The Vrat of Vaibhav Lakshmi is a festival where the devotees pay tribute and worship to the Goddess Lakshmi, as she is the deity of abundance, wealth, and fortune. In order to hold this festivity with the proper respect and honor, there are a couple of arrangements and rules that must be followed.
Starting on Amavasya, the Vrat of Vaibhav Lakshmi is held for 21 or 11 Fridays. The amount of Fridays must be decided from the start by the devotee that will observe the Vaibhav Lakshmi. The preparation for this worship includes the cleaning of the house and the preparation of the kalasam, which is a metal vessel filled with water, coins, rose water, kumkum and turmeric powder and then decorated with a new red fabric.
Each Friday in the evening, the observance starts with the Ganesha puja by the reading of bhajansand Vaibhava Lakshmi legend and the placing on the altar the offering known as an aarti.
Basic rules for observing the Vrat of Vaibhav Lakshmi
- The Vrat of Vaibhav Lakshmi may be observed for anyone in the family, however, it should be observed mainly by married women. A reward is given to any married woman that follows the vrat process.
- If it is not possible for a married or unmarried woman to carry the vrat observance, a man may participate as well and he will be also rewarded for his observance the same way as a woman.
- The vrat must be held only at home and if by any inconvenient, the devotee cannot follow the observance one Friday, it is necessary that the next Friday he resumes the vrat at home.
- As part of the Friday vrat, the worshiper must carry a fast during the whole day. It is allowed as an only meal in the evening, the sweet food and fruits offered to the Goddess, while the weak devotees are the only exception being able to have two meals.
- There should be a strong feeling of authentic devotion, desire, and dedication in the heart of the devotee during the vrat to please the goddess and gain as a reward her blessing, mercy, and protection.
- According to the Shastras, the celebration of the vrat should take place for 11 or 21 Fridays, depending on the devotee’s oath. In the Shastras, there is also information about how to hold the ceremony properly and it must be followed to gain the reward of the blessing of the Goddess.
- For repeating the vrat for a second time, it is necessary to devotedly take an oath.
- As part of the observance, it is necessary to express admiration of the Goddess Lakshmi by reciting a hymn.
- A vrat should not be held in the family if it has experienced the loss of a loved one or if the woman that would carry the observance is menstruating.
- Vaibhav Lakshmi is known as the favorite incarnation and amulet of the Goddess Lakshmi. As part of the vrat, it should be included and worshiped to please the Goddess.
- As a closure of the last puja held the last Friday, an udyapan is held. This is a celebration where 11, 21, 51, or 101 women are invited and gifted with the Vaibhav Lakshmi book.