Varalakshmi Vratham is a popular ritual observed by married women in states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.Varalakshmi Vratam is a festival to appeas the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Varalakshmi literally means the boon granting goddess. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.
This Vratham comes in the holy month of Shravan on the first friday before the Pournami or Poornima (the full moon day), corresponding to the months of July - August . This Vratham is undertaken by the married women for good progeny, good health, and wishing long life for their husbands.
According to Hindu mythology, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a vratha that will be beneficial to women. Lord Shiva then mentioned the importance of Varalakshmi Vratham. He narrates the story and explains the process of performing the vrat to Goddess Parvathi. This conversation on Varalakshmi Vratham between Parvati and Shiva takes place in the Skanda Purana.
Story Related to Varalakshmi Vratham
The story happens in a beautiful town called Kundinagaram located in the Kingdom of Vidarbha (Vidarba Rajyam). In that Kundinagram town, Charumathi was a true pativrata (devoted to husband in all sincerity). Goddess Adilakshmi, being pleased by her devotion tells Charumathi in a dream and directed her to perform the vrata to enable her to fulfil her desires. Charumathi wakes up and tells her husband about the dream. Charumathi along with some neighbourhood women takes bath in the wee hours and prepare a mandapam and invites Varalakshmi Devi. Then she wore nine threads Thoranam to right hand and offers naivadyam to Goddess Lakshmi Devi. When Charumati and her friends performed the Vrata, they were showered with riches following the completion of each pradakshina.Following this event, Varalakshmi vratam became an annual event in many households and since then, Hindu women perform this vrata with utmost faith and trust till today.
On the Puja day maried women should wake up early morning, clean the puja room or place and make kolam (rangoli) with rice flour. Now place a mandapam or a small wooden platform and spread a blouse piece over it. On the blouse piece spread a cup of rice. Place a kalasham partially filled with holy water from any river on it. Decorate the kalash with betelleaves, usually five in number.The Kalash tray can be filled with turmeric, kumkum, sandalwood and other Puja items. Now place a coconut on top of the kalash smeared all over with turmeric powder and a kumkum tilak. The kalasham, now symbolically representing Goddess Lakshmi is further decorated with gold ornaments old and new, silk cloth or saree and fresh flowers. From now on Kalasham is called and worshipped as a Devi. Lord Ganesh is worshipped first and then begins the Varalakshmi puja. The puja usually comprises of Kalash puja, archana, ashtothra puja and Kanakana puja. Ladies wear the kankanam (yellow thread) in their right hand wrist. After worship, Thamboolam consisting of a betel leaf (Paan ka patta), areca nut (supari), turmeric, gold coin or currency, blouse piece and flowers are given to married women who in turn bless the household.