How to perform Vara Lakshmi Vrat

Vara Lakshmi Vrat is a festival to propitiate Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu it is performed by for the well being of their families, to get progeny health, wealth etc. The meaning being Vara is a boon and Vara Lakshmi the Goddess who will granting the boon. This pooja should be performed on a Friday that comes just before the Full moon day of Sravana. It is believed that worshiping Goddess Vara Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.

Ashtalaksmi

Varalakshmi Vrat Katha
Once Suta ji explained to Saunak Rishi and other sages a Vrat (ritual) which when performed would grant prosperity and fulfill wishes. Thus Suta ji explains this to what was
narrated by Lord Shiva to Mother Parvati.

Once in Kailash Mother Parvati approaches Lord Shiva and asks him “ what vrat that has can be performed that will give benefits of having children, grandchildren, long life to their spouses happiness etc. Lord Shiva tells that there is one such Vrat and it is the “Vara Lakshmi Vrat” .

Once in the city Kundi at town called Magadha there lived a lady by the name of Charumati, who was a perfect example of a Indian women who took care of there their husband and family, serve there parents and
in-laws and do the duty of a wife, daughter in law and mother to perfection. Goddess Lakshmi was very much impressed with Charumati ways and appeared to her in a dream and told that she was pleased with the way she was doing her duties and told her to worship her on a Friday that comes just before the full moon day of the Sravan and by doing so Goddess Laxmi would would grant her anything she wished for.

In the dream itself Charumati worshipped Goddess Lakshmi praying saying “ Oh the one who is the mother of all ! the one who gets your blessings are the lucky ones who will be educated, rich. It is because of the good deeds that I have done in my previous birth that you appeared before me and blessed me.

She immediately got up from her sleep and looked around but doesn’t find the goddess and so convinced that it was just a dream. She explains the dream to her husband and in-laws, who encourage her to perform the vrat. Charumati tells her experience to all the ladies in the neighborhood .

Finally the Friday arrives and the all the ladies start to prepare for the puja. They get up early in the morning, take a head bath, wear silk sarees. clean up and put up a altar called a Mandap and on that a stool called Asanam is placed on which they place rice and on the rice place a Kalasha.

A coconut is placed on top of the kalasha and it is wraped in a red cloth. . All the ladies performed the pooja to the goddess,

After completing the pooja they tied a red thread with nine knots to their wrist and started doing Pradakshina ( walking around the murti chanting the name of the Goddess Lakshmi).

Once they started the pradakshini at the completion of the first round they heard the sound of anklets and see that they have been adorned with anklets.

By the end of second round they had bangles studded with nine types of diamonds and by the time they finished the third round they were fully adorned with jewelery . They were happy that they were being blessed by the Goddess Lakshmi. The blessing also reached their homes with all types of prosperity.

All the ladies along with Charumati seeked the blessings of the Brahmins who helped them in performing the pooja , gave them the fees (Dakshina) along with Tamboolam ( betle nut, betlenut leaves and a fruit). The Brahmins blessed them and all the ladies left to their houses happily.

They kept on discussing the wealth that Charumati and they acquired and how lucky they were to be called by Charumati. They all praised her for not keeping the Vrat to herself but telling it to everyone so they all can prosper.

From that day onwards, it had become a part of their yearly ritual to perform this Vrat and lived happily with their sons and grandsons ever after.

Lord Shiva concludes the by telling that “ Goddess Parvati, by doing this Vrat and by spreading this Vrat and helping others also to do it will bring prosperity not only to their family’s but also to the the country that we live in. By hearing or reading this one is blessed with prosperity”

Suta Ji ends by stating that “ I hope you all have heard how Charumati selfless helped others and wished for their prosperity, it is this virtue that is liked by the Goddess Laxmi and one with this virtue will always be dear to the her. Goddess Laxmi would provide every thing that is needed for her devotees.”

Puja
On this occasion women worship Goddess Lakshmi with utmost devotion offering sweets and flowers, usually a kalash (representing the deity) will be decorated with a saree, flowers and gold jewellery with offerings placed in front.

Different forms of Lakshmi Devi:
Adi Lakshmi:
Mother Lakshmi resides with Lord Narayana in the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana. She is known as Ramaa, bringing happiness to the mankind. Lord Narayana is omnipresent. Adi Lakshmi serves Sri Narayana is symbolic of her serving the whole creation. Mother Adi Lakshmi and Narayana are not two different entities but one only.

Dhariya Lakshmi (Bravery)
This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of infinite courage and strength. Those, who are in tune with infinite inner power, are always bound to have victory. Those who worship mother Dhairya Lakshmi they live and lead a life with tremendous patience and inner stability.

Dhanya Lakshmi (Grain/food)
Dhanya means grains. This includes all kinds of pure food containing all essential vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, carbohytrade etc. With the grace of mother Dhanya Lakshmi one gets all essential nutrients.

Gajala Lakshmi (Victory)
At the time of the churning of the ocean by Gods and demons Maha Lakshmi came out of the ocean She came out of the ocean sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and also having lotus flowers in both hands with two elephants by her sides, holding a beautiful vessels filled with water and pouring it over Maha Lakshmi.

Vijay Laksmi (Courage/Strength)
Vijay is victory. To get success in all undertakings and all different facets of life. Some are strong physically but weak mentally while others are economically rich but poor in their attitude and cannot exert any influence. Vijay is to have all encompassing victory. Vijay is to rejoice glory of our real nature – Vijay is to conquer the lower nature.

Santhan Lakshmi (Family)
In the family life, the children are the greatest treasure. Those who worship Santan Lakshmi, are bestowed with the grace of mother Lakshmi and have wealth in the form of desirable children with good health & long life.

Dhanalakshmi (Wealth)
Dhana is wealth. Dhana is not only a wealth in coins and currency. Even Sun and moon, fire and stars, rains and nature, oceans and mountains, rivers and streams, all these are our wealth, so are the progeny, our inner will power, our character and our virtues. With the grace of mother Dhana Lakshmi we will get all these in

Requirements for the prayer:
o1 Coconut (2 coconuts if you making a kalash)
o 1 Pkt Borrie (hurdee)
o 1 Pkt kumkum (purple or Red colour)
o 8 betel leaves
o 8 betel nuts
o Flowers for garland and petals
o 1 Pkt incense sticks
o 2 Pkts camphor
o 1 Roll red string (Make the string for each family member with 8 knots)
o 3 Kind of Fruit
o 1 liter milk
o Sweetmeats or (prepare something sweet)
o ¼ Kg White rice
o ¼ meter red cloth

A general description of how one should conduct the Varalakshmi prayer at home:

Preparations for the Prayer:
A vegetarian diet should be observed for the entire day
The entire house should be cleansed (day before prayer).
One should wash their lamp and dot it with borrie/ Hurdee and kumkum
One should prepare something sweet (e.g. sweet rice, soji etc)
A korlam (rangoli) should be made at the front entrance of the house using either rice flour or mealie meal (morning of prayer).
A garland should be made using fresh flowers and mango leaves
The garland must be hung on the door (morning of prayer).
The prayer should be observed between 4.00AM – 6.00AM (morning) or from 6.00PM in the evening.
A string should be made for each family member with 8 knots

The symbolic representation of the 8 knots ties on the red string
Shree (Wealth)
Bhu (Earth)
Sarasvati (Learning)
Priti (Love)
Kiriti (Fame)
Shanti (Peace)
Tushti (Pleasure)
Pushti (Strength)

Simple procedure for performing the Prayer (Pooja)
Light your lamp before commencing your prayer (puja).
Ganesha should be made out of borrie/hurdee (if one does not have a Ganesha murti).

Place on a tray with 1 betel leave, 1 betel nut, 1 coin, 1 flower, some a sugar candy, fruit, milk and prasadam , 3 incense sticks should be lit.
Lord Ganesha should be invoked first by offering flower petals and chanting the mantra of Ganesha (Aum gam ganesha ye namaha) or (Aum gam ganesha potri) can be chanted 18, 27 or 108 times.

After chanting camphor must be turned clockwise 3 times. Sprinkle water 3 times over the prasad.

After completion of the Ganesha prayer one should take Your Laxmi Lamp outside

The door should be open and camphor light and offer to the sun facing east pray to Surya Dev. Thereafter a flower should be placed on the korlam place a kuthu villaku or lamp on the korlam (rangoli).

Camphor should be lit in front of the korlam (rangoli).
Offer some flower petals with rice on the korlam (rangoli) repeating the mantra
AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI YEH NAMAHA OR
AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI POTRI (8 TIMES).

Walk around the kuthu villaku or lamp 3 times clockwise Welcome Mahalakshmi into the house by carrying your kuthu villaku or lamp to your home and place at your prayer.

There are two ways of performing your prayer (pooja):
With Lamp or Kalasha


With Lamp
Place white rice on a tray place lamp on white rice.
Dot the base of the lamp with borrie/hurdee and kumkum

Place a betel leave, betel nut, flower a coin some kumgum, borrie/hurdee .
Place your strings on top of the betel leave.
Place fruit, milk and prasadam in front of lamp.
Commence with prayer by offering flower petals with rice or kumgum and chant the mantra
AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI YEH NAMAHA OR AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI POTRI (17, 26, or 108 TIMES)

Turn the coconut clockwise 3 times and break. Place the 2 halves on either side of the lamp.

8 Incense sticks and 1 camphor should be turned.
Sprinkle water over the prasadam.
Kneel down and prayer.
A song or a prayer can be sung or chanted in praise of Mahalakshmi.
You should not leave the prayer place for at least 5 minutes without any disturbance.
Thereafter the red strings may be tied on the left hand for ladies and right hand for man

With Kalasha:
Place white rice on a tray thereafter placing a brass pot on the white rice.
Fill the pot with water and rosewater or rice; take a betel leave, betel nut, 1 flower and 1 coin place it inside the pot.
Take some borrie/hurdee, kumkum put it into the pot
Once the camphor has gone off take the coconut with 5 betel leave and place on the mouth of the pot spreading the betel leaves around.

Borrie/hurdee, kumKum dot should be placed in front of the coconut
Place the red cloth around the coconut.

A garland should be placed around the coconut.
Place in front of kalasha 1 betel leave some kumKum, borrie/Hurdee and kadam podi. Place your strings on top of the betel leave.


AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI YEH NAMAHA OR
AUM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMI POTRI (17, 26, or 108 TIMES

After chanting the mantra 8 incense sticks should be turned and camphor should be turned.
Sprinkle water over the prasadam.
Kneel down and prayer.
A song or a prayer can be sung or chanted in praise of Mahalakshmi.
You should leave the prayer place for at least 5 minutes without any disturbance. Thereafter the red strings may be tied on the left hand for ladies and right hand for man.

On the third day (Sunday) the coconut from the kalasha should be turned around the lamp and broken and placed on either side of the lamp.

Aarti to be done with Camphor or 5 lamps diped in ghee
Jai Lakshmi mata, maya jai Lakshmi mata,
Tumko nishdin sevat, Hara Vishnu vidhata, Jai Lakshmi…
Brahmani, Rudrani Kamala, tuhi hai jagmata,
Surya chandrama dhyavat, Narad rishi gata, Jai Lakshmi…
Durga rup nirantar, sukh sampati data,
Jo koi tumko dhyavat, riddhi siddhi dhan pata, Jai Lakshmi…
Tuhi hai patal Basanti, tuhi shubh data,
Karma prabhav prakashak, jagnidhi se trata, Jai Lakshmi…
Jisghar men tum rahati, sab sadgun ata,
Karna sake koi karle, man nahin ghabrata, Jai Lakshmi….
Tum bin yagya na hove, vastra na koi pata,
Khan pan ka vaibhava, sab tumse ata, Jai Lakshmi…
Shubh gun mandir sundar, Kshirodadhi jata,
Ratan charurdash tumhin, koi nahTh pata, Jai Lakshmi…
Arti Lakshmi ji ki, jo koi nar gata,
Ur anand ati umeg, pap utar jata, Jai Lakshmi…

Prayer to Lakshmi (Aarti)
Glory to you, O Mother, glory to you, mother Lakshmi. Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma meditate on you everyday and night.

You are yourself the consort of Brahma, Rudra and Vishnu and the mother of the world. The sage Narada sings your praises and the Sun and the Moon meditate on you.

As Durga, you grant both happiness and prosperity and he who centres his attention on you becomes a recipient of all riddhis and siddhis Prosperity and Accomplishment.

None but you dwell in the nether regions of the earth and you alone ensure good luck, bring to light the effect of action (karma), and protect all worldly treasures.

All the virtues collect themselves where you have your dwelling; with your grace and favour even the impossible becomes possible without causing any nervous agitation.

No sacrifice can be performed without you; no one can obtain any garment; it is from you that one obtains one’s sustenance.

O! daughter of the Ocean of Milk and the beauteous temple of all propitious virtues, you are verily a living mass of all fourteen gems with which none else is endowed.

Whosoever hymns this prayer to Lakshmi is purged of his sins and experiences the ecstasy of joy.