The festive season of Diwali is upon us. The festival brings with it a plethora of events and activities that get people bursting with excitement – enjoying delicious food and sweets, lighting up the house, and of course, the puja ceremonies.
Diwali motivates people to decorate their houses with artistic patterns of rangoli. It is common to see intricately designed patterns of rangoli on your neighbors’ front door during the festival. In addition to rangoli, elaborate arrangements of lamps, candles and light strips are set up to adorn houses, signifying the triumph of light over darkness.
Diwali is an occasion where ritualistic people perform various pujas, but the most common ones are Lakshmi puja and Ganesh puja. We believe that knowing the meaning behind the rituals is important in order to properly perform the pujas, and this blog is about the rituals involved and the incentives of performing Lakshmi puja.
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. Lakshmi puja is performed on the third day of Diwali, which is the most auspicious day of the festival. It is performed to invite the Goddess Lakshmi to your home and ensure that Diwali brings you and your family happiness and good fortune.
As the saying goes, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. So, in order to perform Lakshmi puja properly, one must first ensure that his entire house is clean and tidy. It is believed that the more pleased Goddess Lakshmi is by her visit to your house, the more prosperity she brings to you. Hence, Lakshmi puja is preceded by activities such as cleaning the house, decorating it with lights and lamps, and preparing delicious sweets to offer as ‘prasad’ or tribute to the Goddess.
The steps involved in properly performing Lakshmi puja are outlined below –
- Purification of the house – Before the puja, you must ensure that your home is properly cleaned. Ritual dictates that you sprinkle gangajal to ensure that the house is cleansed for the Goddess to enter.
- Arrange the platform – Set a platform for the Goddess and place a red cloth on top of it. Then sprinkle some grains of rice on the cloth as is tradition.
- Arrange the kalash – Place the kalash on the cloth. Fill it with water and place a coin, a marigold flower, a supari and some rice grains on top of it. Arrange 5 mango leaves in a circle on the top of the kalash to complete the setup.
- Arrange the idol of Goddess Lakshmi – On some grains of rice, use turmeric and water to draw a lotus and place the idol in the center.
- Place the idol of Lord Ganesha – On the right of the kalash, in the south west direction, place the idol of Lord Ganesha and apply turmeric and kumkum on it. Light a diya next to the idol.
- Place a symbol of wealth on the arrangement – Place a book or symbol of wealth from your business-related items near the arrangement. This symbolizes success in activities to attract wealth.
- Bathe the idol of the Goddess – In a thali, bathe the idol of Goddess Lakshmi with panchamrit and rinse it with clean water. Then, wipe the idol and place it back on the red cloth.
- Offer sweets as prasad – In a puja thali, offer sweets and coconut to the Goddess as prasad. You may place currency or jewelry in the thali as well.
- Light the diya – Light the candle and perform Lakshmi puja aarti while slowly ringing a bell. Offer some flowers to the Goddess after the aarti. Some devotees get garlands to place on their idols.
- Recite Diwali puja mantra – Finally, recite the Diwali puja mantra to invite Goddess Lakshmi to your house with her blessings.
Lakshmi puja is performed during Diwali because it is an auspicious time, but some devotees choose to perform the ritual more often. We hope this blog succeeded in clarifying the motivations behind performing the puja and explained the steps sufficiently. You’re all set to perform the puja seamlessly this Diwali and get the Goddess Lakshmi’s blessings for your family’s joy and prosperity.