Varalakshmi Vratam Festival on
12th August 2005, Prasanthi Nilayam
The festival Varalakshmi Vratam
is performed in the month of Sravana and is undertaken by
Sumangalis (whose husbands are still living) for good
progeny, good health, and wishing long life for the husbands
and the family. This festival is to propitiate Sri
Varalakshmi (Mahalakshmi), the consort of Lord Vishnu, who
is the embodiment of all Mangalam (auspiciousness).
On the 12th of August 2005, this Vratam was performed in the
immediate Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in
Sai Kulwant Hall. A large number of ladies occupied both
sides of the Hall beholding the beauteous form of the Lord.
It was a sight to see their joyful visages, performing the
Puja meticulously to the instructions of the priests. Legend
has it that this Vratam was narrated by Lord Siva Himself.
Here in Prasanthi Nilayam, they were fortunate to perform
the same in the Divine Presence of Sai Siva Himself.
Sai Kulwant Hall was ornately decorated with beautiful
flowers and an idol of Goddess Lakshmi was placed on the
stage. Huge pictures of Bhagawan and Goddess Varalakshmi
adorned the pillars of the darshan Hall. The Puja began with
Ganapati Prarthana (Ganapati worship). A silver idol of
Goddess Varalakshmi and other requisite Puja materials were
supplied to the participants of the Vratam. During the
course of the Puja, the chief priest narrated the legend of
the Vratam, which reads as follows: Goddess Parvati once
asked Lord Siva to recommend her a Vratam, which would be
beneficial for the womenfolk on earth who seek prosperity.
Then, Lord Siva preached her about Varalakshmi Vratam (as
mentioned in Skanda Puranam). To illustrate the sanctity of
this Vratam, Lord Siva then narrated the story of one
Charumati. Charumati was a true Pativrata (devoted to
husband in all sincerity). Pleased with her true and
undivided devotion to her husband, Goddess Lakshmi appeared
in her dream and advised her to undertake the Varalakshmi
Vratam on the auspicious day of Sravana Shukla Shukra Varam.
Charumati performed this Puja with utmost devotion, the same
day, in the dream itself (Manasika Puja). The next day she
narrated this dream to her husband, and with his full
consent, to all other womenfolk in town. On the auspicious
day, she did not fail to perform Varalakshmi Vratam as
prescribed to her by Goddess Parvati. Then some miracles
took place. Everything seemed bountiful. Ever since, this
Vratam has been regularly performed in households.
At the end of the Puja, Arati was performed. An announcement
was made that all participants would be served with
sumptuous lunch as prasad in the canteen. A musical
programme by renowned artiste Nityashree Mahadevan was also
announced to be held in the evening session. To crown it
all, Bhagawan Himself went round the participants showering
Images of Varalakshmi Puja
at Prasanthi Nilayam