Image Source: The Internet
She who sits in the lotus, she who holds the lotus, She to whom all the worlds pray, Goddess who is dear to Narayana, be kind/good to me.
A prayer that all women recite on this very auspicious day for the well being of our husbands, for the goodness of our families and for a great and healthy marriage. Varalakshmi Nonbu / Vrutham is the most auspicious of all festivals.
I remember (as a child) wearing a new Pattu-Pavadai Chattai and decorating the whole house in anticipation of the pooja. Shopping for the pooja starts a month ahead - Blouse bits, sarees, Manjal and Kumkum and a new pattu saree for Varamahalakshmi of course. And boy did she look divine.
Image Source: The Internet
Made out of Silver, beautifully carved to have a divine face whose smile is enough to bless you miracles, the eyes sparkling, giving the Vigraham life, long hair for this beautiful Varamahalakshmi and the saree draping with jewelry - Dressing up Varamahalakshmi is like dressing up your own daughter. It is a beautiful experience. Women are invited and are given everything auspicious - Sarees, Blouse, Bangles, Kumkum, Manjal and blessings.
While it’s a festival/pooja that is most celebrated in the south, it is slowly catching up with the women in other parts of the country. Women wear 9-yard silks or 6-yard silks, remain in a fast the whole day and break the fast after pooja. In some households, Varalakshmi Pooja is done by women every Friday and Varalakshmi Vrutham is celebrated rather grandly. It is also believed that you must be blessed by Varamahalakshmi. You should be gifted a Varamahalakshmi to your house to do the pooja, in a sense, Varamahalakshmi “comes” to your house initiating the ritual every Friday.
The most famous story about Varalakshmi Vrutham is that of Charumathi and her husband. Goddess Lakshmi visits Charumathi, her biggest devotee, instructing her to pray to Goddess Varamahalakshmi, the embodiment of Ashtalakshmis, representing the 8 forces in the universe.
But the lesser-known story is one from Skanda Puranam.
Goddess Parvathi wanted to know about a vrutham that is highly beneficial to any woman, which will help her lead a happy and prosperous life. According to the Puranam, the importance of Varalakshmi Puja was narrated to Goddess Parvathi by Lord Shiva. There are a few mythical stories around Varalakshmi Vrutham and the lesser-known story is that of Shyamabala.
King Bathrasiravas and Queen Surachandrika had a daughter named Shyamabala. She was married to a prince of neighboring kingdom. Once when Shyamabala was in her parent’s palace when she saw her mother, Queen Surachandrika, driving away an old lady. The old lady had asked the Queen to perform Varalakshmi Pooja, but the queen did not like a beggar advising her regarding Pooja and therefore drove her out. The kind-hearted Shyamabala invited the old lady and listened to the greatness of Varalakshmi Vrutham. When she returned to her country, she performed the Vrata as directed by the old lady. Soon her kingdom started prospering and the prince was appreciated for his good governance. However, parents of Shyamabala had to undergo numerous troubles and there was suffering all around. The king and queen lost all their wealth and people started revolting against their rule.
Hearing about the suffering in her parent’s kingdom, Shyamabala sent pots of gold, but the moment Queen Surachandrika set her eyes on them they turned into ashes. Upon hearing this incident, Shyamabala realized that all this is the result of her mother driving out the old woman from the palace. She realized that the old woman was Goddess Lakshmi in disguise. Shyamabala asked her mother to ask forgiveness to Goddess Lakshmi and perform the Varalakshmi Vrutham. She did so and was able to attain the previous glory.
Goddess Varalakshmi is a representation of the eight forces of the universe - Wealth, Earth, Wisdom, Love, Fame, Peace, Contentment, and Strength. Praying to Varalakshmi is equal to praying to the Ashtalakshmis and is considered to be the most powerful. The Varalakshmi Vrutham is special for many reasons at Panjavarnam. It marks the beginning of the festival season, which means only one thing - SAREE SHOPPING! But this year Varamahalakshmi is extra special because of our timely SALE happening at our Experience Studio at Mylapore, Chennai. Get up to 30% off on Kanjivarams, Banarasi Silks, Silk Cottons, Kanchi Cottons, Tussars, Kalamkaris and 9-yards! The Sale is on the 9th, 10th and 11th of August this year(2019)!
So are we seeing you this weekend at the Panjavarnam Experience Studio?