Today is the day I love the most. Everyone is busy celebrating Varalakshmi Pooja. But unfortunately, I couldn’t do it as it has not been a year since my mom expired. But I couldn’t miss narrating the pooja to you. Every year I will be very busy for the three days starting from Friday till Sunday. But as I am free this year, I thought of writing a post on the pooja so that it will be useful for those who are new to this. My mom is my Guru for most of the things I learnt so far and celebrating poojas is one among them. From childhood, I love helping mom in all the poojas and she used to teach me each and every pooja with finest details. Till last year I call her every single day and clarify all my doubts. But from next year it is not possible and this post may even help me doing it perfectly.
What I am writing about the pooja is my mom’s version. So if it is different from what you do please bear it. Each and every household has different customs and I am just describing what we follow.For Varalakshmi Pooja, we are inviting goddess Lakshmi to stay in our house for three days. Some of them perform pooja for just a single day but mom does it for three days. On the first day i.e Friday early in the morning, within 6 am we fill a kalasam with rice and a small piece of jewellery along with a lemon and kadolai karugumani and place a coconut coated with turmeric powder and mango leaves. Then we place a padi with rice and some coins at the door step. Then we bring the kalasam from outside to inside the house tilting the padi with the kalasam so that the rice and coins fall inside the house. Yes it is the same way they bring the daughter in law inside the house. Then we place the kalasam on a manai with rangoli on it. After that the kalasam is adorned with lakshmi’s face and decorated with silk pavadai and jewellery. We get so many decorative itams in Pudumandapam in Madurai. So every year the decorations vary. Last time I added a decorated umbrella and a parrot. It just seems like the Goddess is seated on the manai. The kalasam will not be visible. We also place a turmeric Ganapathy in the side and every single pooja is done first for Ganapathy and then for the kalasam. My mom taught me a kolam for Lakshmi pooja and I always draw that with rice flour in front of the kalasam. The kolam is then decorated with flowers and three lamps are placed in the centre. These are lit while performing the pooja.
We prepare a scrumptious meal for Lakshmi. Usually it is 5 types of variety rice, kozhukattai, payasam, vadai, kesari and sundal. We also keep a fruit plate with 5 types of fruits. This is the general setup of the place before starting the pooja. There is a story to be read during the pooja and some mantra chanting. Nonbu kayaru, a beautiful red sacred thread is tied on the right hand for all the family members and archanai with kumkum and flowers take place with mantra chanting. I have a book on varalakshmin pooja from which I chant the mantras. After aarthi, all the family members sit for the meal. During evening sundal is made and a small pooja takes place. We invite ladies from neighbourhood and give them blouse pieces and bangles along with thamboolam. I usually recite lalitha sahasranama during morning and evening poojas. And this reciting is what I love the most during this pooja.
The next day, it is pathiyam for the Goddess. Due to the heavy meal on the first day, it is a very light meal for the second day which has only rasam rice. Reciting mantras and lalitha sahasranama continues on day 2 also. On the final day, Sunday, we make thayir saadam as the prasadam and finish off the pooja by slightly moving the kalasam. And then the kalasam along with the decorations is kept inside the large rice container for the whole day along with thamboolam. By evening, we remove the kalasam and remove all the decorations and coconut from the kalasam. The rice is used to make pongla the next day and the coconut is used to make coconut burfi. This is how We celebrate Pooja at our place. So how do you do it? Is there any special practise other than what I have explained. If so please share with me in the comments. It would be a great opportunity to know other customs.
Here is a list of recipes we make on the Pooja day. Click on the picture for recipes.
These are only some of the recipe variations I have given from my blog. If you have a special guest at home, what will you prepare? If Goddess Lakshmi comes to your home, how will you treat her? This pooja is all about that. There are no particular rules and regulations. So happy Varalakshmi Pooja to you all !!!!