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Varalakshmi Vratam Procedure

The Hindu month of Sravanam that normally falls in the month of August is a highly auspicious month. Indian Hindu women, in particular married women remain busy during the month celebrating festivals and performing rituals. Married women worship Gowri Devi (one of the forms of Parvati Devi) on 4 or 5 Tuesdays of Sravanam. And on 4 or 5 Fridays they worship Lakshmi Devi.
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Read: Procedure for Sravana Mangala Gowri Vratam
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Varalakshmi vratam is an important pooja performed by the women folk for a prosperous life.

The pooja is performed on the 2nd Friday that falls before Sravana Purnima (Rakhi festival) i.e. the full moon day in the Hindu month of Sravanam. In case you cannot perform Varalakshmi vratam on 2nd Friday of the month, no problem, it can be performed on any one of the Fridays of the month.

About Varalakshmi Devi

Goddess Varalakshmi is a special form of Goddess Lakshmi - the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The meaning of the word 'vara' / 'var' is boon. It is believed that those who worship Lakshmi Devi on the 2nd Friday of Sravanam, will be bestowed with boon and their wishes be granted / fulfilled. Hence Lakshmi Devi is worshiped as Varalakshmi Devi on this day.

As per Skanda Purana, Goddess Parvati wanted to perform a pooja / vratam which would be highly beneficial for women to lead a happy, prosperous and blissful marital life. Lord Shiva, then narrated the importance of Varalakshmi vratam to Parvati Devi. In the Varalakshmi Katha (story), it is mentioned that a lady by name Charumathi gets the vision of the goddess her dream and performs the pooja as directed by Varalakshmi Devi. It is believed that worshiping Varalathekshmi on this special day is equivalent to worshiping Ashta Lakshmi.

List of puja items

  • Turmeric powder (haldi / pasupu)

  • Vermilion (kumkuma / kumkum)

  • Bengal gram / chickpeas for Vayanam

  • Sandalwood powder (chandan powder)

  • Yellow rice grains (akshat / akshantalu)

  • Betel leaves (tamalapakulu) and betel nuts (vakkalu) for making pasupu Ganapati, pasupu Ammavaru and for vayana tambulam to friends and relatives.

  • Available fresh seasonal flowers like chamanti and roses

  • Available fresh fruits including coconuts and bananas, preferably 5 or 9 varieties.

  • Cow ghee, cow milk, curd made of cow milk, sugar and honey of near equal measures for panchamrutam.

  • Camphor (karpooram) and agarbatti

  • Deeparadhana oil or cow ghee and wicks (vottulu)

  • Small plate with panchapatra and udharini for sankalpam.

  • Jaggary (bellam) for naivedyam to pasupu Ganapati

  • Red / maroon / yellow / green blouse pieces - 2

  • Small pieces of cotton pressed and smeared with pasupu, kumkuma for yagyopaveetam and vastram.

  • New sari and blouse for Ammavaru.

  • Silver or brass lamps

  • White / yellow / off white sewing thread for making thoram.

  • Harati plate (pancharati), bell and other puja items.

  • Naivedyam as per family custom and affordability.

Preparations for the vratam

  • Preparations for the puja is time-consuming and tedious. Most of the preparations for the vratam should be completed the previous night including making of Varalakshmi Ammavaru.

  • Purchase all the puja items the previous day and keep all these items near the puja mandapam / room where you perform the vratam.

  • Tie mango leaves or floral toranam to the main entrance door and pooja mandapam on Thursday evening.

  • Clean / mop the puja room and draw 'ashtadala padmam' muggu in the north-east corner of the room where you will place the mandapam. 
  • Decorate the mandapam and the back wall as per your taste and like. Decoration part is purely personal and not mandatory for the pooja. Tie small / baby plantain plants on either side of the mandapam and tie mango leaves thoranam to the mandapam.  
  • Place a medium sized silver / brass plate on the mandapam and spread little rice on the plate. Draw small muggu with turmeric powder / vermilion on the spread rice.

  • Once you are done with the decoration part, make sure that you place Ammavaru facing either West or South direction so that you face East or North while performing pooja.

  • However in some regions, the face of the God / Goddess should face East / North while you sit facing West / South. You can sit as per your tradition and there is no hard and fast rule for the same.

  • After placing Varalakshmi Devi's photo / Kalasam on the decorated mandapam, place one elephant each on either side, slightly behind Varalakshmi Devi.

List of items for making / decorating Varalakshmi Ammavaru

  • Varalakshmi Devi silver pratima (face) or photo / idol of Lakshmi Devi (as per family custom)

  • Silver or copper kalasam

  • Mango leaves / betel leaves to keep in the kalasam

  • Two elephants preferably with lifted trunks (optional)

  • Two small plantain (banana) plants for tying on either side of the mandapam (optional).

  • Rice to spread on the mandapam and in the kalasam (as per family custom only)

  • Coconut

  • Yellow / maroon / green blouse piece

  • Gold / fancy / handmade jewelry as per taste

  • Pure silk sari or ready made long skirt for draping to Ammavaru
Making / decorating Ammavaru is one of the most important part of the vratam which should be done as per family custom.  Some families have the tradition of keeping only the face of Varalakshmi Ammavaaru on decorated coconut and is placed on the silver / copper pot i.e Kalasam. While in other families, the full idol of Ammavaaru decked with saree and bedecked with jewels is worshiped.

How to make / decorate Varalakshmi Ammavaru?

  • The previous night scrap the coconut. Do not remove the tail. Apply 1 or 2 coats of the paste made of turmeric and chandan powder on the entire coconut for making Varalakshmi Ammavaru face and let it dry.

  • Take a silver kalasam with Ashta Lakshmi impression on it (optional) or a copper kalasam, smear turmeric paste on four sides of the kalasam, apply chandan and kumkum on it.

  • Place the kalasam on a plate full of rice. Fill the kalasam nearly to three-fourths with rice or half-filled with water (as per family custom).

  • Keep mango leaves cluster / dalam or betel leaves (as per family custom) on the kalasam. Place the coconut on the kalasam upside down.

  • Make ears and nose with a thick ball of turmeric paste and stick it to the Ammavaru face made of coconut.

  • If you have an aesthetic taste, draw eyes and lips and colour these or stick eyes and lips of Ammavaru.

  • Draw Kalyanam Bottu on the forehead region and place the Ammavaru made of coconut on the kalasam.

  • Take a new blouse piece, fold it into a cone and place it on the tail of c head gear on Ammavaaru.

  • Place a flower on it and then decorate Ammavaru as per your family custom / choice with dress and ornaments.

  • For making a bigger idol of Ammavaaru, you need to place the kalasam on a steel / brass / hard plastic cylinder and roll a cello tape round these to ensure tightness. Then drape sari to Ammavaaru and decorate Her as per your family custom / choice.
Once you are done with decoration of Varalakshmi Ammavaaru, you can get ready for performing puja. When you are done with all the necessary arrangements for the puja, you can sit on the pooja mat and start performing the puja. Take the Varalakshmi pooja vidham book and perform the pooja as directed.
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Download Telugu PDF doc of Varalakshmi Vrata Vidhanam.
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Puja Vidhanam

Note that once you sit and start performing puja you are not supposed to get up till harati. So make sure that you have completed all the arrangements before sitting for puja.
  • Start the puja with the sloka 'Suklam Baradharam' and then light up the lamps.

  • Do achamanam, pranayama and then do sankalpam.

  • Perform kalasa puja following by yada vidhi Ganapati puja and then do udyapana of pasupu Ganapati.

  • Now do prana prathistha of Varalakshmi Devi followed by (i) Dhyanam, (ii) Aavahanam, (iii) Aasanam, (iv) Arghyam and Padyam, (v) Aachamaneeyam, (vi) Panchamruta snanam followed by Suddhokakasnanam, (vii) Vastram, (viii) Aabharanam, (ix) Yagyopaveetam, (x) Gandham, (xi) Akshantalu, (xii) Pushpam, (xiii) Adhaanga Puja, (xiv) Sri Varalakshmi Devi Ashtottara Satanamavali, (xv) Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedyam, (xvi) Paaneeyam, Tambulam, (xvii) Mantrapushpam followed by Atma Pradakshinam, (xviii) Sarvopacharan, (xix) Thoragrandhi and Thorabandhana puja, (xx) Varalakshmi Vrata Kadha, (xxi) Kshama prardhana, (xxii) Neerajanam, (xxiii) Anugraham, (xxiv) Vayanam and finally (xxv) Udyapanam.

How to make naivedyam?

Preparation of naivedyam for the vratam is equally important. It is customary in many families to prepare nine varieties of sweet and hot items. However it depends upon one's affordability and capability. Worshiping Lakshmi Devi with devotion and dedication is more important.

Generally poornam boorelu, pulihora, garelu (vadalu), sooji / kesar halwa, payasam are prepared and offered as naivedyam to Ammavaaru along with other varieties of prepared recipes on the day as Mahanaivedyam.

After the puja you can sing Varalakshmi song Etla Ninnuettu Kondunamma and then at the end of the pooja, offer 'mangala harati' accompanied with the song ksheerabdi kanyakaku. In the evening, there is social gathering. You can wear your new sari and deck up yourself and invite your friends and relatives for perantam. Offer senagala vaayanam (sprouted grams) along with taambulam to the invited ladies. Other formalities like return gifts is purely your personal thing.

Date of Varalakshmi Pooja this year (2020): July 31, 2020 (Friday).

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