India is the country of festival and festivals being alone rituals with it. Diwali – the festival of lights; is the most important festival of India and Lakshmi pooja is most important Hindu ritual of it which is being followed since ages. It is celebrated on the Amavasya Day i.e., the fifteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of Ashwin month in the Hindu calendar.
On this the goddess of wealth - Lakshmi is worshiped in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking.
The philosophy of Sri Vaishnava says, Sri (Lakshmi) is “Iswarigm sarva bhootanam” i.e. the Supreme goddess and not just the goddess of wealth.
Items Required for Lakshmi Puja :
- Silver and Gold coins
- Ten Betel Nuts (Supari)
- Uncooked Rice
- Five Paan or Mango leaves
- A Coconut
- Water in a small pot (a “Lota”)
- Red vermillon (“Kumkum”) for applying the tilak
- Oil Lamps (“Diyas”)
- Holi-type colored powders
- Indian sweets (Mithai)
- Incense sticks (Agarbatti)
- Dry fruits (almonds, cashews)
- A Thali
- Rose or other flower petals
- Raksha Sutra* A new notebook
- A piece of red cloth for putting the puja items
- Ghee to light the lamps
- Rose water
- Idols of Photo of Ganesha, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Narayana
Procedure of Lakshmi Puja :
The house must be cleaned few day before the pooja and a Rangoli is drawn at the doorstep in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
Steps 1 of Lakshmi Pooja : Spread a new cloth on a raised platform and place a handful of grains in the center and place a kalash made of any metal on it. Fill three-fourth of the kalash with water and place a betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice in it. Arrange five mango leaves in the kalash. Place a small dish on the kalash and fill it with rice. Draw a lotus with turmeric powder (haldi) over the rice and place the idol of goddess Lakshmi over it, along with coins. Before placing the idol place that idol of Lakshmi in a plate and bathe it with panchamrit – a mixture of milk, curd, ghee or clarified butter, honey, and sugar and water. Wipe the idol clean and place it on the kalash. Invoke Goddess Lakshmi by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her mentioned in the Puranas or simply take some flowers in your hands, close your eyes, and think of goddess Lakshmi and chant her name. Then offer the flowers to the idol.
Steps 2 of Lakshmi Pooja : 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.
Steps 3 of Lakshmi Pooja : Offer sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume, haldi, kumkum, abeer, and gulal to the goddess. Offer a garland of cotton beads flowersand leaves of Bel and lightened an incense stick or dhoop, sweets, coconut, fruits, puffed rice, batasha and tambul to the goddess by keeping all these things front of the idol. Also worship your safe lockers as a symbol of Lord Kuber.
Steps 4 of Lakshmi Pooja : Finally, perform the aarti for goddess Lakshmi accompanied only by a small bell. Do not clap hands. A peaceful and sublime atmosphere should prevail during the Diwali day pujan.
Steps 5 of Lakshmi Pooja : Then light up all the diya made of clay and place then on the windows and specially on the main door. Distribute the sweets and prashad to every one present there and then light crackers at the end when every thing else is done.