VaraLakshmi Poojai/Nonbu

20631501_1980045552010499_1295845581_n.jpgHow to perform Varamahalakshmi Puja?
Varalakshmi Puja or Varalakshmi Vratham is an important ritual observed by married women in South India and Maharashtra( known as Varadaa Lakshmi) for the prosperity and welfare of their families. Varalakshmi Vratham will be celebrated on the Friday prior to the full moonday in Shravana, usually second Friday in the month of Shravana.
The devotee intending to do the puja should wake up early in the morning on Friday
take a bath(mangala snana). Traditionally speaking the waking up time for the puja is the brahma muhurtham. Then the designated puja area and house should be spotlessly cleaned and a beautiful rangoli,generally ashtadala padma or Hrudaya Kamala design rangoli is to be drawn on the intended place of puja.
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Next is the preparation of the kalasha. A bronze or silver pot is selected and and is smeared with sandalwood paste/turmeric/kumkum/lime and red soil. The kalasham pot is filled with raw rice/wheat or water, coins, whole betelnut, five different kinds of leaves(pancha pallava), and five fruits/dry fruits like Badam, cashew, pista, raisins,dry dates, etc if the kalasha is small (pancha phala) and branched turmeric route. The items used to fill the kalasham vary from region to region and includes turmeric, comb, mirror, small black/green bangles and black beads and other auspicious items.
Then 5 or 8 mango leaves are placed on the mouth of the kalasham. Finally, a coconut smeared with turmeric is used to close the mouth of the kalasham. To this coconut, an image of Goddess Lakshmi face made of silver or brass is fixed or the image of Lakshmi is drawn using turmeric powder. Now the kalasha symbolically represents Goddess VaramahaLakshmi.keep separate kalasha for Yamuna puje
Padma/lotus design will be drawn and peetham/flat wooden stand will be placed upon it. A cup of raw-rice is spread over upon this peetha and Kalasha will be placed on the rice bed.
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A small Ganesha image will be placed in the right corner of Peetham and a piece of jaggery or banana will be placed before Ganapathi for naivedyam. Image of Lakshmi Narayana will be placed in front of Kalasham.
These items should be readily available for puja:
1. Turmeric powder /Kumkum/Sindhoor/sandalwood paste/mantrakshatha-whole rice grain colored with turmeric and lime or kumkum
2. Sweet scented flowers like jasmine, lotus, champagne, kewda, oleander etc and Garland
3. Gejjevastra, Garland made of cotton colored with kumkum for offering as divine clothing.
4. Nine line thread with nine knots dipped in turmeric water and knots highlighted with kumkum for wearing as dorakam after puja
5. Fruits/sweets and offerable food items for naivedyam and betel leaves, betel nuts, clove, elaichi, and lime paste for mukhavasa/tambulam
6.One pot full water for puja and cup of water for achamana.
7. Lamps, arathi, camphor, incense items for dhoop deepam.
8.Milk, curd,ghee,honey,sugar, fruits for panchamrutham.
Now start puja with achamana, sankalpa, Ganesha puja.
Do shodashopachara puja(16 upacharas) by reciting Shreesukta or any other puja mantra
1.Dhyana- say Lakshmi dhyana mantra and think that the Goddess has appeared before you in the form of kalasha.
2.Avahana- Pray Goddess to invoke her gracious presence in kalasha.
3.Asana- offer seat to Goddess
4.Padya- offer water to the feet of Mahalakshmi
5.Arghya- offer water in the hands of Mahalakshmi
6.Achamana- offer water for drinking
7.Madhuparka, punarachamana- offer coconut water/ honey and water
8.Snana-Pachamrutha and Mahabhisheka- do abhishekam to small image placed before kalasha or sprinkle water to kalasha with a flower
9.Gandha- offer sandalwood paste, turmeric kumkum etc
10.Akshatha: offer manthrakshata
11.Vastra- offer cloth and/or gejje vastra
12.Abharana: offer golden ornaments and touch the mangala suthra already tied to the neck of kalasha or image.
13.Pushpa: offer flowers and decorate with Garlands.
Nama puja/Anga puja/ pushpa puja/ pathra puja/ ashtottara kumkumarchana
Recite divine names of Mahalakshmi and worship all parts of the body starting from holy feet to face. Worship with different flowers and sacred leaves like tulasi bilwa etc. Do Kumkumarchane by offering a kumkum by chanting 108 holy names of Mahalakshmi.
Do doraka puja and granthi puja(holy thread and its knots)
14.Dhoopa- offer incense
15.Deepa- do arathi and show divine light
16.Naivedya- offer food items and fruits.
Paneeya- offer water/panakam-lime juice
Tambula-betel leaves and nuts.
Prasannarghya-offer water with flower and kumkum at the holy feet
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Prarthana-pray the Goddess
Finally do mangalarathi and read Varamahalakshmi vratha katha/mythological story behind observing this puja.
Now the sacred thread may be tied to the right wrist of the women who performed puja. While wearing this thread she should either hold kumkum bowl or a whole fruit in her right hand.
Do arathi in the evening. Chant Shlokas and sing songs in praise of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Invite married women to home and offer them Kumkum thambulam and other auspicious items.
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/wheat is used then it is to be used for making sweet dish to be consumed by the family members only.
This is a simple way of observing the vrath and the procedure may vary from region to region and from one family tradition to another.
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Devi Venkatesan
#devivenkatesan #mybloginspires

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