Diwali happens to be the brightest, biggest, and most awaited Indian festival among all others. Apart from the fun and gaiety associated with it, lots of religious aspects surround this holy festival of lights and sounds.
One of the most important parts of celebration is the Lakshmi Pooja, the goddess of good fortune, prosperity and wealth who is believed to walk across the green meadows and shower her blessings on the devotees.
A specific manner is followed during the Lakshmi Pooja on Diwali day. It is extremely essential to clean the house before the process starts as Goddess Lakshmi is believed to visit the cleanest of all. People light up thousands of lamps to pave her way towards their house. The actual Pooja starts after sunset, where Lord Ganeshais worshiped initially because he removes all obstacles. After that Lakshmi is worshipped in her MahaLakshmi, MahaSaraswati and MahaKali forms.
First of all you need to clean the place where Pooja will be performed. Take a raised platform and cover it with a new cloth. After that establish the deities of Lakshmi and Ganesha and chant some holy hymns along with. They must be bathed with milk and rosewater for purification. Place a metal or earthen pitcher at the centre on a handful of grain, after filling it with water, and decorating it with betel nut, coin, mango leaves, flowers etc. Light some lamps and incense sticks to create an environment suitable to start the Pooja.
The entire family should be present and pooja begins with offering haldi and kumkum to the deities to invoke them by chanting Vedic hymns with utmost devotion. The head of the family performs all the rituals for the Pooja. As a member, you can simply remember Goddess Lakshmi by closing your eyes with a pure heart and she will accept your prayers.
You need to prepare Panchamitra (mix of sugar, honey, milk, curd and ghee) and a pooja thali with flowers, ornaments and clothes, and naivadya. You can offer saffron and sandal paste, gulal and different types of sweets to the deities apart from coconut and other fruits. It is important to light up five lamps filled with ghee exclusively in front of the idols which drives away the evil forces from your house and your life as well. Some people also offer new clothes and ornaments to Goddess Lakshmi to get similar favorable returns from her. Finally it is the turn of the holy aortas, where the entire family stands up and sings devotional songs to please the deities. Avoid too much noise during aortas. Finally “Prasad” is distributed among the members as a part of the blessing of the God.
Worshipping idols is just an external manifestation of the true devotion that resides within your inner soul. So by performing the rituals and the customs of Lakshmi pooja, you can create a divine and peaceful atmosphere around. It is very important to make Goddess Lakshmi enter and remain in your home forever.