Varalakshmi Vratham~वरलक्ष्मी व्रत - Ritual of Varalakshmi Vratam
One method of making kalasam exists where only gold jewellery is placed within the kalasam and is partially filled with holy water from any river. This method is gaining ground among the society as this also adds to the families riches in the form of jewellery. The puja begins by arranging the kalasha or what is known as the sacred pot. The pot is filled up with water and rice symbolizing prosperity. It is then covered with mango as well as betel leaves . Then a coconut that is smeared with vermillion and turmeric powder is placed on the Kalasha. A new cloth is placed on the coconut. Some decorate the Kalasha with jewels to make it appear more beautiful. The puja starts with the worship of Lord Ganesha, who is considered to help in getting rid of obstacles as well as evil forces.
Subsequently, the devotees invoke Goddess Varalakshmi to enter the Kalasham. Then torams [ it consists of nine threads with about nine knots] are worshipped and one is tied around the Kalasha, while another one is tied on the right hand of the woman, who is performing the puja.
Then they chant Lakshmi Ashtotharam Shatanamam [it is a list consisting of 108 names praising the Goddess]. Nine types of sweets as well as savories are offered to the Goddess. Hymns are sung in praise of the deity. Another woman is invited; who is considered to be Goddess Varalakshmi and sweets as well savories are offered. In the evening all the ladies in the locality are invited and are offered tamboolam [betel leaves, betel nuts fruits, turmeric as well as dakshna [money]. Together they sing songs in praise of the Goddess.