Hyderabad: Lakhs of devotees, mostly women, thronged temples in masses to mark the Varalakshmi Vratham on Friday of the month of Shravan and performed pujas, seeking Goddess Lakshmis blessings.
“Varalakshmi Vratham” is an important ritual for married women. Devotees of Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, observe the vratham.
Varalakshmi refers to the goddess granting boons. On this day, worship of goddess Lakshmi is equivalent to worshipping the goddess of Wealth, Earth, Pleasure, Strength, Fame, Learning, Love and Peace –Ashtalaksmi.
The popular belief is that observing Varalakshmi Vratam is equal to observing pujas and prayers to Ashtalakshmis.
Varalakshmi Vratham is based on Hindu mythology which says that the Goddess Parvati asked Shiva about a fast that would be beneficial to women. Shiva explained the importance of the Varalakshmi Vratha and this conversation takes place in the Skanda Purana.
The Varalakshmi Vratam puja is an important ritual performed during the vratam. Women start the auspicious day by taking a bath and wearing new clothes and jewelry.
They clean and decorate their homes with rangolis. The women then prepare for the vratha by arranging the sacred pot called kalasha. The pot is filled with water and rice and symbolizes prosperity. Betel and mango leaves are used to cover the pot. A coconut smeared with vermillion and turmeric is placed on the kalasha which is then placed on a plate with rice.
The puja begins with the worship of the deity Ganesha followed by goddess Mahalakshmi. The next part of the puja involves toram worship which is a bunch of nine threads with a knot on each.
The thread is tied on one end to the right wrist of the woman performing the ritual while the other is tied to the kalasha. Lakshmi Ashtottara Shatanamam is chanted during the ritual.
The goddess is then offered nine varieties of savories and sweets during the puja. To conclude the vratam they sing hymns praising the goddess and offer sweets to another married woman considering her to be the goddess.
With thousands of devotee’s thronged Indrakeeladri temple since morning seeking blessings of Goddess, the temple officials restricted vehicle movement on the hill.(INN)