Diwali, a most significant and traditional festival in Hinduism, festival involves the puja of many Hindu deities but mainly Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped by the Hindu religion through the mantras, aarti, prayer, offerings and sacrifices. Devotees perform a ritualistic and traditional puja to their God. The puja of goddess Saraswati, Lord Shiva, and the Nine Planets are also performed at this great occasion. Offerings are made by the people to the Hindu deities Agni devta as well. There are sixteen steps of Diwali puja in the Hinduism such as welcoming the God, offering a clean place to sit, washing the feet, ornamenting the Deity, offering essential elements, clothing the God and etc steps are performed to seek the blessings of Gods and Goddesses. Cattles are also decorated and worshipped by the farmers in the villages as they considered that cattle are also the real source of money and health.
A particular puja is performed by the people to the Hindu deities by cleaning of the houses, singing a song, chanting of mantras, ringing bells, offering a variety of prasad, blowing Conch shells, reading aarti, distributing prasad and taking blessings by touching the feet of elders in the family. People light the diyas of clay around their houses to through away all the evil spirits a well as welcoming the blessings of God. According to the Hindu mythology, it is considered that goddess Lakshmi come to each family to visit and provide her blessings and prosperity to her devotees. After completing the worship people offer homemade or readymade sweets to the goddess as Naivedya and distribute the same sweet in the family members as a Prasad. People eat prasad by touching it to their forehead to have blessings of God and Goddess. After worship in the evening people exchange gift packets and sweets to each other.
Process of Diwali Puja
Diwali puja starts in the evening after sunset by getting together the family members at the place of puja. It is considered that worshipping this day would showers blessings, peace, prosperity and wealth. Five ghee diyas are kept in front of the statue of God and Goddess, all the offerings including Naivedya are also kept, and then people start worship by singing a song in the honor of Lakshmi and Ganesha. The worship is end up by reading aarti and distributing prasad. People light the lamps around their houses to through away all the darkness from their life as well as world.
Step by step process of Diwali puja
- Cleaning of the puja place, bathing of each statue of Hindu deity with water, panchamrit, rose water and then again by clean water.
- Wipe the statue and put at the Kalash, light the ghee diyas before statue.
- Place panchamrit (made up of 5 ingredients milk, sugar, honey, curd, ghee including Tulsi leaves).
- Put some sweets and fruits as a prasad.
- Put rose or marigold flowers, haldi, red abir, and vermillion.
- Get agarbatti and big lamps having Ghee.
- Offer sweets, fruit, dakshina, betel leaves and cloves and make pray to God.
- Do lord Ganesha Puja first before worshipping any other God and then read the Ganesha aarti.
- Do Goddess Laxmi Puja by putting her statue on Lotus flower and red flowers into her feet, put coin in front of her in the puja. Then read mantras, aarti by spreading rose flower petals on the statue.
- At the end make Namaskar by touching head in to their feet to get blessings, touch the feet of elders in the family, distribute prasad and start bursting Crackers.
In Hinduism, it is the culture and tradition of worshipping Lord Ganesh very first before worshipping any God or Goddess. According to the Hindu mythology, it considered that the puja is incomplete without the worship of Lord Ganesh. Lord Ganesh is call as the Vighnavinashak as he eliminates all the difficulties of the human life. Lord Ganesh is worshipped at every Diwali night by the people to get blessings, wisdom, peace and prosperity. Lord Ganesh is worshipped all over India by the devotees before starting any new project, business, venture, occupation or even at birthday puja.
Worshipping Lord Ganesh is very beneficial for those who are suffering from big business losses, launching a new business or getting married in order to get removed from all obstacles of life. According to the Hindu mythology, worshipping Lord gives following benefits:
- Remove all the problems of daily routines of human life and improve the bond of love among family members.
- People get relief from their diseases.
- Help in achieving pre planned objectives without any obstruction.
- Help getting success in study, business, works without any trouble.
- Help in completing the education and marriage.
- Maintain health, wealth and popularity.
- Help in managing all the responsibilities of life.
- Help in attaining prosperity in the different aspects of life.
Elements required for Ganesh Puja
Coconut, dhoopbatti, agarbatti, kapoor, red cloth, haldi, red flower, red tilak, Panchamrit, statue of Ganesh, Tulsi eaves, Beetle leaves, red Sandalwood paste, Druva grass, fruits, Ghee, diyas, hawan kund, ladoo or Modak, Hawan Kund samagri, raw rice, dan dakshina for Purohits, Ganesh Yantra on Copper.
How to perform Ganesh Puja
Diwali is broadly celebrated festivals of India which involves Ganesh puja at home. Here are the steps to perform the Ganesh puja at home according to the Hindu scriptures:
- After cleaning of the puja room in the evening at Diwali, devotees take bath first.
- Statue of Lord Ganesh is placed at the place of puja.
- Pray to God by reciting mantras, bhajans committed to Lord Ganesh.
- Meditate and call the Lord Ganesh to the puja place which is known as pran-prathishta.
- After calling the God, perform aarti and light the ghee diyas.
- Offer blades of Druva Grass (21).
- Offer modakas or laddoo (21), number 21 indicates the five organs of action, five organs of perception, five crucial airs (pranas), five elements and mind.
- Offer red rose flowers or garland.
- Make a tilak with red Sandalwood paste.
- Offer the coconut by breaking it. Also offer some fried grains for his vehicle, rat.
- Concentrate and pray to Lord Ganesh by reciting salutations.
- Read aarti and take blessings by touching feet and distribute prasad.
Lakshmi puja is the ritual, traditional and cultural rite which is performed during Diwali every year. People do Lakshmi puja by putting lots of oil and ghee diyas inside as well as outside their houses. They believe that lighting lamps everywhere would please the Goddess Lakshmi and come to their home forever. People worship Goddess Lakshmi to be blessed and become rich by wealth and health. They clean the every corner of their home to enter the goddess Lakshmi. They believe that cleanliness would bring happiness and wealth whereas dirtiness makes people lazy and sluggish.
When Lakshmi puja is performed
The 3rd day of Diwali festival is the most important and main Diwali day when Lakshmi-puja is performed by the people. They are very keen and devoted to perform this puja in order to get blessings and wealth for the whole year. This most auspicious and wondrous day falls at amavasya in the dark night. People are blessed as dark night passed away and innumerable rays of light (in the form of showers of blessing) come up permanently in their life.
After performing Lakshmi Puja, lighting lamps ceremony started all over the houses, roads, neem tress, and other places. According to the Hinduism it is very necessary to clean the houses without having any spot before the puja. It is considered that the goddess of wealth will visit the house first then showers blessings. Puja is performed generally by offering haldi, kumkum and prasad.
Lakshmi puja involves combined puja of five Hindu deities
Lakshmi Puja at Diwali involves a combined puja of the five Hindu deities. According to the Hindu mythology, it is believed that worshipping Lord Ganesha (Vighneshvara) in the very first of puja makes sure that puja is complete. There are three forms of the Goddess Lakshmi which should be worshipped accordingly. Three forms are Mahalakshmi (known as the goddess of wealth, prosperity and money), Mahasaraswati (known as the goddess of wisdom and learning), and Mahakali (known as the problems remover). The fifth Hindu deity which is worshipped at Diwali is Lord Kubera (known as the treasurer of gods).
Rites of Lakshmi Puja at Diwali
As the day come closer people starts cleaning their houses, paths, kitchen, cattle rooms and other places using whitewash or just by dusting and wiping. They decorate their houses, paths, study rooms, offices, and all places near their homes with lighting systems and diyas. They make rangoli in front of their main gate as well as in the center of all the rooms. They stick the artificially made Lakshmi foot at the doorstep to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi to their home. They bring and prepare all the puja elements from the market which are necessary to perform the complete puja of goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha.
Goddess Lakshmi has the golden complexion sitting on a lotus flower and holding different instruments in her four hands. Her four hands are symbol of four ends of the human life such as dharma, kama (desire), artha (wealth), and moksha (also known as liberation). One of her hand is always showing with flowing golden coins which is symbol of offering wealth. Her red clothe represents the activity as well as golden lining symbolize prosperity. She is considered as the active energy of Lord Vishnu. Two elephants next to her on each side indicate that the one with his continuous effort gets both the material and spiritual prosperity.
It is the very old tradition in India worshipping the mother goddess from the earliest times getting blessings for peaceful life. Goddess Lakshmi is also called as the Shri by her devotees. Women of house offer daily prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi to get more wealth and prosperity for their family.
Elements needed to offer puja
- Statue of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Narayana and Mata Saraswati
- Silver or Gold coins
- Betel Nuts or Supari (10)
- Raw Rice
- Water in a small pot or Lota
- A thali
- Oil Lamps or ghee Diyas
- Paan or Mango leaves (5)
- A whole coconut with water
- Raksha Sutra
- Red vermillon (also known as Kumkum) to apply as a tilak
- Incense sticks (or agarbatti)
- Dry fruits (almonds, cashew nut, raisins, pista)
- Rose flower and petals
- A piece of red cloth
- Rose water
- Indian sweets (Mithai) which can be ladoo, peda or anyother in any amount
- Milk, curd, honey, ghee
- Tulsi leaves
How to perform Lakshmi Puja
After cleaning everything, according to the calendar time Lakshmi puja can be started in the evening time by laying down the new red cloth at the place of puja. Put handful raw rice at the center of red cloth and then place a Kalash above the raw rice. Kalash should be filled with water having betel nut, flower, coin and some raw rice. Arrange five mango leaves in the Kalash and put a small dish (filled with rice) on it. Make a lotus flower at the rice of the dish with turmeric powder. Place the statue of goddess Lakshmi on it along with the coins.
The statue of Lord Ganesha should be placed in front of Kalash at the right side in the South-West direction. Place the aarti book or other related to business or occupation at the puja place. Start from lighting the lamp and offering haldi, kumkum, flowers etc in front of the Kalash. The same thing offer at the Kalash too. Pray to the Mata Ganaga to make the simple water pure. Make call for the goddess Lakshmi through the Vedic mantras by having some flowers petals in your hands, closing your eyes, meditate to goddess Lakshmi and recite her name. In between chanting of mantras, offer flower to the Goddess idol.
Offer bath, to the idol of Goddess Lakshmi by putting into the thali, with the water, panchamrit (mixture of milk, Tulsi petals, curd, ghee, honey and sugar). Then wash with clean water having gold ornaments or pearls. Wipe the statue with clean cloth by putting it above the Kalash. Offer water, panchamrit and flower on it.
Then offer some most important things to make your puja complete such as sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume (or itra), haldi, kumkum, vermillion, garland of rose flowers or marigold flowers, bel patra, incense stick and dhoop batti. Offer sweets, coconut, variety of fruits, tambul, raw rice and batasha. Put some money or jewelry at puja place and make worship of that as well as a mark of Lord Kuber.
Now this is the time of aarti goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Read aarti peacefully by slowly ringing the bell. At the end of puja, distribute the holy prasad to family members and neighbors. Then you can light the candles, diyas and fire crackers around your houses. People perform the puja of Goddess Lakshmi for their Good Luck. The goddess of wealth is worshipped daily but specially at the occasion of Diwali on the Amavasya.
Why do we perform Lakshmi Puja at Diwali?
Goddess Lakshmi is the owner of wealth and prosperity which are the vital components of well being living, maintaining and progressing in our life. For successfully living our life we also need abundance knowledge and talents. Goddess Lakshmi is the source of energy who can fulfill our elemental needs of both spiritual and material well-being. The eight aspects of the Goddess can bestowed us with the great wisdom, energy and wealth:
- Adi Lakshmi is the source of memory; we can be bestowed with the great strength and calmness to our mind.
- Dhana Lakshmi is the source of material wealth. The devotees of Dhana Lakshmi never feel insecure of these.
- Vidya Lakshmi is the source of knowledge and wisdom. She fulfills her devotees with the lot of knowledge, expertise and talents.
- Dhanya Lakshmi is the source of food who bestows us with never ending energy in the form of food.
- Santana Lakshmi is the source of happiness who bestows us with the great happiness in our life by offering us child.
- Dhairya Lakshmi is the source of courage who bestows us with the lot of courage in the bad times of our life.
- Vijaya Lakshmi is the symbol of victory over evil. We offer puja to the Vijay Lakshmi to be bestowed with the lot of good energy to win with the negativity of our daily life.
- Bhagya Lakshmi is the source of good luck and prosperity. We need good luck and prosperity both to tackle with the problems of different stages of life.
Goddess Lakshmi had emerged from the water which is symbol of love which is ultimately the largest source of wealth which works as a nectar in our life. So, people offer puja to the all aspects of Goddess Lakshmi to be blessed with the wealth, spiritual knowledge, peace, prosperity and energy in our life.