||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (October 2013)|
|Laksmi Puja |
|Type||Hindu, Indian and Nepalese|
|2013 date||3 November, Sunday|
|2014 date||23 October, Thursday|
Lakshmi Puja is a Hindu religious observance performed on the third day of Diwali (Amavasya). It is also performed during the Tihar festival in Nepal. During this period, people decorate their homes and exteriors with small oil lamps/candles and worship Goddess Lakshmi in order to receive prosperity and well being for their families and businesses.
According to legend, the Goddess Lakshmi, believed to be the goddess of wealth, visits all her devotees and bestows gifts and blessings to all of them. To welcome the Goddess the devotee cleans his/her house, decorates it with finery and lights and prepares sweet meats and delicacies to offer to this "mother of wealth". Supposedly, the happier she is with the visit, the more she blesses the family with health and wealth.
The Auspicious Time for Puja
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The third day of Diwali popularly known as the festival of lights, is believed to be the most auspicious day as Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day and, with pomp and ceremony, she is invited into the homes of devotees to partake of the gifts that are a part of the puja. On this very day the sun enters his second course and passes by Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, the sign of Libra is believed to suggest the balancing and closing of account books. Despite the fact that this day falls on [Amavasya]] it is regarded as very auspicious.
The day of Lakshmi-Puja falls on the dark night of Amavasya. The joyous sounds of bells and drums float in the air from the temples as worshipers invoke Goddess Lakshmi in a wondrous, holy,and sincere call to the Mother Goddess. Suddenly, that impenetrable darkness is pierced by innumerable rays of light for just a moment and in 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 abode of the worshipers. It is believed that on this day the goddess walks through the green fields and loiters through the by-lanes and showers her blessings on mankind for glory 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.
In Nepal Laxmi Pooja is Celebrated as a part of Tihar a second national festival of Nepal after Dashain.In Nepal it is celebrated for five days including Kag(crow) Tihar,Kukur(dog) Tihar,Gai(cow)Tihar at morning and Laxmi pooja at night,Maha pooja(self pooja), Goru(Ox and Bull)Tihar and Gobardhan Pooja,and finally Bhai Tika(bhai dhooj)respectively first, second, third, fourth and fifth day. On Laxmi pooja in Nepal people buy gold and silver, precious gemstone, new utensils of copper,brass and bronze as a sign of good luck, prosperty, money and wealth and worship Laxmi with these new things at night. Nepali people perform this worship at a place cleansed with holy water, cow dung and red mud and light whole house with light, candle and lamps. From Lakshmi Pooja Deusi and Bhailo is played by gathering with friends. 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 2013 falls on Sunday, 3rd November.
Rite of a Diwali Puja
At the beginning the houses are cleaned and a rangoli is drawn at the doorstep to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
The Ritual Elements
The Puja begins by laying down a piece of new cloth on a raised platform. Handful of grains are sprayed in the center of the cloth and a kalasha made of gold, silver, copper, is placed. Three-fourths of the kalasha is filled with water and betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains are added to it. Five kinds of leaves are arranged from different trees. If a variety is not available then leaves from a Mango tree are used. A small dish filled with rice grains is placed on the kalash. A lotus with turmeric powder are drawn over the rice grains and the idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed over the top of the kalasha, with coins placed around it.
The idol of Lord Ganesha is placed in front of the kalasha, on the right hand side pointing towards the South-West direction. Ink and account books of worshiper's business are kept on the platform. A lamp is lighted and the puja starts by offering turmeric, kumkum, and flowers to the Goddess Laxmi. Then haldi, kumkum, and flowers are offered to the water that is later used for the puja. Then it is prayed to river goddess, Saraswati to be the part of that water. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her. Then flowers are offered to the idol.
The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed in a plate and is bathed with water, [Panchamrita|panchamrit] (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee or clarified butter, honey, and sugar) and then with water containing gold ornament or a pearl. The idol is cleaned and placed back on the kalasha. Alternately, flowers, water and panchamrit are sprinkled on the idol.
Offerings such as sandal paste, garland of cotton beads, saffron paste, perfume (ittar), turmeric, kumkum, abeer, and gulal are made to the Goddess. Flowers, such as the marigold flowers and leaves of Bael (wood apple tree) are also offered. An incense stick is enlighten and dhoop is performed. An offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul is made later. Puffed rice and batasha (varieties of Indian sweets) are placed near the idol. Puffed rice, batasha, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds are poured over the idol. Swastika is made on the safe in which the worshiper keeps their valuables and it is worshiped as a symbol of Lord Kubera.
Towards the end, Aarti is performed, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. The Aarti is accompanied by a small bell and is performed during silent and sublime atmosphere.
- "Lakshmi ji Goddess Puja For Diwali". Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "2013 Hindu Festivals Calendar for Bahula, West Bengal, India". drikpanchang.com. Retrieved 19 January 2013. "03 Sunday Diwali/Lakshami Puja , Surya Grahan"
- "Marathi Kalnirnay month of October 2014". Kalnirnay. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lakshmi Puja.|
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- Diwali and Dhanteras Lakshmi Puja Muhurtha for anycity in the world
- Simple Lakshmi Puja vidhi book in PDF in Sanskrit and English by mypanchang.com