Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja 2020 | How to perform Varalakshmi Vratham
Learn how to perform Varalakshmi Vratham pooja procedure & decoration ideas.
Varalakshmi Vratham in India - July 31, Friday
Why do we celebrate Varalakshmi Vratham?
Varalakshmi vratham/nombu is an important festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra, and Karnataka. Varalakshmi Amman is one who grants boons. Worshiping Goddess Varalakshmi is equivalent to worshiping Ashtalakshmi, the eight forms of energy. The pooja is performed by married women for dhanam (money), dhanyam (food), santhanam (offspring), and mangalyam (longevity of husband) as Varalakshmi being the wife of Lord Vishnu is the abode of wealth, fortune and prosperity.
The story behind Varalakshmi Vratham:
According to Skanda Purana, Goddess Parvathi wanted to know which is the most beneficial vratham to lead a happy and prosperous life on the earth. Lord Shiva told the glory of Varalakshmi Vratham to Goddess Parvathi by narrating the story of Shyamabala.
Shyamabala is the daughter of King Bathrasiravas and Queen Surachandrika. Shyambala was married to a prince in the neighboring country. When Shyambala was in her parent's palace, she saw her mother Queen Surachandrika driving away from an old beggar woman. Queen did not like a beggar woman advising her regarding Varalakshmi Vratham, so she drove her out. Shyamabala was a kind-hearted person. She invited the beggar woman and listened to her about the greatness of Varalakshmi Vratham.
Shyamabala performed the pooja as told by the beggar woman. Soon Shyamabala's country became prosperous and the prince was appreciated for his good governance. However, her parents had to undergo a lot of problems. They lost all their wealth and became poor. The people in the country began to revolt against their rule. Hearing this, Shyamabala sent pots of gold coins to her mother. When her mother set her eyes on the pots of gold coins, it turned into ashes. Hearing this incident, Shyamabala thought that the old beggar woman must be Goddess Lakshmi in disguise. She advised her mother to seek her forgiveness to Goddess Lakshmi and to perform the pooja. Queen Surachandrika performed the Varalakshmi Pooja and regained the lost wealth, happiness, and glory.
When does Varalakshmi Vratham is celebrated?
Varalakshmi Vratham falls on the second Friday of Avani month (Tamil month) or the Friday which is the day before the Full moon day / Pournami in the month of Avani that corresponds to the month of July-August. If you are not able to perform the pooja on Friday before Pournami, it can be performed on any other Friday in the same month (Avani).
Varalakshmi Vratham decoration ideas & pooja items:
List of items required to decorate Varalakshmi Amman:
1. Amman face in silver
2. Silver or brass kalasam (Pot)
3. A wooden table to place the pot
4. Amman hair plait and kunjalam
5. Mirror to place behind the kalasam
6. Banana leaf with the tip
7. Raw rice - 4 cups
8. Panju vasthram (cotton garland) for Amman
9. Mango leaf festoon
11. Lamp and oil
13. Coconut - 2
14. Coins - two or five rupee coins
15. Gold chain
16. A bunch of nine yellow threads with nine knots (saradu) with flower tied in the middle of the thread.
17. Blouse piece and silk cloth for Kalasam and Amman.
18. Betel leaves - 15
19. Betel nuts - 4
20. Banana - 1 dozen
21. Aarthi plate
23. Manjal and kunkumam.
24. Akshatha (Consecrated rice)
25. Sandalwood paste (Chandan)
28. Two lemons tied with a yellow thread
29. Tulsi leaves
30. A plate for making a cone-shaped Ganesha using turmeric powder and water
31. Two sets of betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas for neivedhyam to Ganesha and Amman
32. Fruits - two oranges and four apples
33. Thamboolam bags for women invitees.
1. Akshatha can be made by mixing turmeric powder and raw rice with a few drops of water.
2. Aarthi can be made by mixing two tablespoons of turmeric powder and one tablespoon of Kumkum with water.
Varalakshmi Vratham Naivedyam Recipes
1. Sundal (Chickpea/Channa)
2. Payasam - (Moong dal with jaggery Payasam)
3. Vadai (Urad dal vada)
4. Sweet kozhukattai
5. Ulundhu / Urad dal kozhukattai
8. Rice with thuvaram paruppu (toor dal) with ghee (known as Avis).
1. Generally, we do not offer almond kheer, vermicelli, and carrot payasam as neivedhyam.
2. Peanut or Vaerkadalai sundal is not offered as neivedhyam.
3. For all festivals, we add a tbsp of toor dal while soaking urad dal for vada.
The day before Varalakshmi Vratham that is the previous day evening, we have to decorate the Amman and prepare Ven Pongal as neivedhyam. We have to put the kolam with rice flour before the mandapam or table where the Amman has to be seated. It is necessary to draw a kolam in the pooja room where the Amman has to be seated on the mandapam and another one from the room where the Amman has to be invited.
How to decorate the Kalasam:
1. First, wash the Silver Kalasham, wipe it neatly, and apply the Kumkum and the Sandalwood paste on all the four sides of the Silver Kalasham.
2. What can I put in Varalakshmi Kalasam? Put two or four tumblers of raw rice, two betel leaves, two betel nuts, either two rupees or five rupees coin inside the Kalasham.
4. Place a coronet of five or seven or eleven mango leaves on the mouth of the Kalasham surrounding the coconut.
(The Reason for keeping mango leaves on the Kalasam: The leaves signify the limbs of the Goddess while the coconut represents the head. It is also believed to be the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi. It is a sign of prosperity and fertility).
How to decorate the Varalakshmi Amman face:
1. Wash the Amman's face and wipe it with a cloth, decorate the Amman's face by drawing an eyebrow, and the eyes using a kajal or liquid eyeliner.
2. Keep the Sandalwood paste and the Kumkum on the forehead. Mix the Kumkum and the Sandalwood powder with a few drops of water and make it as a paste for lipstick (or you may also use red nail polish as lipstick for Amman).
3. Place the Amman's face on the Kalasham by tying it to the tail of the coconut with a thick thread.
4. Take a new blouse piece and drape it like a saree on the Amman, with pleats of the saree covering the Kalasham.
5. Decorate the Amman's hair plait with flowers and tie the Jada kunjalam.
6. Decorate the with a garland of karugamani bangles, gold chain, nose ring, and earrings.
7. Take a yellow thread and tie two lemons on both ends of the thread and place it as a garland for Amman. (Lemon garland).
How to decorate the Varalakshmi Amman Mandapam:
1. Decorte the mandapam with flower garlands and tie two baby banana plants on both sides.
2. Place a mirror behind the Mandapam in such a way that the back view of Amman is reflected in the mirror.
3. Take a banana leaf with the tip and spread the raw rice on it. Place it inside the Mandapam.
What should we do on Varalakshmi Vratham?
(On the day of Varalakshmi Vratham).
1. The Silver Kalasham with Amman's face has to be placed on the banana leaf. Place the sacred threads on a plate in front of Amman.
2. Decorate the entrance door by tying the mango leaf festoon and flower garlands.
3. Light the incense sticks and light the lamps on both sides of the Mandapam.
4. Which direction should Lakshmi face? The direction in which the pooja has to be performed is also important. The pooja can be performed facing either East or West or North. But it should not be performed facing the South.
5. The person performing the pooja has to sit on a mat and chant the slokas.
(Note: When we sit on the floor without a mat, it takes away all the power of the slokas).
How to perform Ganesh Pooja / Vigneshwara Pooja?
1. First, begin the pooja by worshipping Lord Ganesha.
2. Take a brass plate and make a cone-shaped Ganesha with turmeric powder by mixing a few drops of water.
3. With the Akshatha and flowers start the pooja.
4. Keep the Chandan and the Kumkum on the tip of the cone-shaped Ganesha.
5. Offer four Betel leaves, two Betel nuts, and two bananas as Naivedyam.
6. After finishing the Ganesha pooja, light the camphor and show it to Ganesha.
7. Ringing the bell with your left hand, keeping the Akshatha and the flowers inside the right-hand palm, move in the clockwise direction over the burning camphor, offer the flowers, and the Akshatha to Lord Ganesha.
8. Move the plate with the cone-shaped Ganesha towards the North as an indication of progress and prosperity.
9. After finishing Ganesha pooja, we invite Varalakshmi into the home singing the song “Varalakshmi Ra ve Ma Intiki Sriraja puthri”...(Please refer YouTube for the song).
The reason behind the Ganesh pooja:
Inviting and honoring Varalakshmi Amman:
2. Using Akshatha, Kumkum, and flowers we have to read the Ashtothram and Sahasranamam. (Refer YouTube for the slokas).
3. Then keep the Kumkum and the Chandan on Amman's forehead. Panju Vasthram (cotton garland) is very auspicious for Amman. So decorate it with cotton garland (panju vasthram) and place it around Amman's neck.
4. While performing the pooja, it is very vital to mention the star, the thithi, the month, and the day.
5. At the end of the pooja, we have to show camphor by lighting it on a plate. With flowers and Akshatha inside the right-hand palm, move in the clockwise direction over the burning camphor and offer it to Amman.
6. We have to offer Naivedyam that is payasam, vada, sundal, kozhukattai, rice with toor dhal and ghee (known as Avis), idli, appam and six betel leaves, two Betel nuts, two bananas, fruits like two oranges, four apples, and one coconut (should be broken evenly).
7. Pour a drop of ghee on all the Neivedhyam items and sprinkle one or two Tulsi leaves. Keeping water in your right-hand palm sprinkle three times in clockwise direction around the neivedhyam items and betel leaves, betel nuts, fruits, and coconut.
8. Keeping two betel leaves, two betel nuts, and one banana in the right hand, one has to tie the sacred yellow thread with nine knots.
9. Either husband or any elderly woman in the family has to tie the Saradu in the right hand of the person who has performed the Vritham.
10. The slokam to be chanted while tying the Saradu is:-
"Navathanthu Samayuktham Navakranthi Samanvitham
Pathneeyam thakshanye hasthey thoragam harivallabey"
11. Then do your namaskarams to your husband and other elders in our family.
12. Ringing the bell, show the Aarthi for Amman.
13. Take the Aarthi plate and slightly spill the Aarthi facing towards the east over the kolam in the front yard.
14. Do the namaskarams before Amman.
15. Gently move the Amman towards the North.
Some follow this procedure: One thread should be tied around Amman's neck, another thread should be tied around the lamp and another thread should be tied around the Tulsi.
The next day of Varalakshmi Vratham:
2. We have to offer milk to Amman on the next day night on Amman's lip and place Her in our rice pot and sing the song, Varalakshmi Povi Ra Amma”. We have to pray that Varalakshmi Amman must come every year to bless us.
3, Those who perform the pooja must observe fasting till the pooja is over. They can take either idli or chapati instead of rice.
1. The reason for offering banana and coconut as Neivedhyam is that they are thought to be the consecrated natural organic products since they do not have the property to reproduce after consumption.
2. The reason for breaking the coconut symbolizes smashing your ego and ignorance to seek inner knowledge and purity. The hardcore of the coconut represents the ego and ignorance and the white part of the coconut represents the inner knowledge and purity.
3. Tie or plait your hair before you start the pooja. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi is present at the tip of every woman's hair and if it is let loose, they are bound to lose the grace of Lakshmi, and therefore it is good to plait the hair.
4. Auspicious time for the pooja: It is good to start the pooja before 10.30 A.M in the morning before the Ragu kalam which is from 10.30 A.M to 12 noon on Friday.
I'm delighted to share this post in Pavi's Kitchen. Hope you enjoyed reading this. I will be posting the neivedhyam recipes whenever I prepare and attach the link here. Also, I'm thankful to my mother-in-law who is as good as my own mother, has been guiding me to post the importance and procedures of Varalakshmi Vratham. Hope this is concise and covers all the aspects of the festival. Thank you for reading and share this post with your friends and family if you like it:) See you soon with another interesting festival post. Stay tuned!!!
The story, instructions, and procedures behind the Varalakshmi Vratham mentioned in this post are completely based on our family tradition. This is how we perform our Varalakshmi Pooja and the main reason for this post is to keep an online record for myself and for our future generations. I also would like to share the same with our family members and friends for reference. I'm sure this post would be useful if you are performing the Varalakshmi Pooja every year. You may share this post with anyone. Thank you for understanding!!!