Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in 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. Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta
First and foremost step is to clean the house. Through the puja we are inviting Goddess Lakshmi to our house and she likes everything to be neat and clean. In some communities, even the broom is worshipped on the Lakshmi Puja day. This symbolically represents the need for cleanliness.
Three forms of Shakti – Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Durga –Lord Ganesh and Lord Kubera are worshipped on the day. No puja is performed without paying customary tributes to Lord Ganesha. Lord Kubera, represents wealth, and he is the treasurer of Gods. In homes, usually the locker or safe in which gold and cash is kept symbolically represents the seat of Kubera.
Important Items Needed For Lakshmi Puja
- Mango leaves
- Idol or picture of Goddess Lakshmi
- Milk, curd, honey, ghee
- Puffed rice
- Usual puja Sweets
- Coriander seeds
- Cumin seeds
- And other daily puja items
- First decide on a place to perform the puja.
- Spread a clean cloth and create a bed of rice.
- A Kalash (pot) is placed on the bed of rice.
- Fill about 75% of the Kalash with water.
- Put a betel nut, flower, a clean coin, and some rice in the Kalash.
- Now arrange mango leaves around the opening of the Kalash.
- Place a Thaali (a small plain plate) on the Kalash.
- On the Thaali, draw a lotus with turmeric powder and place the idol or small photograph of Goddess Lakshmi.
- Place some coins on the Thaali.
- On the right of Kalash, place the idol of Lord Ganesha.
- If you need, you can also place the idols of Saraswathi and your favorite deities.
- Create a peaceful and calm atmosphere. The best way is to close the eyes and meditate on ‘om.’
- Take some water and sprinkle on all puja items to purify them.
- Do puja with haldi, kumkum and flowers on the Kalash.
- Light a lamp.
Now take some flower and rice in the hands and close the eyes and meditate on Goddess Lakshmi. You are now invoking Goddess Lakshmi. If you know mantras, recite them. Otherwise just simply meditate on Goddess Lakshmi. Here is a simple Sanskrit mantra dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.
Namosthesthu Maha Maye,
Shree padee, sura poojithe,
Shanka, Chakra, Gadha hasthe,
Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe
- Now sprinkle the flowers and rice on the idol of Goddess Lakshmi.
- Take out the idol of Goddess Lakshmi and place it on a Thaali. Clean the idol with water, then with milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar. Then clean the idol again with water.
- Place the idol back on the Kalash.
- Now offer garlands made of marigolds or leaves of bel tree, sandalwood paste, kumkum and other daily puja items including lighting incense and agarbhatis.
- Now make offerings of coconut, fruits, sweets, betel nuts and betel leaves.
- Next make offerings of Batasha sweets, puffed rice, coriander and cumin seeds.
- Lastly, perform a silent Arati for Goddess Lakshmi. And meditate on Goddess Lakshmi.
- Take some of the ‘prasad’ (that will stay for long period of time) and place it at the place where ornaments and cash is usually kept.
Business people also worship the account books on this day along with Goddess Lakshmi.
9 Smart Tips for a Better Diwali
- Listed below are some nine tips to make your diwali safe and enjoyable:
- Wear Cotton Clothes: Always wear cotton clothes and make sure that everyone in the family does so. That’s the most sensible thing to do when you are playing with fire.
- Stock water: We all should be careful as Diwali in some ways means playing with fire. Therefore, if a fire mishap takes place you should be able to stop it very quickly. You can only do it when you have stocked water or sand.
- Educate Children: Give proper instructions and information to your children about the potential hazards of using firecrackers without parental supervision. Even after educating them they might be out of control, so, always check what they are up to.
- Disposal of Used Fire-crackers: Always make it a point to dispose off used fireworks properly. Best, you put sand or water on them right after use.
- No Noise Pollution: This is primarily for all those people who have patients or old people at homes or in their neighbourhood. Please refrain from buying fire crackers which create noise pollution.
- First-Aid: In case, a small accident occurs like burns, etc use an antiseptic cream immediately after putting the affected part under water for sometime.
- Buy High Quality Firecrackers: When you are buying fire crackers it is best to go for a reputed brand which uses good materials. This lessens the risk of a fire out break to a great extent.
- No Playing with Fire in Closed Place: Always use crackers outside your house. An open space ensures that at a time of emergency the fire will not spread.
- Pets: If you have pets at home, tie them up inside your home and do not let them come near fire.