Sri Vara Lakshmi Vratam
Sri Vara Lakshmi Vratam is a holy day sacred to Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi, who showers her abundant motherly love and precious spiritual boons on those who perform puja to her on this day. “Vara” means “boon,” so this is the day when Divine Mother grants all of our noble wishes. The worship of Sri Vara Lakshmi on Vara Lakshmi Vratam bestows good health, knowledge, good discrimination, family welfare, noble positions, fame, prestige and wealth.
Amma’s Special Message for
Sri Vara Lakshmi Vratam & Sravana Masam
Amma’s Guidance for Observing Sri Vara Lakshmi Vratam
Ghee lamps are especially sacred to Sri Lakshmi Devi, so if a ghee lamp can be kept lit in the puja room for the entire day, this is very auspicious. If this is not possible, it is good to light a ghee lamp during the practices described below.
Before doing any of these practices, it is best to take a head bath (shower and wash the hair) and put on clean clothes. It is very good to recite the Samputita Sri Suktam five times on this day. The recitations can be split between the morning and evening, according to one’s schedule. If it is not possible to chant Samputita Sri Suktam five times within the day, you can chant it just once. It is also auspicious to perform milk abhishekam to a Sri Charka during one of these recitations. If possible, keep a ghee lamp lit during the puja. While chanting Samputita Sri Suktam, offer spoonfuls of milk to the Sri Chakra, making sure to use only the right hand for offering. Any spoons, bowls or trays used in the puja should only be used for puja purposes, and not for any other use. Items that have been used for eating or for any other purpose should not be used for puja. If there are no proper puja vessels available, you can use new, unused paper plates or bowls.
After finishing the Samputita Sri Suktam, carefully wash the Sri Chakra with water and dry it with a clean paper towel or a new, unused cloth. You can do this in the puja room itself. The water used for cleaning the Sri Chakra or any puja items should not be brought in from the bathroom, and the Sri Chakra or puja vessels should never be taken into the bathroom. Next, you can chant the Sri Lakshmi Ashtottara Sata Namavalih. While chanting each name, you can offer kumkum, flowers, or flower petals. The flowers would ideally be some shade of red or pink. One or two dozen red or pink roses can be gently separated into petals, and then one petal can be offered with each name. After finishing the archana, you can light some incense and offer it to the Sri Chakra.
Next, you can offer food (naivedyam). If you know how to make sweet pongal, this is a very auspicious offering. Otherwise, any sweet fruits, like apples, bananas, etc., can be offered. Simply place the fruits on a puja tray and keep it near the Sri Chakra. Finally, you can offer harati, preferably with five ghee wicks. If this is not possible, you can offer a single ghee lamp or camphor flame. Once the puja is completed, the offered milk and fruits will be highly charged with the divine vibrations of Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi. The milk and fruits can be distributed as Mother Lakshmi’s sacred prasadam to one’s family and friends. The offered flower petals should not be thrown away; they can be respectfully placed in a clean, natural place somewhere outside. This will be a wonderful blessing for Mother Earth. If you have lit any ghee or oil lamps, please do not blow these out – let them burn out naturally.
There are three attributes that are necessary for receiving the grace of Sri Maha Lakshmi. They are balam, or strength; sauryam, or heroism; and buddhi, or intellect that is quick and powerful. No matter who it may be, or whichever country one resides in, wherever these three attributes are present, that place will flourish with abhi vruddhi, progress and abundance, and Sri Maha Lakshmi will surely dwell in that place. Our beloved Mother Sri Lakshmi Devi, one of whose names is “Loka Mata”; She is the most loving Mother for all the beings in all realms – when we worship Her, She gives us a loving, tender heart and harmonious relationships with others. In this world, the most important blessing necessary for men, women, and children alike is Maha Lakshmi kataksham, or the most loving grace of Sri Maha Lakshmi, our beloved Divine Mother. The worship of Sri Vara Lakshmi on Vara Lakshmi Vratam (August 8, 2014) bestows good health, knowledge, good discrimination, family welfare, noble positions, fame, prestige and wealth There are many meanings to the word “Sri;” one among them is simply “Lakshmi.” In order to please Mother Lakshmi and receive boons from her, these four Fridays during Shravana are most auspicious. Those who worship Sri Maha Lakshmi on these four days with utmost devotion and dedication are sure to receive her most compassionate grace. Though we normally refer to “Ashta Lakshmis,” or her eight main forms, Mother Lakshmi actually comes in numerous forms to bless her children.
Sri Adi Lakshmi Devi
Sri Adi Lakshmi is four-armed, carries a lotus and a white flag. She is the eternal support for this entire universe, the Adi Para Shakti herself- she existed before everything else. This Para Devata, this Supreme Goddess, is eternally existent and is beyond creation or dissolution. She is beyond description and understanding. She is the womb that contains all life. When you have the grace of this Goddess, you will be blessed to experience completely auspicious happenings, and poverty will never come anywhere near you. If you do not worship Sri Lakshmi Devi on the auspicious Shravana Fridays, then you will miss a great opportunity to receive the grace of Sri Lakshmi Devi.
Sri Aishwarya Lakshmi Devi
Sri Aishwarya Lakshmi is four-armed, clothed in white garments, and carrying two lotuses. She is the bestower of every kind of true wealth & prosperity; whether financial, spiritual or emotional.
Sri Dhana Lakshmi Devi
Sri Dhana Lakshmi is six-armed, clothed in red garments, carrying a chakra (discus), shankha (conch), kalasha (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it) or Amrita kumbha (a pitcher containing Amrita- elixir of life), bow and arrow, a lotus and a hand in abhaya mudra with gold coins falling from it to represent Laskhmi as the provider of money and wealth.
Sri Dhanya Lakshmi Devi
Sri Dhanya Lakshmi is eight-armed, clothed in green garments, carrying two lotuses, a gada (mace) paddy crop, sugarcane, bananas, and with Her other two hands in the gesture of abhaya mudra and varada mudra, representing Lakshmi as the provider of agricultural wealth. She resides in all her glory in grains, fruits, and all vegetables. When you worship this form of Mother for removal of hunger and for blessings of plentiful food supplies in your home, the Goddess will bless you so with her abundant grace.
Sri Gaja Lakshmi Devi Sri Gaja Lakshmi is seated upon a royal and majestic white elephant. When worshipped, she will bestow on you the incredible strength of the elephant, which is the very symbol of rightful strengh and power. You will also be graced with Lakshmi kala, the beautiful radiance of Goddess Lakshmi.
Sri Santana Lakshmi Devi
Sri Santana Lakshmi is six-armed, carries two kalashas (water pitchers with mango leaves and a coconut on it), a sword, shield, a child on Her lap, a hand in abhaya mudra and the other hand holding the child with a lotus. She represents the giver of progeny or one that bestows offspring. When you worship Sri Santana Lakshmi Devi, she will protect the well-being of your children. She will take gentle care of all your children and bless them with growth and success.
Sri Vira Lakshmi Devi
If any enemies are causing you unbearable agony, the worship of Sri Vira Lakshmi Devi will weaken them and make them unsuccessful. Sri Vira Lakshmi Devi is none other than Vaishno Devi, the presiding deity in the Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu, a beautiful city in the northernmost part of India. The worship of this form of Mother Lakshmi will grant you immense physical strength and mental courage.
Sri Vijaya Lakshmi Devi
Sri Vijaya Lakshmi is eight-armed, clothed in red garments, carrying a chakra, shankh, sword, shield, lotus, pasha, and with Her other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra. She is the giver of victory, not only in battles but also in conquering obstacles in the way of success. Success brings about peace of mind. Sri Vijaya Lakshmi Devi gives success in all endeavors and graces the worshipper with karya siddhi, the successful accomplishment of any task.
A Special Vara Mahalakshmi Homa with Lotus flowers will be performed at Amma’s Penusila ashram in India on August 8th.
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For any questions about these practices, feel free to contact Jai_Karunamayi@yahoogroups.com, and someone familiar with the practices will be happy to assist.