Friday, July 31, 2009

Varalakshmi Vratham Festival - Varalakshmi Puja, Tulasi (Tulsi) Pooja

In Hindu culture, different kinds of festivals are celebrating for various deities. One among them is the "Varalakshmi Vratam" which is the most important festival and pooja performed by many women in the South India States of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi who is an eternal energy and wife of Lord Vishnu. Varalakshmi Vratam a.k.a Varalakshmi Puja, Varalakshmi Vrata, Tulasi Pooja, Tulsi Puja, Varalakshmi Nonbu. On this occasion, people who planting Tulsi, they clean the Tulsi pot with water and decorate with turmeric and kumkum. After that, chant vedic hymns & slogas and perform pujas & aaradhanas to Goddess Lakshmi. Also people offer fruits, different types of sweets to Goddess Lakshmi. Hindus believed that Goddess Lakshmi dwell in Tulsi plant, so they performed Tulsi puja on this occasion.
This festival comes in the Tamil month of Aadi, which corresponds to the English month of July-August. The prescribed day for the pooja is the friday of the month of Sravan in the fortnight known as Sukla paksha, preceding the full moon day. Today (Friday, July 31, 2009) is the Varalakshmi Vratam Festival. This is the festival for married women and girls because Goddess Lakshmi is the female form of God. Hence, women and girls observe fasting and performed pooja on this event. Also they tie yellow threads around their wrists and they give Thamboolam to other Sumangalis a.k.a. married women on this special day.
"Om Mahadevyai sa Vidhmahe Vishnu Pathni sa Dheemahi
Dhanno Lakshmi Prachodayat"
- Lakshmi Gayathri Mantra

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Significance of Aadi Amavasya - Aadi Amavasai

Amavasya or Amavasai is the tamil version of New moon day. The new moon day is considered something special in almost all civilizations. Some people believed that this day relates to demonic qualities and some other think as auspicious and benevolent. In Hindu community, the two Amavasya considered most important are "Aadi Amavasya" and "Thai Amavasya". This year Aadi Amavasya falls on Tuesday, July 21, 2009. Aadi Amavasai is dedicated to dead forefathers and ancestors, so the Hindus perform "Tharpanam" on this auspicious day. Taking a holy dip in a river is considered a pre-requisite for performing a Tharpanam, as it is believed that all one’s physical as well as mental impurities are washed away by doing so. Devotees take a holy dip in the various sacred rivers, seas and sacred ponds or Teerthams on this day. Especially, most of the devotees thronged Agni Theertham a.k.a Rameswaram (Rameshwaram - Ramanatha @ Ramalinga Swamy Temple) on this auspicious day to take a holy dip and offer Tharpanam to their ancestors. They were given sesame seeds to throw into the sea. After taking a dip in the holy sea, they went to the temples to pray for their forefathers. Lots of thousands of devotees go to temple on this day. Special poojas and abhishekams are conducted at all temples especially at Lord Muruga temples.

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