Varalakshmi Vratham or Varalakshmi Pooja is performed to propitiate Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, and invoke her blessings. It is celebrated in the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamilnadu. Worshipping her on this day can appease her, and invoke her blessings and grace for all-round prosperity. Varalakshmi Vratham is celebrated on a Friday that comes before the full moon day during the month of Shravana. This year, it falls on the month of August.
The term Varalakshmi means “giver of boons.” So praying to Goddess Lakshmi with devotion and performing the Pooja with sincerity can bring her grace and spread positivity in our lives. It is also believed that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping all her eight forms known as Ashtalakshmi.
Story behind Varalakshmi Vratham
Legend has it that it was on this day that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk when it was churned for attaining the “Amirtham”— the elixir of life. Some also say that Goddess Parvati herself observed fast for the well-being of Lord Shiva and her children. So many women fast for the prosperity of their family on this day.
Observance of the Fast
The fast involves abstaining from food altogether, from sunrise to sunset, or from certain foods. It should also be noted that this Vratham is observed mostly by women.
For the Pooja, Kalash (a pot filled with rice, pulses, coins, water and coconut on top) is kept on the Pooja mandap (Sacred altar). Kum-Kum Archana (Pooja by chanting mantras and offering vermillion) is performed for Lakshmi statue or the Kalash. The following day, water from this pot would be sprinkled all over the house as a mark of purification of the house.
In some communities, people perform Pooja, make Pooja food and offer Thamboolam (more like return gifts consisting of betel leaves, turmeric sticks, vermillion and everything else that is auspicious to friends and relatives.