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Diwali Sri Lakshmi Pooja


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Lakshmi Puja on Diwali

The third day of Diwali festival is the most important one for Lakshmi-puja and is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. On this very day sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing. Despite the fact that this day falls on an amavasya day it is regarded as the most auspicious.

The day of Lakshmi-Puja falls on the dark night of Amavasya. The strains of joyous sounds of bells and drums float from the temples as man is invoking Goddess Laxmi in a wondrous holy "pouring-in" of his heart. All of a sudden that impenetrable darkness is pierced by innumerable rays of light for just a moment and the next moment a blaze of light descends down to earth from heaven as golden-footed Deep-Lakshmi alights on earth in all her celestial glory amidst chantings of Vedic hymns.

A sublime light of knowledge dawns upon humanity and this self enlightenment is expressed through the twinkling lamps that illuminate the palaces of thewealthy as well as the lowly abodes of the poor. It is believed that on this day Lakshmi walks through the green fields and loiters through the bye-lanes and showers her blessings on man for plenty and prosperity.

Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in North and West India. It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion). Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up Her path.

Lakshmi Puja consists of a combined puja of five deities: Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta; Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali; Kuber (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.

Lakshmi Pooja

Lakshmi was the daughter of the sage Bhrigu and took refuge in the ocean of milk when the gods were sent into exile. Lakshmi was reborn during the Churning of the Ocean. As soon as the gods saw Lakshmi, they all fell in love with her beauty. Shiva claimed Lakshmi as his wife, but since he had already taken the Moon, her hand was given to Vishnu, whom Lakshmi herself preferred.

Lakshmi is the goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. While Laxmi is generally worshiped to achieve success, she does not reside long with anyone who is lazy or desire her only as wealth. 

Steps of Lakshmi Pooja
Spread a new cloth on a raised platform: Place a handful of grains in the center and, on this, place a kalash (pitcher) made of gold, silver, copper, or terracotta. Fill three-fourth of the kalash with water and place a betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains in it. Arrange five kinds of leaves or mango leaves in the kalash. Place a small dish on the kalash and fill it with rice grains. Draw a lotus with turmeric powder ( haldi ) over the rice grains and place the idol of goddess Lakshmi over it, along with coins. 

Place the idol of Ganesha: In front of the kalash, on the right (South-West direction), place the idol of Ganesha. Also place ink and books related to your business or occupation on the platform. Light a lamp and begin the puja by offering haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the platform on which the kalash is placed. Then offer haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the water that is to be used for the puja. Invoke the river goddesses to be part of this water. 

Invoke goddess: Lakshmi by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her. One can also recite the mantras mentioned in the Puranas or simply take some flowers in your hands, close your eyes, and think of goddess Lakshmi being showered with gold coins by two elephants standing on either side of Her and chant Her name. Then offer the flowers to the idol. 

Place the idol of Lakshmi: Place the idol of Lakshmi in a plate and bathe it with water, panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee or clarified butter, honey, and sugar) and then with water containing some gold ornament or a pearl. Wipe the idol clean and place it back on the kalash. Alternately, you can just sprinkle water and panchamrit on the idol with a flower. 

Offerings: Offer sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume ( itr ), haldi, kumkum, abeer, and gulal to the goddess. Offer a garland of cotton beads to the goddess. Offer flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree). Light an incense stick and dhoop. Make an offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul. Make an offering of puffed rice and batasha. Pour some puffed rice, batasha, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over the idol. Safe where you keep money and jewelry; Worship this safe as a symbol of Lord Kuber

Aarti: Finally, perform the aarti for goddess Lakshmi. Always remember that She abhors loud noise. So the aarti should be accompanied only by a small bell. Do not clap hands, as is the practice when performing aarti for other gods. A peaceful and sublime atmosphere should prevail during the Diwali day puja. Do not light crackers while the puja is on or immediately after it.

Diwali Puja Process

Diwali is the festival of Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visit everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all. On the night of Diwali "Lakshmi-Pujan" is performed in the evenings. A traditional Pujan is performed after sunset in all the homes.

Five pieces of ghee diyas (lamps) are lit in front of the deities, naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess and devotional songs are sung in praise of Goddess Laxmi. After Deepawali Puja people light diyas (lamps) in their homes to usher in light and clear the darkness from the world.

In villages cattle are adorned and worshipped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south, cows are offered special veneration as they are supposed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and therefore they are adorned and worshipped on this day.

Step By Step Diwali Puja:

  • First clean the Puja room and then Bathe each Deity (Lakshmi & Ganesh) first with water, then with panchamitra/or rose water, followed by water once more
  • Now put Deepak (Lamp) in front of the Deities - As the tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits
  • Make a Panchamitra with 5 ingredients of milk, curd, ghee (clarified butter), sugar & Honey.
  • Place Few mithais, snacks & fruits as a prashad.
  • Make offerings of flowers, Abir (red colour), Sindoor (vermillion) and Haldi (turmeric). Light the Agarbatti (incense sticks) and lamps filled with Ghee.
  • Now make offerings of Fruit, Sweet dishes (mithai), Salty snacks (Mathis, Ghathia, Namakpare) and offer Dakshina (token money), which could be given to the poor. In the end offer paan (betel leaves), cloves. Now pray to the deities to seek their blessings.
  • Ganesh Pooja : Ganesh Puja is a must for deepavali Puja. (Lord Ganesha is to be worshipped in all pujas before any other God or Goddess.) (Ganesh Aarti is sung)
  • Laxmi Pooja : Place Lotus and other flowers at her feet as an offering. A silver coin is placed in front of the Goddess during the puja. Now perform Aarti with flowers in hand (Lakshmi Aarti is sung). After Deepawali Pujan have the Prasad and go out to burst Diwali Crackers.

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