The significance and rituals of Mahalaxmi vrat Katha | Future Point

The significance and rituals of Mahalaxmi vrat Katha

By: Future Point | 17-Sep-2018
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The significance and rituals of Mahalaxmi vrat Katha

According to our age old Hindu scriptures and mythology, there is a big significance and importance of the Mahalakshmi Vrat and the day is considered as highly auspicious and sacred, especially in Hinduism.

The day is celebrated with a ceremony which is performed by both men and women (mostly Hindu married ladies) on a Friday which falls before the night of full moon in the month of Shravana as per the calculations of a Hindu calendar (which is correspondent to the months of August/September) in the western calendar. However, it is not specific and mandate to perform this ceremony on this day, those who cannot do it then, can perform on any other Friday of that particular month.

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This is considered as an important Vratha, which in Sanskirt means a vowed religious and spiritual observance. The ancient belief followed in this Vratha is that those men and women who perform the Pooja of goddess Mahalaxmi , who is the wife of lord Vishnu will seek her divine blessings throughout their lives. In Hinduism, Goddess laxmi is known as the symbol of wealth, abundance and prosperity in our lives.

The legend behind the Laxmi Pooja:

There is a very interesting legend and story for the essence of this Mahalaxmi Vrat Pooja, which goes like, Lord Shiva asked his wife Parvati to perform the laxmi Pooja to gain the divine blessings of Maa laxmi for she is known as the divine abode of wealth and prosperity as per Hindu mythology.

There is another legend that tells the story of very pious and religious lady Charumati, who in her dream, was asked to perform this Pooja by the goddess Lakshmi. She then in reality did the Pooja with other ladies of the village with great zeal, fervour and devotion. All the ladies offered the diety of goddess laksmi with sumptuous delicacies and when the whole ceremony of vratha was completed; all the women were shocked and amazed to see the results. The bodies of all the women were extensively decked up with expensive gold jewellery and other ornaments. From this day on, this has been followed as a ritual to seek the divine blessings of Maa Lakshmi in order to gain wealth and prosperity in life.

The Rituals followed in the Pooja:

On the specific day of Maa Lakshmi Vrat, all the Hindu women clean their homes and decorate the front yard with colourful and attractive rangolis (colour full spread and exotic designs by colours on the floor). Following this, they take a bath and deck themselves with alluring jewellery and beautiful clothes with ornaments. Then after all this the process of observing vratha begins which is done by carefully arranging and decorating the sacred pot or Kalasha, as it is known in Hindi.

The kalash is then filled with water and rice, which is a symbolism of wealth and prosperity and the lid of the pot, is usually covered with mango and betel leaves. It is then a coconut which is smeared with turmeric and sindoor (vermillion) is placed on the new cloth on the sacred pot. As per choice, some people also decorate the kalasha with jewels and beads to make the sacred pot look all the more attractive. After this, the kalasha is now placed on a plate (thali), which is full of rice spread.

The Pooja process:

The main ceremony and the process of Pooja begins by worshipping and seeking the divine blessings of Lord Ganesha, for he is believed to be “Vighnaharta”, the one who is capable of removing and negating all the obstacles, hindrances and evil energies, if any present. Following this, the process of invoking Goddess Maha Lakshmi in the sacred pot is done. Then the women worship a couple of torams (which is a bunch of nine threads tied in total of nine knots) and this is tied to the kalasha, while the other toram is tied in the wrist of right hand of the woman performing the Pooja.

After doing all this, the main significant part of the Pooja is done which is to chant Lakshmi Ashttotara Shantanam (a long list list of 108 names chanted in the praise of the diety). Then, at the last, women offer nine types of delicacies to the goddess of Lakshmi, which may include savoury dishes and sweets). The process of the vratam is concluded by singing aartis and hyms dedicated in praise and honour of the Maa Lakshmi.

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