Sri.Varalakshmi Viratham

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Varalakshmi Pooja or Varalakshmi Vratham is an important ritual observed by married women in South India for the prosperity and welfare of their families. The observance is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and falls on the Friday before Shravan Poornima. Varalakshmi Puja is an elaborate pooja and is usually performed with the help of elderly women who have performed the Pooja earlier.

The date of Varalakshmi Vratham in 2013 is August 16.

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Goddess Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity – is worshipped on this day.
Varalakshmi literally means the boon granting goddess. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure,Santhan and Strength.

Story of varalakshmi

The name Varalakshmi itself can be interpreted in two ways. In one sense, Varalakshmi is one who grants boons. In another, she is the Goddess who is invited into the home and honoured. The different types of benefits that will accrue thanks to performing the Varalakshmi puja are “dhan” (money), “dhanyam” (grains or food), “arogyam” (health), “sampath” (property), “sathsanthanam” (virtuous offspring) and “dheerga saumangalyam” (longevity of the husband).

Origins of the Sri Varalakshi pooja

One of the stories suggests that it was a game of dice which caused a small tiff between Lord Shiva and Parvati as to who was the victor. An honest gana, Chitranemi, was asked to arbitrate and he decided in Shiva’s favour. An angry Parvati cursed him to suffer from leprosy. When Shiva pleaded with her, she gave in and said the day women in the world observed Varalakshmi puja, Chitranemi would get deliverance. Chitranemi got relief when he observed some women performing the puja. Ever since then, this vratham has been observed.

Charumathy is said to have celebrated this pooja first.

Once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a vratha or nombu that will be beneficial to women. Lord Shiva then mentioned the importance of Varalakshmi Vratha. The conversation on Varalakshmi Vratha between Parvati and Shiva takes place in the Skanda Purana.

To illustrate the importance of the Vratha, Lord Shiva narrates the story of Charumati. Pleased with Charumati’s devotion to her husband and family, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratha. Charumati invited all her neighbors, friends and relatives and performed the Varalakshmi puja as directed by Goddess Lakshmi. Soon after the puja, all the people who participated in the puja where blessed with wealth and prosperity.

How to observe Sri Varalakshmi Pooja.

read from here:

Also see these links for Puja