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Varalakshmi vratam, also known as Varalakshmi Puja, is an important Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the goddess Lakshmi. This vratam or fast is carry out primarily by married women to receive blessings from Varalakshmi, the companion of Lord Vishnu.
Varalakshmi vratam is observed on the second Friday or Friday just before the Poornima (full moon day) in the Hindu month of Shravan or the month of Aadi in the Tamil calendar. It corresponds during the months of July or August.
Married women keep this sacred Varalakshmi vratam to seek blessings for the whole family, especially her husband and children. According to Hindu scriptures, it is a strong belief that worshiping Goddess Lakshmi on this auspicious day is the same as offering prayers to Ashtalakshmi, which are the eight Goddesses of Love, Wealth, Strength, Peace, Fame, Pleasure, Earth and Learning. This vratam can be done by everyone, regardless of caste and creed discriminations.
The Varalakshmi Vratam is commemorated with total enthusiasm and faith. It is mainly done by women of in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, northern Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Celebrations can also be seen in the state of Maharashtra. Due to the popularity of this vratham in most of the country, the Varalakshmi Vrat is an optional holiday in some states.
The preparation for the Varalakshmi vratam begins the day before the observation of the Vratam which is a Thursday. All the essential elements required for the bid are assembled one day before.
On Varalakshmi vratam day, on Friday, devotees get up early in the morning and prepare after taking the bath. The favorable time to get up in the morning for the bid is "Brahma Muhurtham", the moment just before sunrise.
After finishing the morning rituals, the devotees clean the house and the surrounding area and the beautiful 'kolam' (rangoli) is decorated at the puja site.
The next step is the preparation of the 'Kalasha'. You can select a silver or bronze pot. It is meticulously cleaned and stained with sandalwood paste. Then a "swastika" symbol is drawn on the Kalasha. Then, Kalasha is filled with water or raw rice, a lime, coins, beetle nut and five different types of leaves. The choice of the elements used for filling inside the 'Kalasham' pot varies from region to region. In some places, even turmeric, black beads, the mirror, small black bracelets or comb are used to fill the pot.
The neck of the Kalasha is covered with a clean cloth and the mouth is covered with mango leaves. In the end, a coconut stuffed with turmeric is used to cover the mouth of the Kalasha. In the coconut, an image of the goddess Lakshmi is glued or drawn with turmeric powder. The Kalasha is now a symbol of the goddess Varalakshmi and is worshiped with total devotion.
This Kalasha is placed in the heap of rice. The devotees begin the bid by first worshiping Lord Ganesha. The puja begins by singing slokas as 'Lakshmi Sahasranamam' in the praise of the goddess Lakshmi. Special sweets are made at home as offerings. In the southern states, Pongal is also offered as Prasad. Finally aarti is performed in the Kalasha. During the bid, women should also tie a yellow thread around their hands.
In some places, a mirror is also placed behind the Kalasham. Prefabricated Kalasha pots are also available in the markets for use during the Varalakshmi Vrat.
Women who observe Varalakshmi Vrat should refrain from eating specific types of food. However, this varies from one region to another. In some places, the observer of this vrat must fast until the end of the bidding ceremony.
On Saturday, the day after the fast, the devotees bathe and then dismantle the Kalasha used for the fast. The water inside the Kalasha is spread throughout the house. The rice, if used, is mixed with the rice stored in the house.
Simha Lagna Puja Muhurat = 6:27 AM to 8:44 AMDuration = 2 Hours 17 MinsVrishchika Lagna Puja Muhurat = 1:20 PM to 3:38 PMDuration = 2 Hours 18 MinsKumbha Lagna Puja Muhurat = 7:25 PM to 8:52 PMDuration = 1 Hour 27 MinsVrishabha Lagna Puja Muhurat = 11:52 PM to 25:48+ (Nextday)Duration = 1 Hour 55 Mins
The main objective of Varalaksmi Vratam is to offer genuine prayers to the goddess Lakshmi to seek divine blessings. There are no strict rules to observe this vrat. The rituals are not rigid and even a simple prayer is enough to appease the goddess Varalakshmi.
As mentioned in Hindu mythology, the goddess Lakshmi is the deity who presides over prosperity, wealth, fortune, wisdom, light, generosity, courage and fertility. Women, particularly married women, perform this Vratam to please Goddess Lakshmi and receive His divine grace. Women pray to the Goddess for the long life of their respective husbands and also seek blessings for a good progeny. The Varalakshmi Vratam is mainly a festival for women and is celebrated mainly only by women. The importance of Varalakshmi vratam is explained in the 'Skanda Purana'.
Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.
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