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Friday, August 16, 2013

Lakshmi Pooja

Lakshmi Pooja can also be done by the males in the house.
There is a legend that says that this vratam was recommended by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati to gain wealth and prosperity.
On the day of Varalakshmi vratam, women clean their homes and decorate their front yards with rangolis (colorful designs traced on the floor). Later, they take a bath and deck themselves with beautiful clothes and jewellery. They then begin the process of performing the vrata by first arranging the kalasha or sacred pot. They fill the pot with rice and water which symbolize prosperity and cover it with mango and betel leaves. They then place a coconut smeared with turmeric and vermilion on the kalasha and also decorate the coconut with a new cloth. Some people decorate the kalasha with many kinds of jewels to make it look more beautiful. They place this kalasha on a plate filled with rice. The main puja begins by worshiping Lord Ganesha, who is believed to drive away all obstacles and evil forces. Later, goddess Mahalakshmi is invoked into the kalasha. They then worship a couple of torams (a bunch of nine threads with nine knots) and tie one to the kalasha while the other one is tied around the right hand wrist of the lady performing the pooja. Later, they chant the Lakshmi Ashtottara Shatanamam (a list of hundred names in praise of the deity). They then offer the goddess nine varieties of delicacies including both sweets and savories. In conclusion of the vratam, they sing hymns in praise of goddess Varalakshmi and also invite another married woman assuming her to be goddess Varalakshmi and offer her sweets & dakshina (money). They also collectively sing songs in praise of goddess Varalakshmi.
See translation

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