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Aug 15

Written by: Jayanthi
Friday, August 15, 2008

Varalakshmi Vratam - Summer's Tribute to Eight Forms of the Goddess
photos in this post courtesy, Maitri and Raji. Do not reprint.

Lakshmi/Varalakshmi Vratham by Maitri On the fourth Friday of the Tamil Month Aadi (July/August), married women in most parts of South India will pray to Lakshmi in her 8 forms- aasthalakshmi for various attributes.

 

"The 8 forms of Lakshmi are: Vidya Lakshmi (Saraswati, Goddess of Education), Dhana Lakshmi (Lakshmi, Goddess of Money), Dhanya Lakshmi (Goddess of Food), Santhana Lakshmi (Goddess for family, who bless our family with kids), Gaja Lakshmi (Goddess of Strength), Vijaya Lakshmi (Goddess of Victory),  Bhagya Lakshmi (Goddess of Prosperity), Dhairya Lakshmi (Goddess of Courage)."(

source)

 

"Women pray for:  "dhan" (money), "dhanyam" (grains or food), "arogyam" (health), "sampath" (property), "sathsanthanam" (virtuous offspring) and "dheerga saumangalyam" (longevity of the husband)." (

source)

 

I could use this space to talk about the stories related to this day, how to do the puja, or any of those details available on other sites (I have linked up above), but since that is readily available, I wanted to take a different spin on this topic.

 

While researching this puja, I found a forum where people were discussing the superstitious aspect of this holiday and if doing this puja creates a ‘placebo effect’, or placates you and takes away your guilt or increases your superstition for something (ie. Having children, making sure your husband treats you good, etc.).

Varalakshmi Vratham - Devi Alayam Adorned

 

I believe whatever attitude you enter with in any activity is the benefit you get out.  If a woman were to enter this puja out of fear or lack, that may be what occurs later.  What if a woman enters this prayer with a pure heart and wishes the best to occur?  Some may also believe that these types of pujas are old fashioned and take women back to before women were liberated.  You know what, I tend not to believe that.  Any prayer not only would benefit who you are praying for, but since everyone is connected, it would also benefit the person giving the prayers.  On the outside, the women are praying for the health and well-being of their husbands and families, a good thing to pray for, without doubt, but with the husbands and families happy and doing well, doesn’t that benefit the wife also?  I am not saying then the puja transforms from self-less (praying only for others) to selfish, but since we are all connected, there is no doubt in my mind residual benefits of the prayer would trickle down to others in close contact with the husbands and families.

 

What do you think?  Have you participated in this puja?  Do you have photos of the decorations (especially the coconut) to share?  What is something you believed changed in your life after doing this puja?  What is your opinion about why this puja continues in present day?

 

 



Related Posts/Sites: 
Varalakshmi Vratham Prayer Celebrations Video, Tutorial and Tips
Tutorial: Tips and Etiquette for Attending Varalakshmi Puja at Home or in Temple

Varalakshmi Vratham in Chennai, Raji Muthukrishnan. These photos nicely show decorations, prayer alter and thamboolam.
Story of Varalakshmi Vratam – Varamahalakshmi Vrat Katha: Narrations of three legends, myths or reasons behind celebrating Varalakshmi Vratham: Charumati, Shyamabala, and Chitranemi. 

Aadi Masam 2009 – Aadi Month in 2009 in Tamil Calendar   |   108 Aspects of Wealth – Lakshmi’s Many Attributes posted on May 8, 2007.Vedic- Western Calendar

 

Updated August 2013

 

Thank you for spending your time on Alaivani.com.

Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar

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4 comments so far...

Re: Varalakshmi Vratham - Summer's Tribute to Eight Forms of the Goddess

i agree with you...this is a puja which is most auspicious for a married woman. The' lakshmi' is handed down from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law.
And it is my favorite puja of the year as it is the only puja where the woman is the priest. So in fact women are empowered and as you mention, it is a ritualistic act sending positive thoughts.
I love the idea of devoting a day to think about praying fr your family, calling women home in the evening to share your blessings.
My childhood memories consist of my grandmother, my mother and me doing this puja together and today in America, I love it when my daughter and me do it together and carry it forward.

By ritut on   Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Re: Varalakshmi Vratham - Summer's Tribute to Eight Forms of the Goddess

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and spending time on my blog, Ritut.
I am happy that you will be able to carry on your traditions though you aren't in India. :)

By admin on   Thursday, July 08, 2010

Re: Varalakshmi Vratham - Summer's Tribute to Eight Forms of the Goddess

can we perform the pooja on 13th aug friday this year. pls let us know.

By ranjani on   Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Re: Varalakshmi Vratham - Summer's Tribute to Eight Forms of the Goddess

My Mom does this Puja every year. She says this it is upto a family to decide whether to do this rituals or not. In my Dad's side, they do this every year so do we. But now cos I am married and my in-laws do not believe it I have a choice to quit it. But somehow , doing this pooja makes me feel close to home. And I am not sure about the superstitions thing, I would like to do this every year and pass on this heritage to my children.

By Radhika Vasanth on   Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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