This joyful celebration takes place as a closure in the last Friday of the festival Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Vidhi, a period of worship, prayers, and offerings made for the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi. Each Friday during the Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Vidhi, the devotees keep a fast and prepare a Puja to welcome and please the Goddess at home.
Any member of a family regardless of the gender or whether the devotee is married or not can carry the Maa Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Udyapan, however, according to the traditions it is best done by a married woman.
Considerations for the Maa Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Udyapan
The Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Vidhi will last to 11 or 21 Fridays, being the last one where the Maa Vaibhav Lakshmi Udyapan takes place. It is important to remark that the whole vrat should be observed at home and carrying it on another place should not be considered part of the Friday counts. Fortunately, it can be resumed the next Friday and continue with the vrat. The amount of Fridays is decided at the beginning of the brat.
If a woman is the one practicing the vrat, it is forbidden to her to practice the Maa Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Udyapan while menstruating.
How fast should be followed
As part of the adoration of this festival, each Friday the devotees must start the day early and keep a fast the whole day until the evening. Only then, the worshipers are allowed to eat fruits, milk, or Prasad. Only if the weak devotees are allowed to eat twice.
The importance of the Prasad
As part of the conclusion of the vrat, the udyapan Prasad should be consumed to mark the closure of the fast observed in honor of the Goddess Lakshmi. The neivedya or food offered to the Deity is now considered as a Prasad as it served its purpose to please the food and it can be consumed and shared. Fruit and sweet dishes are common udyapan Prasad, such as coconut, banana, fried bread, potato curry, and rice pudding.
The closure with the udyapan vidhi
Once the Maa Vaibhav Lakshmi Udyapan has ended, there is a celebration on Friday where 11, 21, 51 or 101 women are invited, whether they are married or not. There is a condition, however, for the women invited and is that they should not be menstruating or pregnant since in that case, they cannot participate.
Once the final puja has ended, the celebration takes place with delicious meals. The guests receive gifts such as flowers, bangles, cosmetics, nail polish, bindis, clothes, and as part of the festival, each one will receive a Vaibhav Lakshmi book, with all the information necessary to carry a Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat Vidhi.
The handing of the Vaibhav Lakshmi books will please the Goddess and make her very happy. It is believed that the women who receive the books will be saved by the Goddess Lakshmi if they ever are in trouble.