|2013 date||3 November, Sunday|
Lakshmi puja is a Hindu ritual performed during Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by those who wish to acquire or to preserve wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or where the people are lazy.
In the Sri Vaishnava philosophy however, Sri (Lakshmi) is honoured as the "Iswarigm sarva bhootanam" i.e. the Supreme goddess and not just the goddess of wealth. This is an important distinction between Sri Vaishnavism and other materialistic philosophies.
**The auspicious moment** 
The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of 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 Lakshmi 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 Puja, 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 Vighneshvara; Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali; Kubera (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.
Lakshmi Puja for 2012 falls on Tuesday, 13th November.
Rite of a Diwali Puja 
Initially the house must be cleaned, and a Rangoli is drawn at the doorstep in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
The Puja requires the following elements:
The Ritual Elements 
The Rite 
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Steps of Lakshmi Puja:
Begin Puja by laying down down new cloth on a raised platform. Spread out a handful of grains in the center of the cloth and 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 pujan. Do not light crackers while the puja is on or immediately after it.
Offering Prayers to Goddess Lakshmi 
Aarti Shri Lakshmi Ji Ki (English Version)
Om jai lakshmi maata, maiya jai lakshmi maata...
Tumko nishdin sevat, har vishnu vidhataa, Om jai lakshmi maata...
Uma rama bhramaani, tum hi jag maata, maiya tum hi jag maata...
Surya chandrma dhyavat, naarad rishi gata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Durga roop niranjani, sukh sampati daata, maiya sukh sampati daata...
Jo koi tum ko dhyavat, riddhi-siddhi paata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Tum pataal nivasini, tum hi shubh data, maiya tum hi shubh daata...
Karam prabhaav prakashini, bhav nidhi ki traata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Jis ghar main tum rehti, sab sadgun aata, maiya sab sadgun aata...
Sub sambhav ho jaata, mann nahin ghabrata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Tum bin yagya na hove, vastra no koi paata, maiya vastra na koi paata...
Khaan-paan ka vaibhav, sub tumse aata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Shubhgun mandir sundar, ksheerodadhi jaata, maiya ksheerodadhi jaata...
Ratan chaturdash tum bin, koi nahi paata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
Mahalakshmi ji ki aarti, jo koi nar gaata, maiya jo koi nar gaata...
Ur anand samaata, pap utar jaata. Om jai lakshmi maata...
आरती श्री लक्ष्मी जी की (Hindi Version)
ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता, मैया जय लक्ष्मी माता
तुमको निशदिन सेवत, हर विष्णु विधाता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
उमा रमा भ्रम्मानी, तुम ही जग माता, मैया तुम ही जग माता
सूर्य चन्द्रमा ध्यावत, नारद ऋषि गाता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
दुर्गा रूप निरंजिनी, सुख-संपत्ति पाता, मैया सुख-संपत्ति पाता
जो कोई तुम को ध्यावत, रिद्धि-सिद्धि पाता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
तुम पाताल निवासिनी, तुम ही शुभदाता, मैया तुम ही शुभदाता
कर्म प्रभाव प्रकाशिनी, भव निधि की त्राता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
जिस घर में तुम रहतीं, सब सद्गुण आता, मैया सब सद्गुण आता
सब संभव हो जाता, मन नहीं घबराता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
तुम बिन यज्ञ न होवे, वस्त्र न कोई पाता, मैया वस्त्र न कोई पाता
खान-पान का वैभव, सब तुमसे आता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
शुभगुण मंदिर सुंदर, क्षीरोदधि जाता, मैया क्षीरोदधि जाता
रत्न चतुर्दश तुम बिन, कोई नहीं पाता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
महालक्ष्मी जी की आरती, जो कोई नर गाता, मैया जो कोई नर गाता
उर आनंद समाता, पाप उतर जाता। ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता।
- "2013 Hindu Festivals Calendar for Bahula, West Bengal, India". drikpanchang.com. Retrieved 19 January 2013. "03 Sunday Diwali/Lakshami Puja , Surya Grahan"
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