About Goddess Varalakshmi
Varalakshmi Puja day is one of the significant days to worship the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Varalakshmi, who is the consort of Lord Vishnu, is one of the forms of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Varalakshmi was incarnated from the milky ocean, popularly known as Kshir Sagar. She is described as having the complexion of milky ocean and adorns similar color clothes.
It is believed that the Varalakshmi form of the goddess bestows boons and fulfills all desires of her devotees. Hence this form of the goddess is known as Vara + Lakshmi i.e. Goddess Lakshmi who bestows boons.
About Varalakshmi Vrat
The Varalakshmi fasting is observed on the last Friday during Shravana Shukla Paksha and falls just few days ahead of Rakhi and Shravana Purnima.
Varalakshmi Vrat is suggested not only for women but also for men. However, in Andhra, Telangana and Maharashtra regions, Varalakshmi fasting in mainly performed by married women only. The Varalakshmi fasting is performed with the desire of worldly pleasures and it includes children, spouse, luxury and all sorts of earthly pleasures.
Varalakshmi Vratam is very popular fasting and Puja day in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In these states, Varalakshmi Puja is performed mostly by married women for the well-being of husband and the other family members. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Vara-Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi i.e. the eight Goddesses of Wealth (Sri), Earth (Bhu), Learning (Saraswati), Love (Priti), Fame (Kirti), Peace (Shanti), Pleasure (Tushti) and Strength (Pushti).
However, in North Indian states Varalakshmi Puja is not as popular as those of South Indian states. Varalakshmi Vratam is one of the most appropriate days to propitiate and to seek blessings of the Goddess Lakshmi.
Varalakshmi Vratam Story
One day when Lord Eswara is relaxing in Kailasa giri, Goddess Parvathi approached Him and asked him to tell a vrata that gives wealth and prosperity. The Lord tells her that performing Varalakshmi Vratam will bring in sowbagyam to the women folk. He narrates the story and explains the process of performing the vrata to Goddess Parvathi. This vrata has to be performed on Friday that falls before Poornima in Sukla Paksham in Sravanamasam.
The story happens in a beautiful town called Kundinagaram located in the Kingdom of Vidarbha (Vidarba Rajyam). In that Kundinagram town, Goddess Adilakshmi, being pleased by her devotion tells Charumathi in a dream and directed her to perform the vrata to enable Her to fulfil her desires. Charumathi wakes up and tells her husband about the dream. Charumathi along with some neighbourhood women takes bath in the wee hours and prepare a mandapam and invites Varalakshmi Devi. She recites the following sloka along with other women with utmost faith and devotion.
Lakshmi Ksheerasamudra rajatanyam sri rangadhameswareem
Dasibootha samastha devavanitham lokaika deepamkuram
Sri manmanda kataksha labdhivibhat brahmendra gangadharam
Twamtrayamlokyakutumbhineem sasijavandemukunda priyam
Then she wore nine threads Thoranam to right hand and offers naivadyam to Goddess Lakshmi Devi. On the completion of the first circumstance, she heard she found Gajjelu, Andelu and other ornaments. On the second circumstance, they found kankanams made of navaratnams to their hands. On completion of the third circumstance, they found immense wealth. Then Charumathi offers Tambulam to the brahmin priests and distribute the vrata prasadam to the relatives and lead a happy life. Since then, Hindu women perform this vrata with utmost faith and trust till today. With this, Lord Eswara concludes telling the story to Goddess Parvathi. Varalakshmi Astottaranamavali is recited