Deepavali is a festival which has gained its popularity owing to the nature of its celebrations. It has long been considered to have a religious significance which is now lost in the universal feelings of goodness and joy which envelop everyone on this day. Of all traditional Indian festivals, Divali can be safely said to be the most widely accepted and loved by the people of this country. It is one of those rare occasions which give Indians a unique identity.Lakshmi Pujan on Dipavali
An important part of Diwali festival is Lakshmi Puja. This pujan is carried out by households and especially by the business community in India. It is also considered New Year by business people so much so that all new accounts are opened on this day after the ritual of praying to the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. This Hindu deity represents prosperity, wealth and good fortune.Diwali Pooja Preparations
Deepavali Pooja is performed before the sun sets over the dark night of amavasya. The actual time for this Puja is calculated by religious scholars and pundits which is declared in newspapers the day before Dipawali. When preparing for the traditional Pooja, idols of Lakshmi – Ganesh, kalash, roli, mouli, coins, rice grains, kumkum for tilak, betel leaves and betel nuts, incense sticks, camphor, flowers, garlands are required. For offerings and prasad, sweets and fruits are needed.
One essential before the puja is a neat and clean house illuminated with Diyas and candles welcoming Goddess Laxmi and driving away evil spirits. Rangolis are drawn at the entrance and small footprints with rice flour and vermilion are also drawn to indicate the long awaited arrival of Goddess Lakshmi. Oil lamps are kept burning throughout the night to guide Lakshmi after her secret arrival in the nighttime.Lakshmi – Ganesh Pooja Sequence
It is considered auspicious to start every Pooja by taking Shri Ganesha’s name and so is true with Lxmi Pujan as well. The idols are given a ritual bath and seated on a platform. Devotional song called aarti is sung and prasad is distributed amongst everyone gathered. Every family performs this Puja so as to please the Gods to shower them with prosperity and wellbeing . Fire crackers can be burst only after the pooja completion.
It is to be noted that this Puja is a combined worship of five deities. Lord Ganesha is worshipped first. Ma Lakshmi is worshipped in all her three forms as Mahalakshmi - the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Mahasaraswati - the Goddess of Learning and Mahakali. Another God that is worshipped on Deewali is Lord Kuber - the Treasurer of Gods.