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Seek ’Vara’ from Goddess of Wealth

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It is believed that by performing "Varamahalakshmi Vratha", one can appease Goddess of wealth and become affluent. Goddess Lakshmi would shower her benevolence, if one listens to or reads "Varamahalakshmi Vratha Mahime" on Dwadasha Shukravara as it is the day of her incarnation. And the day is considered very auspicious. Varamahalaksmi Vratha falls on the second Friday of Shravana Masa. The preparations begin on the eve of the "vratha". Women clean the house, take oil bath, and draw rangoli to welcome the Goddess of wealth.

On the day of the "vratha", women keep two "kalasas" - "Lakshmi kalasa" and "Ganga" or "Yamuna kalasa" in front of the picture of Goddess Lakshmi.

The "Lakshmi kalasa" is filled with rice, dry-grapes, badam, dates, banana, lemon, coins etc. The "Ganga" or "Yamuna" kalasa filled with water, coins, one date, dry-grape etc. The two kalasas are smeared with vermillion and decorated with jewellery. A coconut is placed on top of the kalasa and it is covered with five betel leaves. Rice spread on a banana leaf is also placed in front of the photo. Then to appease the goddess, people perform pooja with different flowers. "You need to perform anga pooje, granthi pooje, kusuma pooje, asthotthara shatanama pooje to appease Goddess Lakshmi. The pooja would be complete by offering naivadya to the deity," says a priest Vasudevacharya.

It is believed that even those who listen to the ’vratha’ will be the benefactors. The ’vratha’, which is considered auspicious, brings out the artistic talent of women. They spend their energies to draw beautiful rangolis, on decorating the kalasa etc.

Some have been performing it for the past many years. "The vratha has helped me and my family and I am never going to give it up," says Sumathi. N., a housewife. One needs to follow the ’vratha’ with devotion, she adds. It is also time to invite your friends and relatives and offer them ’phala and tamboola’.

There is an interesting story in mythology. It is said that Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva were playing a game of dice. In the end, Parvati claimed that she had won the game. However, Shiva did not budge and he claimed that he had won the game. An argument ensued.

They both asked Chithranemi, a "gandharva" to solve the issue. In a bid to appease Lord Shiva, Chithranemi said that the lord had won. This angered Parvati and in turn, she cursed him that he will become a leper. Lord Shiva pacified Parvati and requested her to pardon Chithranemi and make him come out of the curse. A pleased Parvati said that the day when angels perform "Varamahalakshmi Vratha pooja" on the banks of a holy river that day Chithranemi would come out of the curse.

Chithranemi led a life of a leper on the banks of a holy river. One day, he saw some angels performing a pooja on the banks. He learnt from them that they were doing the "vratha" and it is said that thus he was able to come out of Parvati’s curse. It is believed that Chithranemi popularised the "vratha" among gods and goddesses and later among ordinary mortals.

Even to this day, it is believed that the "vratha" would bring wealth, health and prosperity.

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