Varalakshmi Vratam is Puja to Goddess Lakshmi. The Lakshmi who gives Vara - whatever her bhakta-s wish for. The next Vratam is on Friday, 20 August 2021. How are the dates calculated? Read how it started. A story related to it from Bhavishyottara Purana.
Varalakshmi Vratam needs to be on a Friday. Most of our festivals are Moon based. But this is the only festival I can think of, that is fixed on a weekday.
It happens on the Friday before Purnima in the Chandramana month of Shraavana. It is also calculated as the second Friday in Shraavana when the Sauramana month is Karkata.
Vrata Chudamani says that Apsara-s first did this Puja. Bhavishyottara Purana mentions males and females observing Varalakshmi Vratam.
Kings Nanda and Vikramaditya observed this Vratam to regain their lost kingdoms. Charumati (daughter of Krishna & Rukmini) did this in Kundinapuri (in Vidarbha region). Watch this video about her story.
Varalakshmi Vratam is an elaborate Puja to Lakshmi Devi. With lots of decorations and variety of eatables as offerings to her. Currently only married women perform the core parts. The decorations, the actual Puja. And, of course, the cooking !
The eating part is done by all ! ☺☺
Families in Telugu, Tamil and Kannda traditions do this.
There is a story narrated about Varalakshmi Vratam in the Bhavishyottara Purana.
Once Shiva and Parvati were playing a game of dice in Kailasha. They get into an argument on who is the winner.
Chitranemi had been watching the game and the arguments. Shiva & Parvati ask his opinion on who is the winner.
Chitranemi declares Shiva as the winner. This angers Parvati. She curses Chitranemi.
Poor Chitranemi ! Here he was just watching a game of dice and gives his opinion only when asked. But still ends up suffering !!
In Purana stories, the worst kind of curse that the Deva-s exchange with each other is -- to be reborn on earth !
So, Parvati curses Chitranemi to be reborn on earth and to suffer from leprosy. She later pronounces a redemption from the curse.
Apsaras from heaven come once a year down to earth to perform Varalakshmi Vratam. When Chitranemi watches this performance he would be free from the curse.
Years later, Chitranemi watches the Apsaras perform the Puja and leprosy goes away. He then proceeds to observe it before going back to Kailasha.
May Varalakshmi shower us with all the physical & spiritual wealth.
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