mahalakshmi_fastThe fast of Mahalakshmi begins from Ashtami of Bhadrapads Shukla Paksha. In the year 2012, this fast will be from 23th September to 8th October.This fast starts from the day of Radha Ashtami and carried on for 16 days. In this fast, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. 

Mahalakshmi Fast Procedure

First of all, the resolution of fast is taken after completing the routine work. The following mantra should be chanted while taking the resolution. 

करिष्यsहं महालक्ष्मि व्र्त में त्वत्परायणा ।

तदविध्नेन में यातु समप्तिं स्वत्प्रसादत: ।।

Meaning :- O! Goddess, I will be ready in your service and observe this great fast. bestow your blessings, that the fast gets completed without any hindrance. 

Then, tie a thread to your wrist which contains 16 knots. This fast is observed everyday till Ashtami of Ashwin Krishna Paksha. After completion of fast, a Mandap is prepared with clothes. In this, idol of goddess is placed. Mata Lakshmi is made to have bath with Panchamrita. Then, Mata is worshipped in 16 ways. Person observing fast should offer food to Brahmans. And provide alms to them. 

In Puja, sandalwood, leaves, garland of flowers, Akshat, grass, red thread, betel nuts, coconut and other types of Bhog are used. New Sut is kept 16 times in count of 16. After which the following mantra is chanted.

क्षीरोदार्णवसम्भूता लक्ष्मीश्चन्द्र सहोदरा ।

व्रतोनानेत सन्तुष्टा भवताद्विष्णुबल्लभा ।।

Meaning :- Goddess Lakshami who emerged from ocean, sibling of moon, Vishnu Vallabha, Mahalakshmi, be satisfied with this fast. 

After this, 4 Brahmans and 16 Brahmanies are offered food. This way the fast is concluded. A person observing fast in such a way gets Asht Lakshmi. 

On the 16th Day, the fast is concluded. A person who is unable to observe this fast for 16 days, can keep the fast for 3 days. In the 3 days, 1st day, 8th day and 16th day of fast should be included. Observing this fast regularly for 16 years is considered auspicious. No cereals are eaten, in this fast. Only fruits, milk and sweets are taken in it. 

Mahalakshmi Fast Story

Once upon a time, there lived a poor Brahman in a village. He used to regularly worship lord Vishnu. Pleased by his worshipping, Lord Vishnu appeared infront of him. And, told him to say his wish. Brahman asked for the residence of goddess Lakshmi in his house. Lord told him the way of having Lakshsmi Mata. Lord Said “a lady makes cow dung cakes infront of temple. Invite her to your home. That women is Goddess Lakshami. 

After the entry of goddess in your house, you will be wealth.” Saying this, lord Vishnu disappeared. Next day morning, he sat infront of temple from 4:00am itself. Mata Lakshmi came to make cow dung cakes. So, the Brahman requested her to come to his house. Goddess understood that everything was happing according to Lord Vishnu. Lakshmi said him to observe the Mahalakshmi fast fro 16 days and told him to offer Ardhya to moon on the night of 16th day. 

Brahman observed the fast, as told by Devi. He then faced towards the North direction and called goddess Lakshmi. She kept her words. From that day, this fast is observed in the above explained manner. 

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