13 August 2008

Varalakshmi Puja

This Friday, August 15th Varalakshmi Puja is performed in Hindu Temples and homes dedicated to the Goddess. On this day it is believed Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk. The name Varalakshmi is interpreted as Vara=boons, Lakshmi=she who grants the boons.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati played a game of dice. Lord Shiva claimed to have won but Parvati believed otherwise. There arose a dispute between the two with regard to the winner and the Goddess called a Gana, Chitramani to mediate and settle the matter. When Chitramani confirmed that Lord Shiva won the game, Goddess Parvati became angry and accused Chitramani of lying. Lord Shiva knew that Chitramani had not lied but Parvati was not convinced and cursed Chitramani to suffer from leprosy and be born on earth as a leper.

When Lord Siva convinced Goddess Parvati, that the Gana had been telling the truth, the Goddess granted Chitramani the boon that if was able to participate or perform Varalakshmi Puja, he would be relieved of the curse and cured of leprosy. After years of wandering, Chitramani was able to participate in Varalakshmi Puja performed by a group of celestial angels and be cured of his leprosy. Since then the Varalakshmi Puja has been performed every year. For another legend of this Puja go to this link here.

The worship is observed by married women with the belief that the Goddess will guard their husband’s life and also grant boons to those who observe the puja. It is said that Lakshmi will enter the house of anyone who thinks of her and bless them. Varalakshmi Vratham is considered very auspicious because it is marked by strict observance of certain practices and austerities. It is also called Varalakshmi Nonbu.

1 comment:

Malliga said...

Interesting that this year Varalakshmi Puja is the same day as India Independence - two things to cheer for.