Mahalakshmi Vrat is a sixteen days long festival which starts from the eighth day of the bright lunar fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (August-September) and ends on the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Asvina (September-October), according to the Hindu calendar. It is also known as Varalakshmi vrat. People observe fast for sixteen consecutive days to gain blessings from Mahalakshmi. It is believed that once ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... had asked his consort ParvatiParvati
After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva... to observe this fast in order to gain prosperity. The festival is majorly celebrated in Southern and Western states of India like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Maharashtra.
According to a legend, there was a married women named Charumati. She was very pure and a great devotee of Mahalakshmi but she was poor and made her ends meet with difficulty. Once while sleeping, Mahalakshmi came in her dreams and asked her to observe a fast in her name and perform all the rituals. She promised the Goddess to do the same along with several other women of the village. The next morning, she collected women from her community and narrated her dream to them. They all agreed to perform the rituals and as soon as they completed their fast, their bodies were loaded with gold jewelry and their houses will filled with wealth. Since then the custom of Mahalakshmi Vrat came into existence.
Women wake up early in the morning and take a ritual bath before the sunrise. They clean the house and the worshipping arena and wear new traditional clothes. They then place an idol of Mahalakshmi, which should be decorated in red or yellow silk clothes and jewelry, in their house. Garlands made of fresh flowers can also be offered. Women tie a sixteen knotted string on their left wrist and men on their right wrist while performing the rituals. A small idol of GaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ... is to be placed next to hers’ and other items to be kept in the worshipping arena are sandalwood, clarified butter, turmeric, cow dung, fruits, vermilion and lotus flowers. People also place a kalash in the arena, filled with water, topped with a coconut and decorated with betel leaves. A red thread is also tied around it and it is dressed in a red cloth. Some may put rice and coins inside the water of the pot. Mahalakshmi is then evoked in the kalash and prayed to. The kalash is positioned on a plate filled with rice. Earthen lamps are placed in the house and women make beautiful patterns on the floor with powdered color. Durva grass It has many medicinal values and people who perform the rituals associated with the day, are benefitted by its positive effects on skin disorders, high sugar level, obesity, insomnia, fatigue, anemia and digestion. Hence it symbolizes purity of body. One can also purify his house by sprinkling water in all the corners using durva grass. According to some beliefs, the tip of the grass represents Shiva, the middle represents Vishnu and the roots represent Brahma. Thus it as pure as the holy trinitycan be used to sprinkle water all around the house and purify it of any negative influences.
People can complete the fast by consuming nine different kinds of delicacies prepared to first offer the Goddess and then distributed among the devotees as prasadam. Consumption of non-vegetarian food is to be completely avoided. People exchange sweets and also enjoy the days by singing hymns and dancing together in groups.
While performing all the rituals, devotees should chant Mahalakshmi Mantra, A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mind “Om Shreem Hreem shreem Kamale kamalalaye Praseed Praseed Shreem Hreem Shreem OM it is a sacred sound, which is meditated upon and considered as a spiritual icon by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. It is the primordial sound which is considered infinite, all encompassing, the truth of existence, the ultimate reality of the universe, the cause of life and the ultimate reality of being. It is the finest essence of life which helps in gaining the knowledge of self and the universe. Mahalakshmyai Namah”. LakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth... Ashtottara may also be chanted throughout the day.
Some people might not be comfortable in observing fast for all the sixteen days, hence they can keep only three fast i.e., one the first day, eighth day and the last day.
The 16th Day
On the last day, people perform a special Puja It is a prayer ritual performed to make offerings, honoring, evoking or worshipping gods. The ceremony can also be performed to pay homage to the beloved ones who are deadin the evening while lighting sixteen earthen lamps. They also use sixteen types of different flowers to make garlands and offer it to the goddess. Women offer various items like combs, henna and bangles to other women as a part of the custom. Food and alms are also distributed among the needs as charity.
Devotees are blessed with abundance of wealth when they observe all the sixteen fasts. She blesses her followers with immense assets and never let them turn poor or stay without resources.