Diwali Puja

About Diwali Puja

The festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated with full vigor and enthusiasm all over India. It is celebrated over a period of five continuous days, with each day holding its significance in accordance to the legends and traditions.

Diwali, falls on the third day of these celebrations and witnesses a dark moon night which is then illuminated with the shine of earthen diyas and lamps. Deepavali is devoted to the praise and worship of Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and luster. In her honor, Lakshmi Puja is performed religiously during the evenings, generally after sunset.

Significance of Diwali Puja

Diwali marks the last day of financial year for Hindu business community in India. Many businessmen perform Chopda Pujan or pay ritual prayers to Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and seek her blessings to shower wealth and prosperity on them in the New Year. New account books are sanctified in this puja, and a new financial year along with new business ventures is undertaken by all.

Diwali puja, therefore is celebrated with a warm welcome of Goddess Lakshmi in all Hindu households, with songs and prayers sung in her praise and devotion during the pious Lakshmi pujan.

Diwali Puja Traditions

India is a diverse nation. Different regions carry different legends that help them associate themselves with and consequently celebrate Diwali.

In North India, Diwali is associated with the Legend of Lord Ram. People, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar celebrate Diwali as the day of Lord Rama’s coronation as King of Ayodhya, after his epic war with the demon king of Lanka, Ravana.

It is believed that on Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Ksheer Sagar, or the ocean of milk and offered wealth, prosperity and happiness to all humankind. On the day of this event, Lakshmi puja was performed by people to thank her for her magnanimity, and subsequently to this day Lakshmi Pujan gets performed in all Hindu households to honor her.

It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits the home of her devotees on this day and hence practices of home decoration and prayer singing are practiced.

Diwali Puja Preparations and Process

Lakshmi Puja or Diwali Puja is performed in the evening, after sunset. Religious scholars and pandits calculate the most auspicious time to carry the Pujan, which is declared a day before Diwali through instruments of mass media, such as radio, television and newspapers.

Cleaning of the house is imperative before beginning the pujan. The house should be decorated with diyas, candles and rangolis to illuminate the path that would welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes. Lightning of diyas is considered very necessary not only in accordance with the traditions, but also with the belief that it will help ward off evil spirits on this dark moon night.

Puja Items Required

Traditional items are required for the Lakshmi Pujan. Following is a list of all things required:
  • Idols of Lakshmi-Ganesh
  • Roli
  • Mouli
  • Kalash
  • Kumkum
  • Few grains of rice
  • Betel leaves and betel nuts
  • Incense sticks
  • Camphor
  • Flowers
  • Fruits
  • Sweets

Diwali Puja Vidhi

Lakshmi Pujan is the most important aspect of the festival of Diwali. Thus, the Diwali puja vidhi or the process needs to be carried out with full devotion. Every household needs to get spotlessly clean. This is done to welcome Goddess Lakshmi in a clean home. Special attention needs to be given to the area or room where the evening Pujan will take place.

  • Idols of Lakshmi and Ganesh need to be bathed with water first, followed by rose water, and finally once again by plain water. After cleaning the deities and placing them in the Pujan room, an oil lamp needs to be placed before them that would burn the whole night to keep evil spirits away. Apart from this, tiny clay diyas are also kept all over the pujan room.

  • Now, a Panchmitra needs to be made out of 5 ingredients, namely milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey. Prasad also needs to be offered to the deities and as well as distributed among family members. Some sweets or fruits can act as Prasad.

  • After doing all this, various offerings such as those of flowers, vermilion, turmeric need to be made. Along with these, incense sticks need to be burned and all lamps and diyas lighted. Furthermore, offerings of sweets, salty snacks and Dakshina (token money) is made to the deities. This money and food is then bequeathed to the poor.

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