Put Chandanam & Kumkum on four sides of the pot. Fill slightly more than half the pot with rice. Place betel nuts, betel leaves, dry date fruits (Kharjura), one coin (silver or copper or other available) inside the pot. Apply turmeric, chandanam, kumkum to a coconut (with husk or without – as per traditions) and place it on top of the pot surrounded by mango leaves. The tail of the coconut should be upward. Decorate the Goddess’ face and fix that against the coconut, fixing back tightly against the pot and tie it with a thread.

Decorate the pot and the face of the Goddess with jewels, dress, etc. and keep a new blouse piece. Now, place this over the rice on the plate. Keep a small garland and light a lamp at the Goddess.
Before any puja, Ganapathi Pooja is performed.

Vigneshwara (Ganapathi) Pooja:
Make a cone shaped turmeric Ganesha (Haridra Ganapathi) by mixing turmeric powder and few drops of water. Visualise Lord Ganesha and chant

" Suklam Bharadharam Vishnum
Sashivarnam Chaturbhujam
Prasanna vadanam dhyayeth
Sarvavignopa Shantaye "

Worship Lord Ganesha to give all the strength to perform Varalakshmi Vratham without any obstacle.
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Varalakshmi Vratha Sankalpam & Kalasha Puja:
Clasp the right palm over the left palm holding a flower, akshatra and place them on the right thigh and chant

" Evamguna viseshana visistayamasyam shubha thithou, asmakam saha kutumbanam kshema sthairya vijaya ayur arogya aishwarya abhivridhyartham, dharmartha kaama moksha chaturvidha purushartha siddhyartham, ishta kamarthya siddhyartham, sathsanthana soubhaya shubha phalavapyartham varshe varshe prayuktham varalakshmi muddhishya varalakshmi preethyartham bhavishyottara purana kalpoktha prakarena yavaschakti dhyanavahanadhi shodashopachara pujan karishya. Thadan gathwena kalasha pujan karishya. Kalashe gandha pushpa akshathair abhyarcha, kalasha shyopari hastham nidhaya. "
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Shloka:
" Kalashasya mukhe Vishnu
Kante rudra samasritha
Moole thathra sthitho brahma
Madhye mathru ganaa smrutha
Kukshouthu sagara ssarve
Sapta dweepa vasundhara
Rugvedoda yajurveda
Samavedoh atharvana
Angaischa sahita ssarve
Kalashambu samasritha
Ayanthu lakshmi pujartham
Durithakshaya karaka
Gangecha yamune chaiva Godavari saraswati
Narmade sindhu kaveri jalesmin sannidhim kuru
Evam kalasha puja "

Varalakshmi Puja begins now:
" Padmasane padmakare sarvalokaika pujithe,
Narayana priye devi supreetha bhava sarvada. "

Shodasha Upachara Puja begins:

Dhyanam
Visualise the Goddess and pray to her by chanting this mantram

" Ksheerodarnava sambhuthe kamala kamalalaye,
Susthirabhava may gehe surasura namaskruthe
Sri Varalakshmi devatham dhyayami "
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Avahanam (Invocation)
Visualise Goddess Varalakshmi in mind and offer flower or Akshatha to Kalasha or Haridra Ganapathi. Thereby we invoke the Goddess in the idol or image.

" Sarvamangala mangalye Vishnu vaksha sthalalaye,
Avahayami devee thwaam supreetha bhava sarvada,
Varalakshmi devatham avahayami "
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Aasanam (offering seat)
Offer flowers at the feet and chant Aasanam Samarpayami shloka

" Suryayutha nibha spoorthe sphura drathna vibhushitham,
Simhasana midham devee stheeyatham sura pujithe,
Rathna simhasanam samarpayami "
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Arghyam (washing hands)
Offer one spoon of water from the glass with water to the empty cup. Chant arghyam samarpayami slokam

" Shuddodakam cha pathrastham gandha pushpadhi mishritham,
Arghyam dasyami the devee gruhaana sura pujithe,
Arghyam samarpayami "
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Paadhyam

" Suvasitha jalam ramya sarva theertha samudbhavam,
Paadhyam gruhaana thwam sarvadeva namaskruthe,
Paadhyam samarpayami "
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Aachamanam (Inner Purification)
Offer one spoon of water from the cup with water to empty cup and chant Aachamanam

" samarpayami slokam
Suvarna kalashaa neetham chandanagaru samyutham,
Gruhaana achamanam devee mayaa dattham shubhapradhe,
Aachamaneeyam samarpayami "
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Panchamrutha Snanam (offering bath with Panchamrita)
Offer bath with few drops or a spoon of panchamritham to the Goddess by chanting the below sloka

" Payodadhi gruthopetham sharkaramadhu samyutham,
Panchamrutha snanamidham gruhaana kamalalaye,
Panchamrutha snanam samarpayami " 
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Shuddodaka Snanam (offering bath with pure water)
Offer bath with few drops or a spoon of water to the Goddess by chanting the below sloka

" Gangajalam mayaaneetham mahadeva shirasthitham,
Shuddodaka snanamidham gruhaana vidhu sodhari,
Shuddodaka snanam samarpayami "
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Vasthra yugmam (offering dress)
Offer a cotton thread made of cotton, haldi, kumkum & chandan paste by chanting the below slokam

" Surarchitanghri yugale dukoola vasana priye,
Vasthrayugmam pradasyami gruhaana hari vallabhe,
Vasthra yugmam samarpayami "
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Abharanam (offering jewelry)
Offer any jewelry or akshatra to the Goddess by chanting this stotram

" Keyura kankane divye haaranupura mekhala,
Vibhushananya moolyani gruhaana rushi pujithe,
Abharanani samaryami "
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Upavitham
Offer akshata or flowers or chandan paste to the Goddess by chanting Upavitham slokam

" Thaptha hema krutham suthram muktadama vibhushitham,
Upavitha midham devi gruhaana thwam shubhapradhe,
Upavitham samarpayami "
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Gandham
Offer gandham (chandanam paste) to the Goddess

" Karpuragaru kasturi rochanadhi bhiranvitham,
Gandham dasyamyaham devee prithyartham prathigruhyatham,
Gandham samarpayami "
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Akshatha (Offering consecrated rice)
Offer akshatha to the Goddess

" Akshatha dhavala devi shaliyam sthadula shubha,
Haridra kumkumopetha gruhyathaa mabdhi puthrike,
Akshatha samarpayami "
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Pushpa Puja (offering flowers)
Offer flowers to the Goddess by chanting this slokam.

" Mallika jaaji kusumai champakairva kulaisthatha,
Shathapathrai scha kalharai pujayami haripriye,
Pushpai pujayami "
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Adhanga Puja
Offer akshata and flowers or gandham to the Goddess by chanting the below mantrams

" Chanchalayai namaha padhau pujayami
Chapalayai namaha januni pujayami
Peethambara dharayai namaha ooroo pujayami
Kamala vasinyai namaha katim pujayami
Padmalayayai namaha naabhim pujayami
Madanamathre namaha sthanau pujayami
Lalithayayai namaha bhujadwayam pujayami
Kambh kantyai namaha kantam pujayami
Sumukhayai namaha mukham pujayami
Shreeyai namaha oshtau pujayami
Sunasikayai namaha nasikam pujayami
Sunethrai namaha nethram pujayami
Ramaayai namaha karnau pujayami
Kamalayai namaha shirah pujayami
Varalakshmai namaha sarvaagani pujayami "
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Ashtottara Shatanama Puja
Now, chant the Lakshmi Astottra shatanamavali (108 names of Goddess Lakshmi)… 
Read this here.

" Om Ashottara shatanama pujam samarpayami "
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Dhupam (offering dhupam or Agarbatti)
Offer Agarbatti (incense sticks) to the Goddess by chanting the below mantram

" Dashangam guggulopetham
Sugandham cha manoharam
Dhupam dasyami deveshi
Varalakshmi gruhaana tham Dhupam samarpayami "
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Deepam (offering deepa or light)
Light a deepam by chanting this mantram

" Ghrutakthavarthi samyuktam andhakaaram vinashakam,
Deepam dasyami the devi gruhaana muditha bhava,
Deepam samarpayami "
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Naivedyam (offering food items)
Offer naivedyam (fruits / food items & coconut) by chanting this mantra

" Naivedyam shasrasopetham dadhi madhwajya samyutham,
Naanaa bakshya phalopetham gruhaana harivallabhe,
Naivedyam samarpayami
While offering naivedyam, offer water (Paaneeyam)
Ghanasaara sughandena mishritham pushvasitham,
Paaneeyam gruhyatham devi sheethalam sumanoharam,
Paaneeyam samarpayami "
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Thamboolam (offering betel nut & betel leaves)
Offer thamboolam (betel leaves, betel nut, dry date fruits & rupee coins)

 " Poogeephala samayuktam nagavalli dalairyutham,
Karpurachurna samyuktam thamboolam prathigruhyatham,
Thamboolam samarpayami "
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Neerajanam (offering Aarti)
Offer Aarathi with burning camphor to the Goddess by chanting the below mantra

" Neerajanam samaaneetham karpurena samanvitham,
Thubhyam dasyamyaham devi gruhyatham Vishnu vallabhe,
Neerajanam samarpayami "
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Mantra Pushpam (offering the garland of Mantras)
Offer akshata by chanting the Mantrapushpam

" Padmasane padmakare sarvalokaika pujithe,
Narayanapriye devi supreetho bhava sarvadaa,
Mantrapushpam samarpayami "
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Pradakshina (offering circumambulations)
Just do five self circumambulations by chanting the mantram

"Yanikanicha paapani janmanthara kruthanicha,
Thani thani pranashyanthi pradakshina pade pade"
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Namaskaram (offering prayers)
Offer namaskarams by chanting this mantram

"Samastha loka jananee namasthe Vishnu vallabhe,
Pahimam bhakta varadhe varalakshmi namo namaha
Sri varalakshmi devathayai namaskaaraan samarpayami"
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Atha Thoragranthi Puja (worshipping the Thoram or sacre thread)
Worship the Thoram or sacred thread by offering gandham, haldi, kumkum, akshata & flowers by chanting this Thoragranthi mantram:

Kamalayai namaha prathama granthim pujayami
Ramayai namaha Dwiteeya granthim pujayami
Lokamatre namaha thrutiya granthim pujayami
Vishwajananyai namaha chaturtha granthim pujayami
Mahalakshmyai namaha panchama granthim pujayami
Ksheerabhi thanayayai namaha sashtama granthim pujayami
Vishwa sakshinyai namaha saptama granthim pujayami
Chandra sodaryai namaha ashtama granthim pujayami
Harivallabhayai nahama navama granthim pujayami
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Thorabandhanam (tying the sacred thread)
Tie the sacred thread yourself to your right wrist while chanting the below mentioned Varalakshmi Vratham Thorabandhana Mantram

" Badnami dakshine hasthe navasuthram shubhapradam,
Putrapauthrabhi vruddhincha sowbhagyam dehi mey rame. "
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Vaayanaa Vidhi
"Evam sampujya kalyaneem varalakshmi swa shaktitha,
Daathavyam dwadashapoopam vaayanam hi dwijathaye."
After performing Thorabandhanam, offer Vayanam to the Goddess. Then, offer to other married women.

Vayana Daana Mantram
Offer vayanam to other married women by chanting this mantram
Indiraa prathigruhnathu indiraa vai dadaathi cha,
Indiraa tharakobhabhyam indirayai namo namaha.
Ithi pooja vidhanam sampurnam (It concludes the Varalakshmi Vratham Puja procedure).

Now chant the Varalakshmi Vratha Katha mentioned in our earlier article here. And take theertha & prasada and also distribute among other devotees.

Next day a small puja (Punar Puja) is performed to mark the conclusion of Varalakshmi puja. On Sunday morning, Goddess Lakshmi is lifted from the Puja place and kept safe for next year’s Varalakshmi Puja.

After the completion of Varalakshmi Puja, the coconut which is used on the top of Kalasham should be broken and the water in it should be thrown to any plant like Tulsi or any other flowering plants which are away from the stamping of human. The biodegradable waste like flowers, turmeric, kumkum, and many other material should be thrown in a well or in nearby fresh flowing water which are not stamped by human.

Varalakshmi devi idol decoration
Assemble boxes which you can find at home.Use a gum tape to glue the boxes together. Keep your kalasha on top and glue tape it to the boxes as shown. Tie a stick to kalash. Make sure that the tape are secured tightly as you do not want to see any mishaps.Keep the saree ready.

We believe in using a new saree or a saree kept aside for goddess only for such festive occassions. Please check with your elders in the family for saree tye, color etc.Pleat the saree. Take smaller pleats. Hold all the pleates and tie it at the end using a thread. This will help keep all the pleats in one place. Measure the height of the boxes you have piled up using saree from the folded end.Once you know the height, fold the saree and pass a thread.Release the thread you tied to the pleats. Spread the pleats and tie it to the box.Once you have secured the thread, fold the back portion of the saree nicely and hide it behind the box. Pick the 'pallu' part and pleate them.Pleat the pallu part and bring it to the front and over the stickTake the pallu in such a way that it covers Kalasha and stick on both sides. Bring the rest of the pallu from back to front over the stick.Leave the rest of the pallu in the front.Again, cover the kalsha and stick with the saree. Adjust saree accordingly. Rest of the length of the saree should be nicely folded and hid behind the box. 

Bring the pleats together and tie a thread in the center to hold everything together.Neaten up the saree. Now, the kalasha is ready to have it's head.Use your own jewellary or make some using your creativity.

Varlakshmi Vratham - Goddess Lakshmi Idols

Goddess Lakshmi




WATCH VIDEO: Varalakshmi devi idol decoration



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