Festive season is here with Diwali, and its time we get out of our modern shoes and give the desired space to our culture and tradition in our hearts. Diwali is the festival of lights, good fortune and wealth. Above all, it is the festival of worshiping Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, seeking her blessings for a happier and wealthier life.
On Diwali, people perform the Mahalakshmi Puja in their homes and offices, asking for the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to be the daughter Varuna, the sea god as she was born from the Ocean of Milk. She is the goddess of purity, beauty, light, good fortune and wealth. She resides in the homes of people, who have a clean heart and clean home. This is one reason why people get their homes cleaned before Diwali and decorate it with flowers, rangolis and lights, inviting the goddess to come and reside in their homes and hearts.
On the morning of Dhanteras and on Diwali, people across the country perform Lakshmi Puja. But before you perform the puja, it is a must that you clean the house, have a bath and wear new or fresh clothes. Lamps or diyas are lit in every corner of the house to welcome goddess Lakshmi. The diyas are believed to light up her path into our homes. Women make colorful rangolis with footprints of the goddess to welcome her.
In the Lakshmi Puja, a total 5 deities are worshipped together starting with Lord Ganesha (Vighnaharta), Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her 3 beautiful forms Mahalakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Money), MahaSaraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Books), Mahakali (Goddess of Power) and Kuber (the treasurer of all Gods).
Preparing for the Puja
In today’s time, it’s usually the maharaj or the pandit who comes and makes all the arrangements for the puja. But, in order to get blessings from Goddess Lakshmi, we can surely try and do all the small preparations possible. Here is a list of things you will need and things that you should make during the puja.
Take a handful of grains and place it on the center. Place a kalash made of copper, terracotta, silver or gold on it, ¾ filled with water. Place a beetle nut, mango palav (5 mango leaves), flower and a coin on it. On the kalash, place a saucer filled with rice. Draw lots design using turmeric powder on the rice grains and then place the idol of Goddess Lakshmi on it. Also place your silver coins and money along with the idol.
Take a big Diya and place it on the rice plate resting on the kalash. Fill it completely with ghee. This represents the Sun and together Maha Lakshmi.
Take a red cloth and spread rice grains on it. Place 8 diyas filled with ghee on them, around the kalash in a half-circle design. Make the circle facing you.
Keep Sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume, kumkum, haldi, color (gulal) and flowers ready for the puja on a plate. Also keep bel leaves, marigold flowers, tulsi leaves and incense sticks ready for the puja. Offer halwa or any sweet to the goddess as Prasad along with fruits and dry fruits to the goddess.
Idol of Ganesha and Lakshmi
Place the idol of Lord Ganesha on the right side of the Kalash. Also place books related to your school, colleges, offices and business near the kalash. Light the diya or lamp near the kalash and then begin the puja by offering kumkum, haldi and flowers to the water that will be used to perform the puja. Also pray and invoke the goddess of rivers to become a part of this puja.
Reciting 16 names of Goddesses or Sodasmatrika Puja
Make 16 heaps of rice, with a nutmeg on top of them. Worship them with flowers, fragrance and rice in your hands. With this, the Mahalakshmi Puja commences, with the Brahmin or pandit reciting all the shlokas.
While reciting the shlokas, say every word right from the core of your heart, meaning every word you say. This will not just give you immense peace in your mind and heart, but also please the goddess.
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