Goddess Lakshmi is the most widely revered Deity during Diwali. She is said to be the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, beauty and fortune.
Therefore, a Lakshmi pooja is done to invoke the Goddess's blessings and assure good fortune for the rest of the year. It is performed on the third day of Diwali, that is on the dark night of Amavasya, because the Goddess was born on that day.
Goddess Lakshmi was the daughter of Sage Bhrigu. She was born out of the ocean of milk when the Gods and demons were churning it. All the Gods were very impressed by her beauty and Lord Shiva wanted to claim her as his wife. She eventually wed Lord Vishnu, whom she preferred.
Lakshmi Pooja performed during Diwali is said to drive away bad spirits. She is worshipped for promotion and success. She is also known to remove any obstacles in life.
Women of most households get busy, making their homes ready for the pooja, as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi dislikes dirt and enters the house that is maintained clean.
It is said that the Goddess visits the cleanest home first. Also, the lights from diyas are said to light up her path. That is why we see lights everywhere and in every corner of the house. The broom, which is the symbol of cleanliness, is also adorned with Kumkum and haldi during Diwali.
Lakshmi pooja is a combination of deities - Lord Ganesha, Goddess Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali, who are the different avatars of Goddess Lakshmi. It is said that this combination is the most powerful one and brings in loads of good luck and wealth for the family.
Steps To Perform The Lakshmi Pooja:
- Spread a new piece of cloth on a raised platform in the place of the pooja.
- Place some rice on it and place a kalash, which is filled 3/4th with water. Put a betel nut, a coin, a flower and some grains in it. Decorate it with some mango leaves.
- Cover the kalash with a small dish and fill it with rice. Draw a lotus with haldi on it and place the idol of Goddess Lakshmi over it.
- Place the Ganesha idol in front of the kalash. You can also place some books and other things relating to your business.
- Light a diya and agarbatti.
- Make panchamrit by mixing milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar.
- Start with the Ganesh pooja and offer a garland.
- Proceed to adore the Goddess with haldi and kumkum.
- Perform the aarti to invoke the Goddess and distribute the prasad to everyone present in the family. Make sure all the family members are present during the pooja.
- Singing bhajans during the aarti is recommended. Also, Goddess Lakshmi is said to dislike loud noises, so use a small bell during the pooja. Avoid loud firecrackers before and after the pooja.
- Remember to light diyas around the house only after the Lakshmi pooja is done.