Diwali is a “Festival of Lights” and celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. Diwali signifies victory over evil and dark. It fills our lives with new light and with new positive hopes in all directions. Diwali is a festival where people from all age groups participate and spreads the message of love and togetherness.
Diwali is a five days long festival and each day has its own significance. “Lakshmi Pooja” is the third day of the five-day Diwali festival as celebrated in India. It is also known as Diwali Pooja, Bengal Kali Pooja and Diwali Devpooja.
Lakshmi Pooja is the main and very important auspicious day among five days of Diwali festival. It is one of the biggest and brightest festivals of Hindus in India. The third day of Diwali festival is completely devoted to the goddess Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi visits to earth during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all. Diwali is referred as victory of “Good over Evil” or “Light over darkness”. It is usually called as ‘Festival of Lights’ as people light lamps (Diyas) and places them all around their homes for all five days of festival.
Lakshmi Pooja falls on the dark night of Amavasya. The most auspicious time to do Lakshmi Pooja on Diwali is after sunset. The day of Lakshmi Pooja is decided when Amavasya Tithi prevails during Pradosh Kaal. As per Hindu calendar Lakshmi Pooja is celebrated on the fifteenth lunar day of Krishna paksh (dark fortnight) Amavasya, in the month of Kartik which is observed on Sunday, 30th October 2016.
Lakshmi Pooja Muhurat: 6:50 PM to 8:19 PM
Pradosh Kaal: 7:49 PM to 8:19 PM
Vrishabh Kaal: 6:50 PM to 8:52 PM
Mahanishita Kaal: 11:38 PM to 12:28 AM
Simha Kaal: 1:13 AM to 3:16 AM
The best time for Lakshmi Pooja is during Pradosh Kaal when Sthir Lagna prevails. Sthir means fixed i.e. not moveable. If Lakshmi Pooja is done during Sthir Lagna, Lakshmi will stay in your home; hence this time is the best for Lakshmi Poojan. Vrishabha Lagna is considered as Sthir and mostly overlaps with Pradosh Kaal during Diwali festivity. Tantrik community and Pandits perform Lakshmi pooja during Mahanishita Kaal.
Many communities especially Gujarati businessmen do ‘Chopda Poojan’ during Diwali Pooja. During Chopda
Poojan new account books are inaugurated in presence of Goddess Lakshmi to seek Her blessing for the next financial year. On this day, ink bottle, pens and new account books are also worshiped known as Davat–Lekhani Pooja.
Diwali has a great significance in the Hindu culture as well as among Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on Diwali, as she symbolizes good luck. She is believed to be the Goddess of prosperity, wealth, health, peace and strength. Diwali is the only Amavasya where one does not do Shraadh pooja.
The fireworks are main attraction after Lakshmi Pooja as fireworks signify celebration of Diwali as well a way to chase away evil spirits. Lakshmi Pooja, the worship of the goddess of wealth is the main event on Diwali in India. Goddess Lakshmi is invoked for blessings to restart New Year and prayers of thankfulness, (Lakshmi Pooja), are offered for future prosperity by people of all faiths.
Lakshmi Pooja consists of a combined Pooja of five deities: Ganapati is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta; Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms – Mahalakshmi: the goddess of wealth and money, Mahasaraswati: the goddess of books and knowledge, and Mahakali: the goddess who gives protection from evils and Kuber, the treasurer of the gods, is also worshiped.
After completing the Lakshmi Pooja on Diwali night, all the homemade sweets are offered to the goddess as “Naivedya” and distributed as “Prasad“. After pooja all the family members light fire-crackers, go to temples, visit friends and relatives. People buy gold and silver, precious gemstones, new utensils of copper, brass and bronze as a sign of good luck, prosperity, and wealth. These are then worshiped with immense devotion in Lakshmi pooja at night.
Diwali is also celebrated as a harvest festival in India. This is last day of the Hindu Lunar year. Since it is the last day of the year one must resolve all personal conflicts forgiving and forgetting misdeeds of the past year and start the New Year with a clean mind and soul.