Mangalore, Aug 8: Vara Mahalaxmi Vritha, celebrated by women for appeasing Goddess Mahalaxmi, consort of Lord Vishnu, who is considered to be the Goddess of Wealth, has been a popular festival of Hindus since ancient times.
The festival falls on the Friday immediately preceding the full moon day of Shravana month. This time, it was celebrated in various temples across Mangalore on Friday August 8.
Legends say that Mahalaxmi, born as the daughter of sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyati, also emerged from the ocean when the demons and gods churned it.
Goddess Mahalaxmi takes birth in the earth every time Lord Vishnu appears through his incarnations, and marries him. She is also the Goddess of opulence and luck, apart from granting the blessing of longevity for the husbands of women offering worship to her.
On this day, women get up before dawn and clean up their homes. They draw Rangolis in front of their homes, take head bath, and worship Vara Mahalaxmi. It is said that Goddess Mahalaxmi is in good mood and turns very generous on this day, and blesses the devotees with bountiful boons including wealth, health, abundant grains, etc, in spite of the simple nature of the puja offered to her.
Normally, a small copper pitcher (Kalasha) is decorated with betel leaves and other things considered auspicious including ornaments, and worshipped in the form of Goddess Mahalaxmi. Women make it a point to invite neighbouring women for the puja and offer them the Prasadam and other things. They also visit the temples and offer prayers there.
Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha has been celebrated at Urwa Marigudi, Radhakrishna Hall Urwa, and Samaj Bhavan, Mannagudda.