The most important part about Diwali is not the crackers or even the lighting. It’s also not the new traditional fits that we all upgrade our wardrobes with. The key element of Diwali is the Lakshmi Pujan, which is done in everyone’s household with much pomp and prep. Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth in Hindu mythology, and it is said that with this pooja, she is invited into the homes of devotees, to bless them with prosperity, health, and wealth. Every family gathers around their home temples with the apt apparatus required to perform the aarti.
Just like everything else though, this pooja also needs advanced preparation. From gathering the right components to ensuring you get your mantras right, here’s a lowdown on everything you need for Diwali puja.
What is done on Lakshmi Puja?
Diwali is one of the most significant festivals in Hindu culture. It marks Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after defeating King Ravana and returning to his kingdom with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman. As the story goes, the sibling duo as well as Lord Ram’s wife were sent to exile by their father and spent 14 years in the wilderness. Later, Sita was abducted by Ravana and rescued by Lord Ram and his divine accomplices.
On Laxmi Puja, Hindu families gather around and perform ‘aarti’, an Indian way of prayer to deities. With sweet treats, flowers, and other offerings, they pay their respects to Goddess Laxmi, the Indian goddess of wealth & prosperity. It is said that after this ritual, the goddess visits each home to shower her blessings on the families and true devotees. To make her visit pleasant, Hindus decorate their homes with bright lights, oil lamps aka diyas, lanterns, etc. Nowadays, even fairy lights and other different types of lights are used. It is believed that the happier she is, the more one shall be blessed by her on Lakshmi Pujan.
What are the things needed for Diwali Laxmi Puja?
You need to prep in advance to make sure your puja is successful. This entails gathering Diwali puja samagri from local shops and a few special items too.
Here we cover all about Diwali puja shopping in detail to make it easier for you! Some of these are optional, and some are essential. This changes from household to household, depending on the individual beliefs of the family.
- A new idol of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi.
- Bahi-Khata. Meaning: Account Books
- A red silk cloth for Goddess Lakshmi, and a yellow cloth + inkpot with a pen.
- A red cloth for the gods’ Aasan aka seating.
- Five large earthen diyas.
- At twenty-five small earthen diyas.
- A fresh earthen pitcher, also known as Kalash.
- Fresh flowers, in addition to at least three small garlands made with fresh flowers.
- Flower petals.
- Tulsi leaves.
- Naivedhya e.g. sweets, fruits, sugarcane, parched rice.
- At least three sweet paans.
- A pen made of pomegranate or bilva branch.
- Pancha Pallav, i.e. twigs of the following five trees: Mango, Palash, Banyan, Peepal, Bakul.
- Sarvoshadhi i.e. herbs: Mura, Jatamasi, Bach, Kushtha, Shaileya, Haradi, Daru-Haradi, Soonthi, Champak, Musta
How do Lakshmi Puja at home? | Diwali Pooja Vidhi
Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing Diwali pooja!
- Clean your house thoroughly! Usually, before Diwali, every home is deep-cleaned in order to purify it for the pooja. Once done, you can sprinkle holy water of any kind, preferably Gangajal, in every corner. This should especially be done in the area where the Lakshmi Pujan will be performed.
- Now, it’s time to set the platform. Spread one of the red cloths over the counter which is generally a raised platform. Keep a handful of grains at the centre.
- Next, place the Kalash (a pitcher) right in the middle. Fill it with 3/4th of water and put a supari, a marigold flower, a silver coin and a few rice grains in it. Put five mango leaves in the pitcher, and make sure to arrange them in a circular design on the neck of the Kalash and secure them.
- Before Goddess Laxmi, place Lord Ganesha’s idol or photo on the setting. The deity is given first importance in every puja in Hindu culture. On the right side of the Kalash, place his idol. Apply a haldi-kumkum tilak and put some rice grains on the idol for Lakshmi Ji ki aarti.
- You can choose to place some books or anything related to your profession or wealth besides the setting.
- Light a panchmukhi diya i.e. an oil lamp with five wicks and place it in a thali/plate along with haldi, kumkum and rice grains
Performing The Lakshmi Pujan
- Begin the Diwali pooja vidhi by applying tilak to the kalash. Apply the same to the lota of water. Place some flowers near each of them.
- Now, with some rice and flowers in your palms, join your hands together and close your eyes. Together, recite the Lakshmi Puja mantra or just chant the goddess’s name. Meditate for few a minutes. As an offering, give flowers and rice grains to the Goddess after the completion of the prayer or after each repetition.
- Pick the idol of Lakshmi and place it in a thali. Bathe it with water which will then be followed by panchamrita, a mixture of five foods used in Hindu worship and pujas. Clean the idol with water again. Wipe it and place it back on the kalash.
- Apply haldi-kumkum along with rice to the idol, then place the garland around the neck of the Goddess or on the photo. Place some marigold flowers and some Bel leaves, and then burn a few incense sticks and dhoops.
- Offer coconut and also place a supari on a supari leaf. Now put some haldi-kumkum and rice over it. Put puffed rice, coriander seeds and cumin seeds also over the idol. In front of the idol, place some sweets, fruits, money/gold, or gold ornaments.
In which direction we should do Laxmi pooja on Diwali?
The northeast corner of the house is known to be the best for Lakshmi Pujan. The mandir or home temple in which the idols are placed should ideally face the east-west direction in the northeast corner so that the person performing the pooja will face either east or west, which is considered to be good according to vaastu.
What is the best time to do Lakshmi Puja on Diwali?
It is believed that Laxmi Puja should be done during the Pradosh Kaal, which starts post-sunset and lasts approx for 2 hours 24 minutes. Some sources also suggest Mahanishita Kaal to perform the Puja.
Now that we’ve covered all the auspicious bases, let’s take a look at all the other things that Diwali as a festival entails.
Whether you’re a young woman or older, the idea of making a Rangoli on Diwali is super exciting! Among several Diwali decoration ideas, this remains a favourite among people of all ages. Even if you’re a first-timer, you can turn to simple rangoli which involves creating colourful patterns on a flat surface with coloured sand or powder that is easily available in any local shop. From floral motifs to other natural ones, and in some cases, even drawings of objects like diyas can inspire the artist in you. Topped with flower petals, it makes for the most stunning decor addition if done right, and you can do it even for Lakshmi Pujan.
Diwali Gift Ideas
Just like Diwali wishes and greetings, Diwali gift ideas are equally important. It is that time of the year when ‘giving’ takes the number one priority, whether to those less fortunate than us or our near and dear ones. Diwali gifts can be anything from household items to kitchen essentials and beauty gadgets for the women to lots and lots of premium sweets! Most elders also give their children money, and the children in turn seek their blessings. Corporate gifting is also an important thing during Diwali, and so are Diwali bonuses or gifts from your employers.
When you’re shopping for gifts, you can either choose to pick them based on the recipients or choose a common gift that would work for everyone on your list. Many curated gifting guides can help with this, so be sure to check them out. Also, turn to hampers for wonderful assortments! You just can’t go wrong with them.
Diwali Party Ideas
Taash parties are a given when it comes to Diwali! Whether you’re a seasoned player or just a novice, taash parties can be really fun. With some drinks, munchies and Quick Diwali Recipes to woo your guests, you can host a fabulous evening right at home. House parties are being increasingly preferred over fancy clubs and pubs now, so you have to keep your game up. Make sure you have your evening chalked out well in advance.
You can choose to organise the party on the day of Diwali, right after Lakshmi Pujan, or you can begin right from Dhanteras. Since most people have extended holidays at work now, this is absolutely doable and will prove to be a hit! If you don’t want to indulge in a taash party on all days, you can also plan other fun activities like diya painting, rangoli making, drinking games, etc. that are more inclusive and involve several age groups.
Now, onto our favourite part! Diwali outfits need to be planned well in advance for them to be a hit among your friends and family. There is absolutely no room for dull colours and prints, and this is the time to invest in the brightest – most radiant – tones. From subtle sequins to heavy embellishments, vivacious prints to stunning embroideries, pick a traditional outfit that best resonates with your style. You’re going to need two to three sets of outfits if you’ve got a celebration planned with your family, whether grand or intimate, to ace those Diwali Poses.
The best time to shop is a few days before Diwali, or even a month in advance, as this is when most online platforms run their festive sales. This also ensures you receive your garment in time for the celebrations and the Lakshmi Pujan.
Best Places to Visit During the Festival of Lights
Lastly – if you’re planning to head out for Diwali instead of celebrating at home, then there are a few places you can visit in India to amplify your experience! While every street is lit up and every corner has a glow, these destinations just take the most auspicious time of the year to a whole new level with spectacular decorations.
Nothing beats the grandeur of Diwali in Varanasi. It’s Dev Deepavali attracts devotees and culture enthusiasts from all over the world. The religious chants and the light of a thousand diyas are surely enough to leave anyone mesmerised! Amritsar’s Golden Temple also celebrates Diwali with much grandeur. Regionally known as Bandi Chhor Diwas, one can see the Sarovar and the skies light up like stars on a clear night! Even destinations like Jaipur-Udaipur, Kolkata, etc. exhibit an unbelievable charm during Diwali.
Diwali is a great time to reunite with your near and dear ones too. Even without the firecrackers and the decoration, the festival’s highlight remains the Lakshmi Pujan. We hope you have a great Deepavali that is full of blessings and beautiful moments.