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Diwali is the festival of light which is celebrated very grandly throughout the country. It is, in fact, the most awaited festival of the year. There are a lot of customs and traditions which are an inherent part of this festival. The primary deity worshipped during this festival is Goddess Lakshmi.
Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth and prosperity. She is the primary deity to offer prayers to on Diwali. It is said that she visits the houses of her devotees on this day. That is why Lakshmi Puja forms a very important part of the Diwali rituals. Apart from Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Kuber, who is the preserver of wealth and Lord Ganesha who helps achieve success, are also worshipped on the day of Diwali. There are a lot of customs and traditions which are to be followed during the Puja in order to get their blessings - cleaning the homes being the foremost one.
The Diwali Puja is to be done in a clean house in order to attract the blessings of the deities. However, the most important ritual is that of lighting the diyas. This year Diwali will be celebrated on 7 November, 2018. Read here the significance of lighting Diyas during Diwali.
Lighting of a lamp is considered a very important element in Hinduism. Light signifies knowledge and power. It also signifies the end of evil and the victory over darkness. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the returning of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after defeating the evil king Ravana.
The people of Ayodhya were delighted on his return and decorated the entire city with Diyas to signify the triumph of good over evil. Scientifically, lighting diyas creates a positive energy in the form of warmth in the environment. Another important reason for lighting diyas during Diwali is to please Goddess Lakshmi and thus invite her to our homes. It is also said that the number of diyas to be lit should be fourteen. Certain pujas, however, require a specific number of diyas to be offered to the gods.
Lakshmi Puja commences in the evening during which the whole family sits together. It is important to light five diyas in front of the Goddess and a few more are lighted to decorate the house. Also, the diyas kept in have to be filled with ghee.
Then, the puja should continue with the aarti and then distributing the prasad to all present for the puja. This will ensure that everyone receives the blessings of the Goddess. The women of the house should then light diyas all around the house after the puja. This is considered as an invitation for the Goddess to our homes.
The practice of lighting the diyas and offering them to the Gods has been there since times immemorial. When we are praying to the deity, their divine presence can be felt only in a positive environment free from any impurities.
Therefore, a diya serves the purpose of purifying the environment by getting rid of the negativity and create positive vibes. This lets us feel the presence of the Divine.