The Hindu festival Varalakshmi Vratam is celebrated on second Friday of Sravanamasam that is, in the month 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).
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 Nomu. It is more significant for newly married woman. On this special day, they clean the place tidy and there they place a wooden plank. On that they place rice with turmeric, on top of it they place Kalasam(representing the deity). Lakshmi being consort of Vishnu loves Allamkarana, so decorating her with as many flowers is part of puja.
History of Varalakshmi Vratam
In the kingdom of Magadha of Yore, there lived a Brahmin woman named Charumathi in a town named Kundina. The prosperous town was the home of Charumathi and her husband. Impressed by her devotion to her family, Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to worship Varalakshmi(Vara= boon, lakshmi= Goddess of wealth) and seek to fulfill her wishes. Varalakshmi is yet another form of Lord Vishnu’s consort. When Charumathi explained her dream to her family, she found them encouraging her to perform the pooja. Many other women of the village joined her in performing the pooja in a traditional way and offered many sweet dishes to the Goddess Varalakshmi. they prayed with deep devotion.
”Padmaasane Padmakare sarva lokaika poojithe Narayana priyadevi supreethaa bhava sarvada“
On this occasion women worship Goddess Lakshmi with utmost devotion offering sweets and flowers, usually a kalasam (representing the deity) will be decorated with a saree, flowers and gold jewelry with offerings placed in front.
The name Vishnu really means pervading everywhere, and Lakshmi, his consort, is symbolical of the forces found everywhere. Eight forces or energies are recognized and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvati (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. 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. Hence this festival is observed, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi.