31 July 2009

Varamahalakshmi's blessings

Today is Varamahalakshmi’s day. On this day, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity grants boons (vara) to anyone who worships her. Everyone wants wealth, prosperity and a few boons, so this is a popular puja day in South India.

The market was busier than usual this morning. People were busy buying things they need for the puja like betel leaves, fruits, coconuts, and flower garlands.

The puja is performed by married women who pray for the welfare of their families. Traditionally, women fast on this day until the puja is over. I was invited to an acquaintance’s house for the puja. It was more of a social than religious affair, with ladies sitting around chatting and eating snacks. There was a beautiful colourful kolam in front of the front door. An image of Lakshmi was in the kitchen decorated with flowers garlands.

I also went to see what my landlady was up to because I know she celebrates every puja day without fail. She showed me her puja room where Lakshmi was garlanded with flowers. There was a little tray with a pot filled with water and rice, some sandalwood paste, vermilion powder and a small mirror. It also happens to be her birthday – she’s happy to share this special day with Lakshmi.

For more information on how this puja is performed, look here.

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