Versions of Vara Lakshmi Devi on Sravana Shukravaar

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Rupa tells us about the Vara Lakshmi Vratam, which is performed on Sravana Shukravaaram (Friday, Aug 24), in parts of South India, mostly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. A exclusive.

As per mythology, Goddess Parvati was advised by Lord Shiva to perform  Vratam on Sravana Shukravaaram(Hindu month of Sravan as per lunar calendar and 2nd Friday ideally (or from the next two Fridays to pick the one that works for the performance of the religious ritual). This pooja is meant for the wellbeing of the partner, married life and well being of the family and prosperity.

Basic pooja talks of cleanliness; hygiene, decorating of goddess, using flowers, new clothes, newly bought gold if any, spruced up pooja silver and 3-5 to 9 items are cooked as offerings to the goddess and partaken by the family, friends and visitors. Evening time ladies in neighborhood visit each other’s homes, receive kumkum, prasadam. Some use this occassion to gift clothes or offer a meal as well.

This pooja too like any other occasion has slowly acquired competitive streak and is a spectacle on how to better others décor, gifts, cooking or one’s own performance from past.

My grandmother woke up early in the morning, house was polished to a sparkling state, wet clothes were worn to cook for god, fresh flowers, leaves, rituals, sounds and smells of pooja wafted, all this while kids were slowly getting up and going about chores to head to schools, etc. Today, a lot of preparation is done ahead to save time and to manage time pressures.

Regardless of how one has put together the goddess – with a simple blouse piece, kumkum, flowers or with silver or more precious metals displaying goddess wrapped in riches of silk; gems; on display –  or devotion is the unique common underlying theme.  Sharing goodies, food, blessings, camaraderie, kinship knits the community into a unit that still wants overall good. Vibration of joy, wishing well being and peace is supreme. Some of the displays that I garnered from this day are in different shapes, colors, sizes but all versions of Varalaxmi amma look happy to be visiting our abodes to bless. Here is to one more Sravana Sukravaaram Lakshmi Pooja – and to future versions ahead by to come.

©Rupa Rao

Photos by Divya Banda Pogaru, Dr. A. Kamala Devi, Kanti Sarma, Usha Rani Gudala, Y. Usha, Uma Lakshmi, Pappy, B Vijaya Lakshmi, Surya Kumari G and Sailaja Josyula

#Religion #HinduGoddess #Varalakshmi #LakshmiPooja #DifferentTruths

Rupa is an army child who schooled in 9 towns in 12 years. She graduated from Jabalpur; did MBA, and Law from Mumbai. Travelling, learning about cultures, imbibing differences, dialects are a blessing of a nomadic life. She has been to Japan; Hawaii; Crete; Greek Islands; Amsterdam; Bermuda; the Bahamas and some exotic places within India. She has dabbled in poetry, interviews, articles, painting, Deejaying, etc. She seeks to explore places, people, adventures, experiences, colours, textures, stories waiting to be tapped.