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Goddess Lakshmi, in Hinduism is worshipped for wealth and prosperity. She is worshipped every year in all the Hindu households. However, the time for the Puja varies across the country. Some people celebrate Lakshmi Puja during Diwali while some people celebrate it after Dusshera.
In the Eastern part of India, particularly in Bengal, Lakshmi Puja is celebrated four days after Dusshera. It is celebrated on a full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashwin which is known as the Kojagari Purnima. This festival is also known as the Kojagari Vrat.
Generally falling on the fifteenth day during Shukla Paksha of Ashvin month, the festival coincides with Sharad Purnima. This year the Vrat is being observed on October 23, 2018.
The Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is generally performed by women. The rituals start early in the morning and continue till late night. Let us take a look at the rituals associated with Kojagari Lakshmi puja.
Fasting is the most important part of the festival. Mostly, married women perform this puja. So, they are supposed to fast for the entire day. Most women fast without water while others take the easy way and fast by eating only fruits. They break the fast only at midnight after offering food to the Goddess.
Devotees should offer a number of things to Goddess Lakshmi placed in a cane plate known as 'dala'. This offering contains mustard oil, soil from the banks of Ganga, turmeric, perfume, food grains, grass, flowers, five kinds of fruits, curd, ghee, vermilion, conch shell bangles, kohl, yellow thread, iron bangle, white mustard seeds, rice, gold and honey.
The doorways of the houses are decorated with a special kind of Rangoli known as Alpana. This Alpana is prepared with rice flour and made into beautiful and articulate designs. The feet of Goddess Lakshmi is also made with the rice flour at the entrance.
A kalash or pot is kept in front of the idol of the Goddess. This kalash is decorated with mango leaves, betel leaves, betel nut, grass and paddy. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi resides in the kalash during the puja.
The following mantra is chanted while performing the Kojagari Lakshmi puja:
Namosthesthu Maha Maye | Shree padee, sura poojithe ||
Shanka, Chakra, Gadha hasthe | Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe ||
So, celebrate Kojagari Lakshmi Puja by following these rituals and get the blessings of the Goddess of wealth.
So, celebrate Kojagari Lakshmi puja by following these rituals and get the blessings of the Goddess of wealth.