Tradition of Diwali Pooja
The literal meaning of 'Diwali'
in Sanskrit is 'a
row of lamps'
. The most popular tradition of Diwali is filling
little clay lamps with oil and wick and lighting them in rows all over the
house. Even today, the tradition projects the rich and glorious past of our
country and teaches us to uphold the true values of life.
Diwali has many legends and religious accounts associated with it. Lights
and diyas are lit to signifying the driving away of darkness and ignorance,
as well as the awakening of the light within ourselves. It is the perfect
time for family gatherings, foods, celebrations and pooja. Goddess Laxmi
plays a major role in this festival, as do Ram and Sita. This autumn
festival is a five-days celebration, of which each one has its own
People renovate and decorate their houses and business places. Entrances
are made colorful with lovely traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to
welcome Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. To indicate her long
awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion
powder (kumkum) all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the
In order to welcome Goddess Laxmi, the house is kept clean and rangoli is
drawn at the doorstep. A pandit is consulted for the best time of puja. The
general things needed for a diwali puja are silver and gold coins, suparis,
uncooked Rice, paan leaves, kumkum for applying tilak, mithaai (Indian
sweets), camphor, agarbattis (incense sticks), dry fruit (almonds, cashews),
flower petals and Lakshmi-Ganesh icon.
The pooja ritual is performed in the evening when tiny diyas of clay are lit
to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans are sung in praise of the
goddess and sweets are offered to her. Diwali puja consists of a combined
pooja of five deities: Ganesha is worshipped at the beginning of every
auspicious act as Vighnaharta; Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her three
forms Mahalakshmi,the goddess of wealth and money, Mahasaraswati, the
goddess of books and learning and Mahakali. People also worship 'Kuber'- the
treasurer of the gods.