The worship of the Goddess Laksmi (goddess of wealth) is the main event on Diwali. How to perform this puja at home? We give below a complete step by step guide to perform the Lakshmi puja. Amidst the celebrations of Diwali with firecrackers and lights, it is very essential to perform the puja to get her blessings and maintain peace and prosperity all the year round.
Lakshmi Puja consists of a combined puja of five deities
- Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta;
- Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali;
- Kuber (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.
It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. That is the reason why prior to few days before diwali, the house should be cleaned and all junk items in the house should be disposed. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness. All clutters in the house should be thrown away. It is said that Goddess Laksmi will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi (turmeric) and kumkum (vermilion).
Things that are required
The general things required for Diwali Puja are idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, flowers, haldi, kumkum, rice grains, paan leaves, fruits, sweets, camphor, dry fruits, mango leaves, kalash, a new cloth.
How to place the idol?
- Spread a new cloth on a raised platform. Place a handful of grains in the centre. A kalash (pitcher) made of gold, silver, copper, or terracotta is placed on the grains. 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. Now the idol of Goddess Laksmi is placed on the over it, along with coins.
- In front of the kalash , place the idol of Ganesha on the right (South-West direction).
- Place ink and books related to your business or occupation on the platform.
How to start the diwali puja?
- Light a lamp and begin the puja by offering kumkum, haldi, 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 . This water is used to invoke the river goddesses to be part of this water.
- Sprinkle this water on all puja utensils to purify them.
- Offer haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the kalash on which the idol of Lakshmi is placed.
- Take some flowers in your hand, close your eyes and think of goddess Lakshmi and then offer the flowers to the idol. Invoke goddess Lakshmi by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her or the mantras mentioned in the Puranas.
- Place the idol of Lakshmi in a plate and bathe it with panchamrit (a mixture of milk, ghee, curds, honey, and sugar) and water and then with water containing some gold ornament or a pearl. Wipe the idol clean and place it back on the kalash . Instead of putting the idol on a plate and then putting it back you can just sprinkle water and panchamrit on the idol with a flower.
- Offer sandal paste, haldi, saffron paste, kumkum, and gulal to the goddess. Offer a garland to the goddess. Offer flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree).
- Now light dhoop and incense sticks.
- Make an offering of sweets, fruits, betel nut and coconut .
- Then worship the ink and business books. You can write "Shubha Labh" on the first page of the business book and draw a Swastika in the clockwise direction with kumkum.
- Make an offering of batasha and puffed rice. This is the prasad which after the puja can be placed in the safe where you keep money and jewelry. Worship this safe as a symbol of Lord Kuber
- There is laksmi katha which you read in front of the idol while offering flowers in between.
- Finally, perform the arati for goddess Lakshmi.
- Now that the puja is over, distribute prasad. Lamps are lit to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up Her path.
- A peaceful and sublime atmosphere should prevail during the puja .
- Always remember that Goddess Laksmi hates loud noise. So just use a small bell while performing the aarti.
- Do not clap hands, as is the practice when performing aarti for other gods.
- Do not light crackers while the puja is on or immediately after it.
- Light up your house with diyas and candles.
- Some people also draw small footsteps (symbolizing the foot of Goddess Laksmi) in the house with rice powder.
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