Varalakshmi Vrata - Puja to Shri Lakshmi

Last Friday (27 Jul) was Varalakshmi Vrata.
This is a Puja to Goddess Lakshmi.

Varalakshmi Vrata is observed on the
Friday before Purnima
in the Chandramana month of Shravana.
It is also calculated as the second Friday
in the month of Shravana when the
Sauramana month is Kataka.

Usually most of our festivals are
based on Tithi.
Varalakshmi Vrata is one of the few that is
observed based on day of the week.

Varalakshmi Vrata is observed
(or not at all observed) based on
family traditions at least in the
Kannada / Telugu / Tamil traditions.

Bhavishyottara Purana mentions males
and females observing Varalakshmi Vrata.
Kings Nanda and Vikramaditya are said to
have observed this Vrata to regain their
lost kingdoms. [*]

However, these days only married women
do the core parts of it - the puja and,
of course, the cooking !

The eating part is done by all !

There is a story narrated about
Varalakshmi Vrata in the
Bhavishyottara Purana. [*]

Once Shiva and Parvati were playing
a game of dice in Kailasha.
They get into an argument on who
is the winner.

Chitranemi had been watching the game
and the arguments. Shiva & Parvati ask his
opinion on who is the winner.

Chitrameni declares Shiva as the winner.
This angers Parvati. She curses Chitrameni.

Poor Chitrameni. Here he was just watching
a game of dice and then doles out his opinion
only when asked. But he ends up being cursed !

If you are familiar with Purana stories,
the worst kind of curse that the Devas
exchange with each other is:
to be reborn on earth !

So, Parvati curses Chitrameni to be
reborn on earth and to suffer from leprosy.
She later pronounces a redemption from
the curse.

Apsaras from heaven come
once a year down to earth to perform
Varalakshmi Vrata.

When Chitrameni
watches this Varalakshmi Vrata
performance he would be
released from the curse.

Years later, Chitrameni watches
the Apsaras perform Varalaksmi Vrata
and is cured of leprosy. He then proceeds
to observe it before going back to Kailasha.
Thus, he is released from the curse.

[*] As quoted in Vrata Chudamani

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