Mahalakshmi Vrat is a 16-day festival. It starts on Shukla Ashtami in Bhadrapada (Aug-Sept). During this 16-days period, devotees observe fast and worship the goddess Mahalakshmi, who is called as goddess wealth, prosperity and auspiciousness. Interestingly, Shukla Ashtami in the month of Bhadrapad is also celebrated the birth anniversary of Radha as Radha Ashtami. The Mahalakshmi Vrat starts on the day of Durva Ashtami when the Durva grass is worshipped.
Goddess Mahalakshmi is the divine consort of Lord Vishnu, and is the goddess of wealth. The one, who worships her, is blessed with wealth. According to puranas, Goddess Laxmi emerged from the ocean during Samundra Manthan, and selected Lord Vishnu as her idol husband. Goddess Mahalakshmi also accompanied Lord Vishnu in many of his avatars or incarnations. Like Sita and Radha, when Lord Vishnu took birth in the avatar of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.
Goddess Mahalaxmi is referred in many different names like Sri, Padma among other names. Sri is one of the widely used names for Goddess Mahalaxmi as an auspicious symbol having the power to evoke beauty and abundance of wealth.
Goddess Mahalaxmi image is always of four hands, sitting or standing on a lotus. She is depicted as an extremely beautiful goddess with two of her divine hands holding lotus flowers or Kalash and other two offering fortune as gold coins in the posture of blessings. Owl is the vehicle of Goddess Mahalaxmi.
Puranic Story of Birth and Origin of Mahalakshmi
Bhagavata Purana, also called as Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana describe the birth of Mahalakshmi when Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Ocean) took place. It is one of the biggest event happened as per the Bhagavad Purana in Vedas.
The king of heaven Indra once received a garland from Durvasa Muni, passing it from Lord Shiva gave. Indra placed the garland on the trunk of his elephant only to throw it away, which angered Durvasa Muni and cursed Indira and all the gods of the Swarga (heaven) that they will lose their wealth.
This also led to attack from the opportunist demons. As a result, gods approached Lord Vishnu who asked them to join hands with the demons to churn the ocean to produce amrita, a nectar of immortality. Mount Mandara became the churning rod and Vasuki (the lord of all the serpents rounding the neck of Shiva) played the role of the churning rope. As soon as the churning started, Mount began to sink. Lord Vishnu assuming the divine as the form of Lord Kumra (turtle) supported the sinking the Mount.
When the churning of ocean was taking place, a number of valuables like precious gemstones, gold etc. came out. All the participated in churning took those items. Shiva, on the other hand, consumed Halahala, the deadliest poison to save the universe. When the universe was saved, beautiful apsaras emerged, alluring to both demons and gods. One of the Apsaras was Goddess Lakshmi, and accepted Lord Vishnu as her husband.
Names of Goddess Mahalaxmi
There are several names of Goddess Mahalaxmi, which includes Hira meaning jewel, Indira means the one who is powerful, Jaladhi-ja means the ocean-born and Lokamata means the mother of the world.
Goddess Mahalaxmi is one of the most worshipped deities, and is worshipped in all her eight forms.
Some of the forms are- Aadi Lakshmi, Santhana Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, etc. Goddess Mahalaxmi is not only known for providing wealth, but also nurtures life, and is known in the form of Bhoodevi.
For devotees, Goddess Lakhsmi is not just a wealth provider, but also offers materialistic possessions, along with helps in building moral and ethical values in individuals. Furthermore, the goddess also gives spiritual knowledge, intellect growth along with others.
How to Celebrate Mahalakshmi Vrat? What to do on Mahalaxmi Vrat?
Celebrating Mahalakhsmi Vrat for 16 days is the best period. You can even visit Mahalakshmi temple for all 16 days and offer prayer. If not possible, then worship her at home. When worshipping make sure to use lotus, roses, fruits and a dhoop.
Fasting during this period is a purifying experience. Fasting starts four days after Ganesh Chaturthi ends and continues to eight day of Pitru Paksha. You can have fruits and once a day meal during the fast.
Lakshmi Yantras are used for attracting goddess grace
Meditate on Goddess Lakshmi by chanting seed mantra:
‘ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं लक्ष्मीभयो नमः॥ Om Hreem Shreem Lakshmibhayo Namah॥
You can also chant this mantra using Lotus Seed Mala.
You can also go for the option of wearing Seven Mukhi Rudrasksha beads ruled by Goddess Lakshmi. By wearing these Rudraksha beads on the day of chanting will help in purifying your inner self and strengthens your will power. Further, it will help in attracting financial opportunities.
"Om Shreem Hreem Shree Mahalaxmiyey Namah"
"Om Shreem Hreem Shreem Kamale Kamalalaye Praseed Praseed Om Shreem Hreem Shreem Mahalakshmaye Namah"
Benefits of Mahalaxmi Puja vidhi During Mahalakshmi Vrat
The best is to perform the Mahaslakshmi Puja under qualified Brahmins. There are different puja samagris used for Mahalaxmi Puja including-deity idols (even photos can work), lotus and rose flowers, fruits like custard apple and plums, rose or sandalwood attar, cow ghee, cane, Kamal Gatta, vertical turmeric, Bilvapatra, Panchamrita, Ganga Jal, etc. You will get a complete list of samagris from Brahmins.
We at Rudra Centre offer perform Mahalakshmi Vrat Puja to our clients. Some of the Poojas we offer are Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana (Gauri Ganesh, Punyavachan, Shodash Matrika, Navgraha, Sarvotabhadra), 64 yogini Pujan, Sankalpa, Ganesh Pujan, Swasti Vachan, and Abhishek, Navgraha Pujan and 108 chants of each planetary mantra. We also perform invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash, Laxmi Idol Abhishek and Pujan, Laxmi Yantra Puja, Lakshmi Stotram Mantra and Recitation of Kanakdhara Strotra, and others.