Varamahalakshmi Vratam :
Varamahalakshmi Vratam is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, one of the Hindu Trinity. Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam). It is an important pooja performed by many women in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Naidu. The Hindu festival going by the name ‘Vara maha Lakshmi Vrata’ is celebrated on the Second Friday or the Friday before full moon day – poornima in the month of sravana, also called sawan in Hindi and Aadi in Tamil which corresponds to the Gregorian months of July–August.
Varamahalakshmi Vratam is performed by married woman for the well being of all the family members, especially husband, to get progeny etc. It is believed that worshiping Goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshiping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.
History : In the Mashhad of yore, there lived a Brahman woman called Charumathi in a town named Kundina. The prosperous town was the home of Charumathi and her husband. Impressed by her devotion to her family, Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to worship Vara-Lakshmi (Vara = boon, Lakshmi = goddess of wealth) and seek to fulfill her wishes. Varalakshmi is yet another form of Lord Vishnu‘s consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The prayer/worship was prescribed to be offered on the Friday of Sravana month preceding the night of full moon.
When Charumathi explained her dream to her family, she found them encouraging her to perform the pooja. Many other women of the village joined her in performing the pooja in a traditional way and offered many sweet dishes to the Goddess Varalakshmi. They prayed with deep devotion.
On this occasion women worship Goddess Lakshmi with utmost devotion offering sweets and flowers, usually a kalash(representing the deity) will be decorated with a saree, flowers and gold jewelry with offerings placed in front.
This pooja can be done with no restriction to caste or creed. To this day many women observe this traditional festival praying Varamahalakshmi for her blessings in the form of wealth and well being of their family.