Thursday, 23 June 2011

Varalakshmi Vratam & Shravana Shanivara pooja

Goddess Varalakshmi

According to Brahmavaivarthana Purana.... Sage Durvasa, who is popularly known for his terrible temper, once cursed Indra (King of the Gods). This sage had once presented a garland of flowers to Indra (Swarghaadhipathi-king of gods who is incharge of heaven), who carelessly threw away the garland on his elephant (White elephant called EAIRAWATHAM), which trampled it. Thus Durvasa cursed Indra that he would loose his wealth, kingdom (Swargadipatyam). As a result of the curse, Goddess Lakshmi submerged into Sagaragarbha/Ocean. The entire deva loka lost its grace, wealth and remained in poverty. As per the instructions of Shree MahaVishnu, during the extraction of Amrith (Nectar of immortality), Devatas and Demons churned the ocean of milk. During the churning process, Maha Lakshmi emerged from the milky ocean and became Ksheera Sagara Thanayatri (Ksheera - Milk, Sagara - Ocean, Thanayatri - Daughter, Thus Lakshmi is the beloved daughter of the Ocean of Milk).

Goddess lakshmi is popularly known by many names, To name few:

Kamala Vasini - One who sits in Lotus flower.Vishnu vakshastalalaya - One who resides in Vishnu's chest.Hiranmayi - One who has a golden appearance of hirani/deerChandra sahodari - Sister of the MoonPrasadabhi mukhi - Emerging to grant boonsPadmamaladhara - The wearer of Lotus garlandSuprasanna - Ever glowing and smilingTrikalagyana sampanna - Aware of all past,present and futureAnagha - The sinlessVarapradayini - Granter of good wishes& many more names..... (Refer Archives - "Mahalakshmi" for 108 names of Lakshmi)

Varalakshmi Vratam:

Varalakshmi (the granter of bounty), is one of the Ashtalakshmi swaroopams to be worshipped during Shravana masam.
This vratam is to be performed on Shravana Shukla Shukra varam i.e., the Friday immediately following the Full Moon day (Poornima) during the month. This Vratam is to be undertaken by Sumangalis for the longspan of spouse's health, good progeny, good health, wealth and prosperity.. This year Varalakshmi Vratam is to be observed on 20th August.

Worship of Varalakshmi is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi swaroopams. Thus She is referred as "Varalakshmi", the Goddess who is ever ready to grant boons to her true devotees.

Varalakshmi vratam rituals differ from region to region. In some regions, Goddess Lakshmi is invoked in the form of Kalasam and a coconut (A coconut is beautifully adorned with jewellery and Pattu vastram/pure silk).

On this day, women folk begin their day with holy bath, wear clean clothes, decorate the home front with beautiful rangoli, prepare variety of food offerings, decorate the pooja place with beautiful colors and kolam. Invoke Goddess Lakshmi with respect and worship HER with Shodashopacharas.

Worshippers recite Kanakadhara stotram, Ashtalakshmi stotra, Sree Suktam, Mahalakshmi ashtakam on this day. (Visit Archives, for more stotras on Maha Lakshmi). It's a tradition to light a ghee lamp near Tulasi Brindavana on all Fridays during the month.

Legend behind worshipping Varalakshmi::

According to Skanda purana, Goddess Parvathi once asked Lord Shiva to suggest her a vratam, which would be beneficial for the womenfolk on earth seeking prosperity. Then, Lord Shiva recommended her Varalakshmi Vratam narrating the story of a devotee named Charumati.

Charumati meaning one who has a beautiful mind and clean heart. SHE was a chaste lady. Pleased with her true devotion, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and advised her to undertake Varalakshmi Vratam on the auspicious day of Shravana shukla shukra varam.

Charumati shared her dream vision with her Husband and also with the women folk in the town. They all eagerly waited for the day suggested by Goddess Lakshmi and performed this vrata with utmost devotion and faith.

After completion of the vrata, women folk stepped out of the pooja premises, they saw beautiful golden chariots awaiting for them. They were adorned with beautiful dazzling jewelleries and everything in their homes seemed to be bountiful. Ever since, this vrata has been regularly performed in almost all the households.

We need to thank Charumati for sharing her dream vision and as a result we all got an opportunity to perform this wonderful vratam. Charumati not only shared the vrata procedure but also taught us to understand and follow the concept of virtue of SHARING.

Shravana Shanivara pooja:

All Saturdays during Shravana month are dedicated to worship Lord Venkateswara or Vishnu. Stotras like Venkateswara vajrakavacham, Govinda namavali, Vishnu sahasranama are the popular stotras to be recited. Some worshippers also observe upavasa (fasting) and perform Sree Venkateshwaraswamy vratam (Visit Archives - "Vratams"). Don't takeup upavasa rituals if your health doesn't permit to do so..

It is believed that whosoever does circumbulations/pradakshinas to Lord Venkateswara on Shravana Nakshatra (Birthstar of Lord Venkateshwara) during Shravanamasa will attain all kinds of happiness in life.(Aug 23rd happens to be the day with Shravana Nakshatra).

1 comment:

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