Sunday, 14 August 2011

VaraLaxmi Vartham - By Vijayakumar Allagappan

Vara Lakshmi Vratham on 12-Aug-2011

The Hindu festival going by the name 'Vara Lakshmi Vratha' is celebrated on the last Friday before the full moon in the Tamil Month 'Aadi' which corresponds to the English months of July-August. It is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, one of the Hindu Trinity. Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam).

Goddess Lakhsmi
In her first incarnation, Lakshmi was the daughter of the sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyati. She was later born from the milk ocean when it had been churned by a cooperative effort of the Devas (demigods) and Asuras (demons).
Goddess Lakshmi is Maya, the illusory power of Nature. She deludes the whole world by Her power and projects it through Her projecting power. Beauty, grace, a picturesque scenery or charming landscape, modesty, love, prosperity, music, the five elements and their combinations, the internal organs, mind, Prana, intellect-all these are Her manifestations.

There are not many temples that are dedicated exclusively to Goddess Lakshmi. She is usually given a spot next to Lord Vishnu, or a small shrine in one of the temples. Yet, in some rare temples dedicated to Lakshmi you can see her on a central throne, and her eight other aspects or expansions as well, four on either side of her. These have different combinations of hands holding various objects representing her different powers. The most popular of these is Gajalakshmi, shown with four arms on an eight-petaled lotus. This aspect of her is most often seen when positioned above door frames of houses or temples. When seen with two hands, she is known as Samanyalakshmi and Indralakshmi.

It is said that Lakshmi will enter the house of anyone who thinks of her and bless them. There are many festivals in the year dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. Among them, Varalakshmi Vratham is considered very auspicious because it is marked by strict observance of certain practices and austerities. It is also called Varalakshmi Nonbu.

Those who seek a plentiful yield of farm crops must worship Sri Dhanya Lakshmi, the giver of good crops. In the same way, one should worship Sri Dhairya Lakshmi for obtaining courage and skillful speech; Sri Gaja Lakshmi for obtaining the quality of being liked by all people, respect in society, and fame; Sri Santana Lakshmi for ensuring the positive growth and well-being of one’s children; Sri Vijaya Lakshmi for obtaining victory in all endeavors; Sri Vidya Lakshmi for obtaining success and growth in all studies and learning; and Sri Maha Lakshmi for obtaining all types of wealth, good health, radiance, and the grace of all eight Lakshmis.

If you are unmarried and want a marriage, doing Vara Lakshmi Pooja at this time will bring you a compatible partner.

Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Saraswati (learning), Priti (love), Kirti (Fame), Santi (Peace), Tushti(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 Padhi 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 worshipped as Lakshmis, since abstract force is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary people. As health, wealth and prosperity depend upon the rythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said to be to obtain these three. Only a woman can sympathise with women. Lakshmi is a woman. So she will more readily sympathise with women. Hence this festival is observed largely by women, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children.

How to arrange the pooja?
After a purificatory bath, the lady should put on a clean, fresh cloth and make a mandala with the drawing of a lotus upon it. A kalasha filled with rice and topped with fresh mango leaves, a coconut and cloth are placed on the mandala and Lakshmi is invoked therein. Fresh grains are used in the worship as they convey the idea of growth and prosperity.

View Image

After the worship of the kalasha, follows the worship of Ganesha, then the worship of the raksha or the Sacred thread. Now the main worship of Vara Lakshmi begins and the raksha is worshipped a second time. It is then tied to the right hand of the lady. after the worship various auspicious articles are given as charity to some deserving lady whose husband is alive. This lady is also fed with dainties.

Lakshmi not only bestows wealth and all sorts of material prosperity, but also imparts divine wisdom to all Her devotees. She is Vidya Shakti. She introduces Her devotees to Her Lord Vishnu. She recommends them to Her Lord for their salvation. The simplest way of prayer to appease Her is by fasting on this day, offering Her with red lotus flower and reciting Her mantra (Hmmm / Om Shreem Lakshmiye Namaha) during prayer.

Without Lakshmi even Sannyasis cannot do propaganda or preaching work or run their institutions. They are in fact more in need of Lakshmi than the house- holders because they have to do great dynamic work for humanweal. All great prophets and divine messengers who have done great spiritual work in the past were devotees of Mother Lakshmi, Parvathi and Saraswathi.

May Goddess Lakshmi bless you all! Let us repeat Her Mantra:



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