India’s colorful and varied festivals serve as a testament to our rich heritage and culture that provides individuals more than a momentary break from their routine. A festival is a means of bringing a sense of jubilation and passion to life. The deepest parts of life may be reached via a celebration. The Sanatan Dharma is referred to as the religion of holidays and celebrations. These holidays are more than just occasions for joy and fasting; each one is a multidimensional celebration with a deep underlying meaning. Each and every event has a unique meaning. The day that a festival is observed has specific astrological importance, and some rituals performed on certain days have several advantages. Among these festivals lies the festival of Vara Laksmi Pooja which is celebrated in remembrance of Parvati’s commitment to and love for her husband, many married women started fasting for the health of their families, and their husbands, and their future generations. One of the widespread notions is that honoring the goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equal to praying to Ashtalakshmi, also known as the eight goddesses of wealth, fame, peace, pleasure, and strength.
In the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, people—particularly women—worship Varalakshmi, also known as the one who bestows desires or boons. In the Hindu calendar’s Shravana month, the event takes place on the Friday before the full moon day.
They refrain from a variety of meals throughout the day, which varies according to the area. For instance, while there are no regulations to follow in certain areas, in others ladies are only provided Thamboolam, a concoction of slaked lime, betel leaf, and areca nut. They practice Varalakshmi puja, in which they present the goddess with flowers, sweets, and fruits (known as Vayana). The goddess is represented with a brass “Kalash” that is covered in a saree and has a swastika sign carved on it using vermillion and sandalwood paste. The “Kalash” is filled with rice or water, money, betel nuts, and five various kinds of leaves. At the mouth of the vessel, mango leaves and coconut with turmeric on it are placed, along with flowers and gold kept in front of the pot as presents to the goddess. The water from the pot is spread throughout the home the next day, and the raw rice grains are utilized to make dinner for the family.
The saree and blouse being offered to the god are frequently referred to as “Oti Bharane”.
It is customary to choose a red saree with zari that is preferably made of soft silk since it makes it simple to fold and drape the Goddess. Purchase a silk saree in a deep pink or red hue with a medium to the thin border for this occasion. The border may be used to create gorgeous, rich pleats for the Kalasam. You may now start pleating the saree after filling the Kalasam with the required components.
Before draping the saree around Kalasam let us make the Kalasam ready for that procedure:
- Take a stick whose length is twice more than the Kalasam width. As soon as you have done that, fasten this stick to the Kalasam’s mouth so that its two arm-like ends point forth.
- To make room for the saree, the arms-like stick must be positioned towards the back of the Kalasam’s mouth. For the stick to be firmly fastened and to prevent slipping, use a lot of wire and masking tape.
There are predefined steps as to how to neatly drape the saree around Kalasam that are given below:
- Start creating saree pleats from the inside out, leaving space for the pallu when you have enough length.
- The tough thing now is to pin up the pleats on both ends using thread or a safety pin. Hold the saree while it is still pleated and fold it once they are safely in place. Check to make sure it is not folded in half, but rather that one piece is longer than the other and slightly overlaps it. Use a thread to bind this center section together.
- The saree should now be set. Taking the folded saree, you must now carefully knot the tied-up part to the mouth of the Kalasam and position it where the saree is folded. In order for the shorter, bunched pleats to cover the longer, pleated area, make sure they do so. Once the saree is securely fastened with thread around the Kalasam’s mouth, only then should the pins at the ends be opened. It will now appear as though the saree is a double-layered pleated skirt.
- Now, unfold the pleats to see how beautifully they surround and cover the bottom to the top, and how the smaller pleats also fall in front to create a lovely second layer.
- The remainder of the pallu length should be folded into tidy little pleats and brought over the left stick as if it were the shoulder. It should then be brought over the back and over the right stick while remaining folded into pleats. It is also possible to cross it across the front and pin it there. Make sure the pallu fully encloses the sticks. Tie the cord here to resemble a waist. The waist region will serve as the Kalasam’s foundation. You’ll eventually cover this with some kind of decoration, perhaps a necklace that can go around the entire thing.
- Now the saree is fastened well. Alternatively, you might add a long garland that hangs by the side or a separate golden ornamental cloth.
- Include a lot of jewelry. Now that the front of the Kalasam is sufficiently covered, you must make sure that the rear is equally covered. To do this, you might use the blouse material, form pleats, and cover the back as well.
- If you choose, you may also tie a braid around the Kalasam’s neck and embellish it with flowers or other metallic accents.
- At this point, you must add the “Ammam Mukham,” which may be added with or without the coconut on top of the Kalasam.
- The deity will naturally become more elevated and the saree will be able to obtain a magnificent fall if it is placed on a Chowki with a banana leaf, making the overall construction of the deity appear even bigger and grander.
In order to receive Varalakshmi’s blessings, celebrate the Vara Mahalakshmi Pooja with all delight and excitement in 2022.
Happy Vara Mahalakshmi Pooja!
Cover pic credits : https://www.instagram.com/kasturi_venkat/