Yesterday, was varalaksmi Vridam, another auspicious day in the Tamil month of aadi. I, woke up at half past 5, serve breakfast get the kids to school and went to work, where did my best to complete a little project with my colleagues, that I have been delegated. We worked, completed the job,came home to finish up some other work and took my TGIF breath of relieve.
Did I do any special pujas? Nope.
Am I proud of it? Nope.
Am I guilty? Not at all!
Varalaksmi vrindam is traditionally, for the lady of the house to observe prayers for health, wealth, strength, learning,peace and love for the entire family. Ladies, usually adorn themselves in silk saree and Jewellery as these are believed to be synonymous with goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and everything auspicious. I like these things, but being the “Lakshmi” of my home, I do what would bring my family all the above that a varalaksmi vridam pooja would have served, in my opinion. Is this a substitute for the pooja? Nope. One can always do better.
In my household, the Lakshmi takes care of herself, and she keeps herself happy. How can you rub happiness on your children if you can’t find your own? And you know how just draping a saree makes me immensely happy and rejuvenates my soul with renewed energy. So, I pulled out a khes (recycled saree, cheap and full of character) that has printed owls and clipped my favourite owl brooch gifted by my children to work. Why owls? Curious animals..
Today’s story is about the owl, is it bad or good?
Long ago, during a battle, when Genghis Khan’s horse was shot, he ran and hid under a bush. His enemies knew that he was hiding, and while trying to locate him, they saw a barn owl perched on a tree by the undergrowth where he was hiding. When the enemies, saw an owl sitting there, they didn’t even bother to search anywhere near, because of what Owls represented, which is death, evil and everything negative. It is believed that after that incident, the owl found its way to their emblem, because it saved the great Genghis Khan’s life!
In the Panchatantra there is story that narrates about a fight between the crows and owls. In the end, the owls are burnt, nests and all by “clever” crows. Indians who practise black magic kill owls during Deepavali to ward off evil or to gain magical powers. Villagers are known to kill owls for their meat as they believe that it would cure diseases.
In the Western World, it’s a good bird! It is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom, and the owl appears in the emblems of educational institutions, book stores and publishing houses. In Greece owls are associated with Goddess Pallas Athena/Minerva, the Goddess of wisdom.
The Bengalis consider the owl auspicious and it represents goddess Lakshmi,
Goddess Lakshmi and Chamunda have owls as their Vahanas (vehicle, can be taken as “symbolic”). Some literature say that, the owl is “alaksmi” the unfortunate Sister of Lakshmi.
In Shiva purana, Alakshmi is Kali, the fearsome facet of Shakti, and Lakshmi is Gowri, the lovable aspect of Shakti.
In Vishnu purana, Lakshmi upholds dharma (acts born of justice) while Alakshmi upholds adharma (acts born of exploitation). Thus Lakshmi and Alakshmi are two halves of a complete whole; in another literature, Lakshmi is described as fruit that is savored while Alakshmi is comparable the waste in the fruit, that is discarded. The crux of the matter is, the two exist as a whole; without either there is neither.
As hindus, we belief that both are crucial
For our sustenance, in upholding dharma. We recognise that life brings us to negative circumstances where alaksmi is needed to overcome it. That’s why Kali is worshiped as well. Worship of only one in extreme is considered to be detrimental. This is a difficult concept to understand. Some take this quite literally and divert their energies to rituals of workship, and forget to assess their acts of dharma and adharma. In my opinion, practice of rituals and prayers alone does not make you a Hindu. Practice of prayers and rituals, without deep understanding of the values in our actions or its significance is ignorance. Hinduism is not an Organised religion that has a definite system to teach its values. It has some fundamental principles such as dharma, karma, truth, Brahman, and Vedas as the guiding authority to guide us. And all of interpret them, in our own ways, abilities and limitations.
And in my limited knowledge, I feel that Varalaksmi vridam is a day for me to be contented for all the blessings in my life. Alaksmi will reside where there is arrogance, stinginess, greed, jealousy and ego. One can have Material wealth and still live in poverty. Spiritual thinkers describe this as ‘scarcity mindset” (not enough) and the inner turmoil and lack of peace as signs that “alaksmi has chosen to reside. So, this varalaskmi, let’s all strive to achieve a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude. Alakshmi can only be kept at bay by Saraswathi, who is symbolic of sound knowledge and good judgement. You would think, I don’t need a religion for this. You don’t, these basic principles of humanity; Hinduism.
Our Sarees come with a story, and they continue to weave our stories of love and life as we drape them ❤️ Support handlooms, handwork, authentic art form. Support the weavers, the artisans and the Art! #iwearhandloom #ruthra #thisloveaffairihavewithsarees #100sareepact #Khessaree #owl #laksmi #sareeblouseromance #hindulife