Varalakshmi Vratham or Varalakshmi Vrat is the festival to appease Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Vara means that “boon” and Lakshmi means “Goddess of Wealth”. Goddess Lakshmi grants all boons to the devotees who is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is an important pooja performed by women mainly in the states of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.
This festival is celebrated on the second Friday or the Friday before the day of the full moon — Poornima(Pournami) falls in the midst of July — August.
Varalakshmi vrat is mainly performed by married women for the well being of their family and especially for their husbands. On this day, Goddess Varalakshmi is equal to worship the Ashtalakshmi who is the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Wisdom, Love, Fame, Peace, Liking and Strength.
Significance of “Varalakshmi Vrat”:
Eight energies or eight forces such are recognized as Siri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Saraswathi (Wisdom), Preethi (Love), Keerthi (Fame), Shanthi (Peace), Santhushti (Liking) and Pushti (Strength).
1. Aadi Lakshmi (Goddess of Protector)
2. Dhana Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth)
3. Dhairya Lakshmi (Goddess of Courage)
4. Sowbhagya Lakshmi (Goddess of Prosperity)
5. Vijaya Lakshmi (Goddess of Victory)
6. Dhanya Lakshmi (Goddess of Aliment)
7. Santana Lakshmi (Goddess of Heir)
8. Vidhya Lakshmi (Goddess of Wisdom)
All the eight forces are combined together are called as “Asta Lakshmi’s” or the eight Lakshmi’s of Hindus.
The Story Behind Varalakshmi Vratham:
The story said that Lord Shiva, he has said about the Vara Lakshmi Vratham to Parvathi. According to Skanda Puranam, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva to recommend a Vratham, that will be beneficial to women and Lord Shiva tells her about Vrahtam and its Puja Vidhi.
Then Lord Shiva narrates the Story of Charumathi tells to Goddess Parvathi about the glory of the Vratham.
A Brahmin woman named Charumathi lived in the kingdom of Magadha. She is devoted to her family and served her husband and her parents-in-law without her most devotion.
Goddess Lakshmi was impressed by her sincerity and then she appeared in her dream and asks her to worship her as “Varalkashmi”, and all her wishes will be fulfilled soon. It is said that she has also prescribed that the Friday of Sravana month before the full moon day for the Vratham.
The Charumathi’s family encourages her to perform the Puja as the Goddess has asked her to do and finding her devotion and other women in the town join her in performing the Puja.
“Padmaasane Padmakare sarva lokaika poojithe
Narayana priyadevi supreethaa bhava sarvada”
The meaning of the above mantra is: One who is sitting in the lotus, holding lotuses on her hand, one who is prayed by the entire universe, the One Who is very dear to Lord Narayana, Please always be benevolent to me.
Just as Charumathi and other women clad in their best attire were performing the Puja Vidhi that Goddess Lakshmi is said to appear as an ornament on the bodies of these worshippers and houses were fulfilled with riches and gives more and more wealth. The women expressed their thanks to Charumathi, who shared her dream and helped them to become rich.