Sindhi community women worshipping Gaja Laxmi
Sindhi community women worshipping Gaja Laxmi

Indore: Women kept fast and worshipped Gaja Laxmi, concluding the sixteen-day Mahalakshmi Vrat on Thursday.

This year, the Mahalakshmi Vrat started on Tuesday, August 25, 2020. “The fast is observed to appease and seek the blessing of Maa Lakshmi - the Goddess of wealth and prosperity,” Pandit Puneet Dwivedi said.

He added the Mahalakshmi Vrat begins on Shukla Ashtami during Bhadrapada month which comes after four days of Ganesha Chaturthi. “Mahalakshmi Vrat is observed for sixteen consecutive days which ends on Krishna Ashtami during Ashwin month,” Dwivedi said.

Women worshipping the Gaja Laxmi form of the goddess on the concluding day of 15-day Mahalaxmi Vrat
Women worshipping the Gaja Laxmi form of the goddess on the concluding day of 15-day Mahalaxmi Vrat

To conclude the fast, women read the story of Mahalakshmi fast and worshipped the idol of goddess Laxmi riding on an elephant named ‘Airavat’ seeking health, happiness and prosperity.

Vendors selling clay idols for special worship on the day were disappointed as most women avoided buying the idol from the market. Some women prepared the idol at home using clay, flour and other easily available items.

“Normally, we return home with barely 1 or 2 idols, but this year, we are going home with half idols, as only half were sold,” Vinay Dhope, a vendor selling idols on AB road, said. He explained that most people did not even stop to enquire about the price.

“People did not buy the idol fearing it might even spread corona,” Himanshu Pateria, a vendor at Malwa Mill road, said. Most women bought metal idols, citing the possibility of sanitising the idol before worship.

As shared by Pandit Ravi Shastri, “The Gajalakshmi avatar of Goddess Lakshmi is said to be a symbol of power, prosperity, good luck and bounty. Lord Arjuna asked his father Lord Indra to send Airavat (the mighty elephant) on Earth for his mother Kunti in order to help her observe the Mahalakshmi Vrat.”

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