Varalakshmi Vratham is a popular ritual observed by married women in
South India and Maharashtra. In 2012, the date of Varalakshmi Vratham is August 16. Goddess Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity – is worshipped on this day.
Varalakshmi literally means the boon granting goddess. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.
Varalakshmi Vratham Myth
According to Hindu mythology, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a vratha that will be beneficial to women. Lord Shiva then mentioned the importance of Varalakshmi Vratha. The conversation on Varalakshmi Vratha between Parvati and Shiva takes place in the Skanda Purana.
To illustrate the importance of the Vratha, Lord Shiva narrates the story of Charumati. Pleased with Charumati’s devotion to her husband and family, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratha. The pious Charumati invited all her neighbors, friends and relatives and performed the Varalakshmi puja as directed by Goddess Lakshmi. Soon after the puja, all the people who participated in the puja where blessed with wealth and prosperity.
According to another Hindu legend, the origin of Varalakshmi Vratha is associated with a game of dice played between Lord Shiva and Parvati. Goddess Parvati who was winning all the games was accused of cheating by Lord Shiva. So they decided to appoint Chitranemi, a gana of Shiva, as the umpire. Chitranemi ruled in favor of Lord Shiva and this angered Goddess Parvati who cursed him to be a leper. Shiva asked Parvati to forgive Chitranemi and she agreed to revoke the curse if he watched Varalakshmi Vratha performed by pious women. The tradition of Varalakshmi Vratha started from then onwards.
Important things to remember on Varalakshmi Puja day