Radha Ashtami and Mahalakshmi Vrata: Significance and why we celebrate it!
The birthday of Radha Rani is celebrated as Radha Ashtami which happens to be on September 9, this year. The day is celebrated on the Ashtami during the Shukla paksha of Bhadrapada month. It is also known as Radha Jayanti.
There are many connotations and beliefs related to Radha Rani. Some believe her to be the eternal better half of Krishna, others think that she is a symbolic representation of love for Krishna. In other words, lord Krishna is incomplete without Radha and that is perhaps the reason why their name is always taken together.
Radha is believed to be a part of Krishna. What soul is to body, Radha and Krishna represent the perfect balance and devotion which a devotee should have towards the eternal lord. As per one belief, Radha is also seen as an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi as lord Krishna is a Vishnu avatar.
So in a way, goddess Lakshmi is also prayed on this day. And this year it is falling on September 9, which happens to be a Friday—a day dedicated to goddess Lakshmi.
On Radha Ashtami, many observe a fast and pray to goddess Radha and Lord Krishna. It is said that goddess Radha is worshipped during the day time or noon as per Hindu tradition.
September 9, this year has another auspicious event which is celebrated in North India, known as Mahalakshmi Vrata or Varalakshmi Vrata. The day is celebrated where devotees pray to the goddess before the full moon in the month of Shravan as per Hindu calendar, that too on a Friday.
Also, people who can't perform the puja on that day can do it on any other Friday (as Friday is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi).
Devotees seek blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Vishnu. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The Mahalakshmi Vrat is observed for sixteen consecutive days ending on the Krishna Ashtami during Ashwin month (as per Purnimanta calendar followed in North India).