Overview:Lakshmi Puja is an important ritual of Diwali celebrations across the India. Lakshmi puja is performed on the day of Dhanteras and on the day of Diwali. On this day Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in a traditional manner at every household and business establishments. It is believed that during Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi visits every house and gives blessings for peace and prosperity. People light up lamps to welcome the Goddess. There is a tradition to keep the house clean on Diwali as Goddess Lakshmi loves cleanliness. This explains why broom is worshipped with an offering of turmeric and vermilion on Diwali.
Deepawali Puja Ritual: On the day of Diwali, at the break of dawn, after taking a bath, deities are worshipped. In the afternoon, a prayer for the departed souls and an offering of meals to Brahmaṇs is done. In the evening, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Kuber are worshipped. As per the legend that on this day Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi liberated all the deities from Bali’s prison. During ritualistically worshipping involves installation of an idol of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi on a seat which has an octa-petalled Lotus or a Swastik drawn with consecrated rice. An idol of Kuber is placed in a pot. Then all these deities are offered holy food items including a mixture of khava, sugar, cardamom and cloves. Kalash, mauli, roli, garlands and flowers, betel nuts and leaves etc are included in puja Thali. Panchamrita is an important part of puja that consists of five ingredients milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee. Besides, fruits and sweets are also kept as ‘prasad’ and lotus flower to venerate goddess. Deepawali Puja is performed by chanting prayers, mantra and ends with the distribution of prasad. Firecrackers are burst after the completion of puja. The offering is then distributed among devotees. Puraṇa says that on this day, Goddess Lakshmi goes in search of an ideal home. Cleanliness, beauty and excellence attracts her but she prefers a home inhabited by one who is faithful, dutiful, merciful, has control over passions and is devoted to god.
Shlokas and Mantra:
Lakshmi Beej MantraOm Hreem Shreem Lakshmibhayo Namah ||
Lakshmi Gayatri MantraOm Shree Mahalakshmyai Cha Vidmahe Vishnu Patnyai Cha Dheemahi Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat Om ||
Legend of Lakshmi PujaAs Hindu scriptures have it, Goddess Lakshmi is regarded as the Goddess of beauty, wealth and good fortune. She is the daughter of sage Bhrigu. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Goddess Laxmi and hence Lakshmi Puja is a very important ritual of the celebrations. People worship Goddess Lakshmi to obtain wealth and prosperity but Goddess Lakshmi resides only with those who work hard. Lakshmi Puja also involves worshipping of Lord Ganesha. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in three forms - Mahalakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), Mahasaraswati (Goddess of Learning), and Mahakali. Worshipping of Kuber is also an integral part of Lakshmi Puja.
The significance of Deepawali Puja: On this day, Goddess Lakshmi’s destroyer form is active. The spiritual emotion of the devotee doing ritualistic worship activates Goddess Lakshmi’s destroyer form which destroys the negative energies in the environment. Lord Indra and other deities also follow to the place of ritualistic worship and Goddess Lakshmi. Thus happiness, prosperity, stability and wealth is maintained by worshiping the 5 elements or deities.