Varalakshmi Pooja is celebrated to propitiate Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Mahalakshmi. The term Varalakshmi is self-explanatory as “Vara” means boons or wishes and the term refers to the boon-giver — Goddess Lakshmi. Worshipping her on this day can ensure her blessings for good health, wealth, prosperity and abundance. This Pooja is celebrated in South India except for Kerala by decorating the house, inviting family and friends for a meal, and of course by performing the Pooja. It is considered an auspicious day by women.
Legend Behind Varalakshmi Pooja
There are quite a few interesting stories about the birth of Goddess Lakshmi, but let’s begin with the one associated with Lord Vishnu, her love, and consort. According to Padma Purana, the Devas (Celestial beings) were defeated by demons and were harassed by them. Unable to put up with the treatment, the Devas approached Lord Vishnu to help them seek relief. Lord Vishnu advised them to churn Mandara Mountain and obtain the Amrit (the elixir of life), with the help of the demons too. The Lord’s snake bed, Adiseshan was used as the rope to churn, and the mountain was placed on Kurma, the tortoise (one among Lord Vishnu’s ten avatars). Amongst many things that came out during the churning, Goddess Lakshmi too emerged from it seated on a lotus in Padmasana posture. She straight away entered the heart of Lord Vishnu, which is said to be her abode. Eventually, the demons were defeated and the Devas were restored with wealth and prosperity. She is also called Bhooma Devi (Mother Earth).
Another interesting legend involves Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The God and the Goddess were playing the game of dice, and the Goddess kept winning back-to-back. Lord Shiva claimed that the Goddess was cheating. Therefore, the Goddess asked an honest Brahmin called Chitranemi to judge their game. He announced Lord Shiva as the winner, which made the Goddess very furious. She cursed Chitranemi to suffer from leprosy. Upon Lord Shiva’s request, she agreed to provide him relief on the day of Varalakshmi Pooja and rightly did so.