How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja?


How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja

Tradition is not just a word in certain parts of the country. It intertwines not just with everyday activities like food, customs and behavior patterns, but also with the more spiritual pursuits. Worshipping certain deities in all parts of the country and in Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka in particular, has been associated with certain boons, and prominent amongst them is the Mahavratam of Lakshmi-also called as Varalakshmi or the Giver of Boons.

This auspicious date, usually falls a day before  the full moon in the month of August and when it comes to the methodology of conducting the puja, there is plenty that is available at numerous sources. However, an essential element in this puja happens to be the offering of the saree. Goddess Lakshmi is offered several types of offerings on the occasion and prime amongst them is the kalasam filled with several articles and then comes the most important part which is the drape.  Goddess Laksmi is not worshipped in some kind of ready-made idol form, but rather is created from several articles that symbolize her and the most important being-the kalasam or the reservoir of wealth, whose capacity is boundless. Though the size of the deity is small, one has to find ways and means of ensuring that the entire saree sits on the kalasam in such a manner that one can add other embellishments, like jewelry, the ‘Ammam mukham’ or the silver or clay face of the Goddess,  and a braid that is decorated with flowers etc.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja

While you may still be racking your head over. how can a simple kalasam help you do this-here are some simple tips:

  • Begin by getting the kalasam ready for the puja by adding raw rice, betel nut, five types of leaves, a single whole lime, and coins. Fill it to the brim.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja
  • Now to help elevate the kalasam to a more stable, but higher level, you could use an old plastic container and fill it up with some kind of grains  and then try and fit the kalasam on it – and better still, ensure that the kalasam’s base gets embedded within the container, yet does not loose height. Tape it so that it remains stably fixed on the container.

Now comes the offering of saree and blouse piece to the deity. It is often called ‘oti bharane’ in Telugu.

Usually, a red saree with zari preferable in soft silk is chosen as it will allow one to fold and drape rather well on the Goddess. Buy a silk saree with a medium to the thin border in deep pink or red for this occasion. The border allows one to create gorgeous rich pleating for the kalasam.

Once the kalasam has been filled with the needed ingredients, you can now begin the saree pleating. But you also need to now ensure that the kalasam is ready for the saree too! Here is what you do next.

  • Take a stick that is about 10 inches long if the width of the kalasam is about 4 inches. Now tie this stick to the mouth of the kalasam so that two arms like ends protrude outwards.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja

As you can see in the picture above, the arms like stick needs to be placed at the back of the mouth of the kalasam so that it can now be ready for the saree. Use lots of wire and masking tape to ensure the stick is strongly glued and does not slip.

  • Begin making saree pleats from the inside of the saree and when you reach enough of the length, leave enough for pallu.
  • Now comes the tricky part-use some string or a safety pin and pin up the pleats on both ends. When they are secure hold the saree and fold it while still pleated. Make sure that it is not folded in half –rather one portion is longer and the second portion is overlapping it somewhat.
  • Now tie this middle portion with a thread.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja
  • Time to set the tied up saree. You have to now take the folded saree and place the tied up portion where it is folded and tie it to the mouth of the kalasam very neatly. Make sure that the smaller bunched pleats will now fall over the longer pleated portion. Open the pins at the ends of the saree only after it is properly secured with thread around the mouth of the kalasam. The saree will now look like a double layer pleated skirt.
  • Now open the pleats and see that they encircle and cover the base to the top well and the smaller pleats also fall in front to make a beautiful second layer.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja
  • Take the rest of the pallu length and pleat that and very neatly take it over the left stick as if it were the shoulder, bring it over the back still pleated and over the stick on the right and then make it fall on the right-hand side in neat small pleats. You can cross it over the front and pin it there as well. Make sure that the pallu covers the sticks completely. Tie it here as if forming some kind of waist. The base of the kalasam will be the waist area. Later on. you will be covering this with some form of ornament in any case-maybe a necklace that can go round the circumference.
  • Most important is that after the saree is fixed you could also add a separate golden decorative cloth or a long garland that drops by from the side as in the picture below.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja
  • Add lots of jewelry.
  • You now have to ensure that the back of the kalasam is amply covered and for this one could use the blouse cloth and make pleats and cover the back as well.
  • Tie if you desire, a braid as well to the neck of the kalasam and that can be decorated with flowers or any other metallic clips and adornments.
  • You have to now add the ‘ammam mukham’ that could be placed on top of the coconut that you place on the kalasam or can be placed without it too.

If you place the deity on a Chowki with banana leaf, it will automatically get more elevation and the saree will be able to get a lovely fall to make the entire structure of the deity look even larger and grander.How to Wear Saree for Varamahalakshmi Pooja
There are plenty of ideas available on how to make wire and fabric made arms and that could then be placed at the base of the kalasam.

Time to get the ‘neivedyam’ ready-after all your saree draping for Varalakshmi is quite under control now. Right?!