Varalakshmi Vratam - the Puja procedure Jul 23, 2012 22:58:11 GMT 5.5
Post by Kanchi Periva on Jul 23, 2012 22:58:11 GMT 5.5
Date of Puja
Varalakshmi Puja or Varalakshmi Vratham for the year 2012 falls on Friday the 27th July 2012, and the preparations for the puja begin on Thursday. The observance is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and falls on the Friday before Shravan Poornima. If you happen to miss the Varalakshmi Nombu day or failed to observe it due to unavoidable reasons, you can do it during the following Friday.
The woman who undertakes to perform this puja wakes up early in the morning (brahma muhurtham) on Friday and take a bath. During the day, she abstains from eating certain kind of food / undertakes complete fasting (depending on age and health conditions - but fasting until puja completion is considered the best). The designated puja area and house is cleaned well (typically using cowdung) and a beautiful ‘kolam’ or rangoli is drawn on the intended place of puja.
Generally, following items would be required for the puja: Picture or image or idol of Maha Lakshmi, a kalasam (pot) for Purna Kumbha – bronze or silver, lamps, bells, agarbathis, usual decorations for puja, cotton dress for the idol or garlands, a blouse piece to cover the idol, mirror, comb, Nonbu Saradu (yellow thread prepared with a flower placed in the center - to be tied on the right hand after puja).
For offering to the Goddess, you might require the following fruits and leaves: Bananas, any other locally available fruits, dhruva grass, fragrant leaves, betel leaves, betel nuts, banana leaf with tip intact (nuni vaazhai ilai).
For making ‘Prasad’ or offering - usually sweets this depends on the person’s ability. There are a lot of varieties of sweets that are made. Usually, some type of sundal is also prepared as a neivedyam along with the sweets.
Preparing the Kalasam
Next is the preparation of the ‘kalasam’ - a bronze or silver pot is selected and is cleaned thoroughly and a swastika symbol is drawn and is smeared with sandalwood paste. The kalasam is filled with raw rice or water, coins, a single whole lime, five different kinds of leaves, and betel nut. The items used to fill the kalasam vary from region to region and includes turmeric, comb, mirror, small black bangles and black beads.
The kalasam up to the neck is sometimes covered with a cloth and leaves of the mango tree (maavilai) are placed on the mouth of the kalasam. Finally, a coconut smeared with turmeric is used to close the mouth of the kalasam. To this coconut, an image of Goddess Lakshmi is fixed or the image of Lakshmi is drawn using turmeric powder. Now the kalasam symbolically represents Goddess Lakshmi.
In some areas, women place a mirror behind the kalasam. Today, there are also specially made Varalakshmi pots available in the market.
Performing the Puja
The kalasam is usually placed on a bed of rice placed on a plantain leaf (nuni vaazhai ilai). First Lord Ganesha is worshipped. Then begins the Varalakshmi Puja. The puja consists of singing slokas dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi like the Lakshmi Sahasranamam (Lakshmi Ashtottaram at the least). Extend the puja to the best possible method of worship that you know of - it should be from the heart and not just from the lips.
Finally, aarati is performed for the kalasham. Different types of sweets/naivedyam are offered, and the nonbu saradu (yellow thread) is tied on the woman's right hand. Thamboolam – betel leaf and nuts, turmeric (manjal kizhangu), kumkumam, coconut, along with flowers (and sometimes a blouse piece, mirror, comb are added as well) – is offered to women in the locality and in the evening an aarati is offered to Lakshmi.
The next day, that is on Saturday, after taking a bath the kalasham is dismantled and the water in the kalasham is sprinkled in the house. If rice is used then it is mixed with rice in the house.
If you want to strictly follow all the rules and methods of Varalakshmi Puja, then it would be wise to take the advice from an elderly woman who is regularly performing the puja. What is given above is only an indicative procedure, and must be supported with best advices from someone who observes it every year.
Pooja procedure - step by step - Tamil audio
Sri Varalakshmi Vratha Poojai - Sri Muthu Subramania Ganapatigal