Sri Sathya Sai Varalakshmi Vratam Celebrations
Puja and Music Programme
August 15, 2008
The stage was set with two silver idols of Goddess Lakshmi decked in beautiful garlands. The idols of the Ashta Laskhmis (the eight manifestaions of the Goddess) where also displayed in all their splendour. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba arrived for darshan at 9.40am and took a full round in kulwant hall. Bhagawan then came on to the dais and lit the ceremonial lamp to commence the puja. Two purohits conducted the proceedings by reciting appropriate mantras and giving instructions to the ladies to conduct the puja. The puja began with the worship of Lord Ganesha and proceeded according to ‘Sree Sukta Vidhana’ with ‘Shodasha Upachara’ or 16 forms of ceremonial offerings to Goddess Varalakshmi while reciting verses from the Sree Suktam.
At the end of the puja, the purohit narrated the story of how the ‘Varalakshmi Vrata’ came in to practice: In kailasa, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva as to whether there is any form of worship that women can perform for fulfillment of all their desires. Then Lord Shiva says that by performing the Varalakshmi Vratam on the first friday of the Hindu month of Shraavana, a women attains all her desires such as a long & happy married life, being blessed with children and grandchildren, leading a healthy & prosperous life dedicated to right living and spiritual growth.
After attaining these instructions, the ever compassionate mother appears in a dream of a pious lady by the name of Charumathi and instructs and guides her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratam. Upon waking up, she narrates the dream to her husband and her in-laws and they encourage her to perform it. So Charumathi performs the vratam along with many other married women and they are blessed with all auspiciousness and prosperity.
After the story session, the ladies tied sacred thread on the right hand wrist of each other and exchanged prasadam and other articles of worship with each other. the puja concluded with arati around 11am.
In the evening, the Kulwant hall resounded to classical music of Smt Sunita, a recipient of Nandi Award. Smt Sunita captivated the audience with both classical and light music and rounded it off with a beautiful Bhajan. Sathya Sai Baba blessed the artiste with a chain and followed it up with clothes for both the singer and the accompanists.