Varalakshmi Vrata is a festival to win or regain the favour of 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 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 ‘Sravana’, also called ‘Sawan’ in Hindi and Aadi in Tamil.
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 Charumathi, 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.
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.
Various delicious sweets and foods are made and offered to the goddess. Here is a collection of Varalakshmi Vratam Naivedyam.
– Poornam Boorelu
– Coconut Laddu with Condensed Milk
– Badam Halwa
– Kobbari Annam , Thengai Sadam, or Coconut Rice
– Nulluvula Annam or Ellu Sadam
– Daddojanam or Thayir Saadam
BY M. DIVYA SRI