My 12 th Varalakshmi pooja picture
It was my first Varalakshmi Pooja. My Mom-in-law, perriamma was there to start the pooja.
I was working at that time. I just started to work and was in probation for 6 months and could not take any leave.
The day before the pooja (Thursday) I came from office; late in the evening. The pooja mandapam was mostly set.
I was asked to do some flower decoration on the mandapam.
Morning I was supposed to get up by 4.30 am. The alarm rang and I switched it off and managed to get up only around 5.30 am.
Got up with a fear, quickly had a bath and got out of the room.
Both the mothers were doing kozhakatai (mothak). I was asked to help them. I could not make even one properly. They had called a pandit home for the pooja as it was my first pooja.
Poojari came around 7.30 am and finished the pooja. I headed to office. Was on fast the whole day. When I came home I was very tried. There were lots of guests to be entertained.
[Unfortunately, in my mothers house, there was no tradition to perfom this pooja. My aunt used to do this elaborately. We used to visit her house every year and she will ask us (me and my cousin) to help. But I was more keen on playing with my cousins and never paid any attention towards the pooja. When called during deeparathana (AArthi) I would go near the god - eat well and come home.]
After this beautiful introduction of the pooja, I was asked to perform this every year.
Every year, two to three weeks before the pooja my mother will call and remind me that varalakshmi vratham is on so and so date. By hearing that I will think “oh! my God – it is varalakshmi vratham again”. I used to feel that it got over just now and one year passed.
With great difficulty I would some how do it.
This year I did my 12th varalakshmi pooja.
For the last 2 years, I feel I am doing with ease. I have learnt it fully.
I decided to explain in great detail about the pooja and how to do it with ease?
What made me perform the pooja with ease?
Lets us understand why this pooja is done? Why goddess lakshmi?
Hindus believe – if we pray to goddess lakshmi she will pour money / wealth.
Normally these pictures of God don’t tell what they do for us. Rather shows us what we should be doing. If we get the wisdom blossomed like the lotus then we will be able to get all the wealth and happiness. It also says, if we spend more with a smiling face we will get more wealth.
Lakshmi represents the Kriya Sakthi ( power of action). She represents the eight forms of energy namely,
- Wealth (sri) .
- Earth (Bhu).
- Learning (Saraswathi).
- Love (Priti).
- Fame (Kriti).
- Peace (Shanti).
- Pleasure (Tushti).
- Strength (Pushti).
She has 8 forms. They are Adi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Santan Lakshmi,Vijay Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi,Vidya Lakshmi.
There is a temple in Besant Nagar – chennai were all the 8 Lakshmi idol is kept.
How to obtain these qualities in us?
These qualities will be present in a person whose has got wisdom blossoming in him. To obtain wisdom we need control the mind and possess the satvik qualities.
All our ancestors suggested that we can achieve this wisdom by following a disciplined life.
What is a disciplined life?
Disciplined life is one in which we observe these factors.
- Cleanliness – will help the mind to relax, feel good and happy.
- Decor – If the decoration is very good, then the mind is concentrated in beauty and will feel good.
- Food – If the food is satvik the mind is satvik
- Living with nature – Raising with the sun and doing the duties when it has to be done. This will ease the mind.
- Mantras / songs – pleasing and pleasant sounds will calm our nadis and mind.
- Objective – by having an objective we will be able to concentrate and will not have any diversions in the mind as it is occupied with a purpose.
If you look at the vedas, yoga or any scriptures – everything talks about the same subject – leading a disciplined life.
Of course, our ancestors also know that it is very difficult to follow these rules on all days.
Even if we do not follow these disciplines on a daily basis and try to follow it even for a day (with happiness) it will give so much of change in our life.
So they fixed an auspicious time in which we could try and follow these disciplines atleast for a day.
They made some rules – so that anybody following the rules will atleast get the taste of the nector called wisdom.
These set of rules to be followed are named as pooja.
This pooja was named as Vara Lakshmi pooja. Vara means boon. If we perform this pooja (means follow these rules) we will get all the boons from Goddess Lakshmi.
- It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi loves cleanliness – so we need to keep the house clean.
- Before this pooja the entire house is cleaned.
- Goddess Lakshmi loves decoration – So beautification is done.
- Food – Satvik food is prepared.
- Fast – If we are in hunger the EGO does not have fuel so it is suppressed. So fast is recommended.
- Mantras – Mantras / Slokas are chanted to calm the nadis and the mind. It is a matra meditation.
- Living with nature – On the day of pooja the women is expected to wake up early in the morning (Bhahma Muhurta) and perform the duties at the right time. Say evening it is a time to relax – so they invite / visit the friends and relatives and sing songs and relax.
If you look into my case. In the first year of my pooja, I just did the fast and it was so tiring for me.
Because when you are fasting you need to do the satvik work and not the rajasic work. Then you need rajasic food.
With each pooja – I learnt many things and my stamina was also increasing.
In my initial days of marriage, I used to wonder how my MIL is working all day by standing and my heals at the end of the day used to ache so badly (as I was never used to standing so long).
But now you see – I think I sit only when I meditate or blogging or teach my son his lessons or when I am sleeping. Rest of the day – I am on my heals. But no pain anywhere.
The point is everybody can mange these disciplines by experience.
But unfortunately in the Hindu community this is not understood and these rules (pooja) are imposed on women rather than helping them to observe with ease.
Why women for this pooja and not men?
Women by nature posses satvik qualities and men posses rajasic qualities. So it will be easy for the women to observe these rules.
Now it is your decision whether you want to try these disciplines for a day !
Don’t feel imposed then you will not be able to enjoy this pooja.
It is absolutely fine even if you don’t want to perform this pooja. But don’t feel guilty.
Suppose you are a person who do not want to perform the pooja but feeling guilty or it is imposed on you then may be perform some portion of the rules every year. But do it with complete happiness and ease. See the difference in you.
Or you can start these disciplines on a daily basis slowly and slowly you can build your interest and stamina.
I am sure in these hectic schedules it is very difficult for the women to follow these rules even for a day.
But adopting this kind of a life style is important to lead a peaceful life.
Why not give it a try? But try it only when you are interested with complete happiness and ease.
I know so many women just following these rules – just for the sake of doing it because it is imposed on them or it is the way in which their mothers did or to just show off.
Try to understand that this is not done neither to please the goddess Lakshmi nor to please anybody. But to please your mind and lead a peaceful and contended life.
Also see my article on How to observe the rules of the pooja?