Vara Lakshmi Vratha

Vara Lakshmi Vratha also known as Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha is a festival where Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Sri Vishnu is worshipped. The festival is celebrated chiefly in States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and in some parts of Odisha.

The festival is observed on the second Friday of Shravana Masa (July- August). The goddess is worshipped by married women for wealth, prosperity and well being of the family. Observing the Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha is equivalent to worshipping Ashta Lakshmi- the goddess of wealth, (Siri), Earth (Bhu), learning (Saraswathi) Love (Preet), Fame (Kirti), Peace (Shanti), Pleasure (Tushti) and Strength (Pushti).


The celebrations for the Vara Lakshmi Puja start on the previous day of the festival. The place or the puja room where the Kalasha will be placed is cleaned and a rangoli is drawn in front of the Kalasha.

On the day of the festival, the Kalasha is prepared. Kalasha is a silver, brass or copper pot which is filled with raw rice, coins, dry fruits, bangles, lemon, some turmeric, vermillion etc. The items which are filled in the pot vary from region to region. At the mouth of the Kalasha is placed betel and mango leaves. A coconut smeared with turmeric and a tilak drawn on the coconut with vermillion is placed amidst the betel leaves and mango leaves. To the coconut is fixed the face of the goddess Lakshmi and decorated with flowers, jewels and a new sari. The Kalasha is placed on a wooden plank which is covered with either a blouse piece or banana leaf with rice spread over it.

The puja is started by invoking Lord Ganesh to ward off any obstacles in the puja, followed by the worship of the goddess Vara Mahalakshmi. The goddess is worshipped with Shodashopachara puja (Avahana, Arghya, Achamana,Snan,Vastra, changing Janai, Gandha, Pushpa, Dhoop, Deep, Naivedhya, Tamboola, Pradakshina and Pushpanjali). Lakshmi Ashtothra or Lakshmi Sahasranama is chanted and the goddess is worshipped. Sweets such as Pooran Poli, Kheer made out of Chana Dal and rice, tamarind rice, boiled grains or baked grains, moong dal (soaked and dried, kosambari) and lemonade along with five types of fruits is offered as Naivedhya to the deity.

An important ritual of the Vratha is Thora Bandhana, a white thread smeared with turmeric is knotted with nine knots and a flower is tied to the thread. The thora is worshipped and women who performed the puja tie the thread on the right wrist for longevity and well being of their husbands.

Aarti is performed in the evening. Sumangalis, married women are invited home and Tamboola, (consisting of betel leaves, betel nuts, coconut/ plantains, turmeric, vermillion, bangles, blouse piece) is given. The next day, the Kalasha is slightly tilted to the right and the deity is worshipped indicating a formal ending of the Vratha. The water in the Kalasha is sprinkled all over the house.  If rice is used in the Kalasha, then the rice is used to prepare a sweet dish.

Due to unavoidable reasons, if the Vratha cannot be performed on the 2nd Friday of Shravana masa, then the Vratha can be observed on the next Friday.

Puranic Reference

According to Skanda Purana, there lived a Brahmin woman, Charumati, in a town known as Kundina, of Maratha Desham. She was a very pious lady. One day, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to worship Goddess Vara Mahalakshmi and seek Her blessings. Goddess Lakshmi explained the rituals to be observed for the worship of Goddess Vara Mahalakshmi. Charumathi informed about her dream to her family members. She shared her dream with her neighbours and even involved them in performing the Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha. On the day of the second Friday of Shravana Shukla, Charumathi along with her neighbours performed the Vratha. Goddess Lakshmi who was pleased with Charumathi’s devotion blessed her with wealth and prosperity.

Another puranic reference is; - once Lord Shiva and Parvati were playing a game of dice. Parvati was winning game after game, but Lord Shiva claimed victory after every game. This infuriated Parvati and asked for an umpire. Chitrameni, a gana of Lord Shiva was appointed as the umpire. He favoured Lord Shiva unjustly. This infuriated Parvati further and She cursed him to be a leper. Chitrameni pleaded with goddess Parvati for forgiveness. Lord Shiva also asked Parvati to forgive Chitrameni. Parvati said that he could be cured of leprosy when women performed Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha. Chitrameni was cured of the dreaded disease when he observed married women perform the Vara Mahalakshmi Puja.