Diwali, the festival of lights, involves the worship of Goddess Lakshmi who is believed to bring prosperity and happiness in one’s home. Here’s how you should perform Lakshmi Puja at your home on this auspicious occasion.
Puja Samagri: Lakshmi and Ganesh photo, kumkum, sindoor, agarbatti, supari (5 pieces), chandan kesar, dhoop, gulal, mouli or kalawa, abheer, dhaniya, rice, honey, red cloth, cotton bati (jot, 2 pieces), Shri yantra aarti book, haldi (5 pieces), kamal gatta (5 pieces), gangajal, pack of dry fruits (Panch meva), elaichi (5 pieces), longe (5 pieces), janeu, fulia and batashe, camphor, itra, sarso, saboot moong, and makhane.
Directions: Lakshmi Puja should be performed by facing the idols on the north, east, or west. The idols should not face the south and south-west direction, especially in case of diagonal properties. The Lakshmi and Ganesha idols shouldn’t be higher than 8 to 9 inches.
Puja requirements: The first thing you need to do for the puja is to clean your home including the puja room. That’s because it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi resides somewhere only when it is neat and tidy. Aside from cleaning your home, you should create rangolis at the main doorway and the entrance to your puja room. The colorful rangolis not only add beauty to your home on this festive occasion but also help you give a grand welcome to Goddess Lakshmi into your home.
The steps to performing the puja are given below:
Ganesh Puja: Place supari close to the idol of Lord Ganesha and offer flowers and akshata (rice) to the deity. Start offering your prayers by chanting Ganesh sloka and request the deity to help you get rid of all obstacles that come in your path of devotion to Lakshmi and Narayana.
Kalash Sthapana: Fill a kalash (pot) with water or rice and adorn it with leaves before placing it in front of the idols. Place a coconut on top of the kalash. Tie a red cloth around the kalash. Draw the “Swastika” on its front part as a sign of purity and prosperity. The kalash actually represents the universal power.
Once the kalash is set up, you should adorn the deities with flowers and turmeric-roli powder. Place fruits in front of the deities. Keep some gold or silver rupee coins on a thali which is kept close to the idols. The silver or gold coins are the sign of prosperity brought by Goddess Lakshmi along with her.
Once you perform Kalash puja with your offerings of akshata, fruits, and sweets, follow the same process for Navagrahas. Sprinkle water in all directions in an act of purifying the four dishas of the universe.
Lakshmi Narayana Abhishekam: An important part of Lakshmi Puja is to perform Panchmitra Abhishekam of Lakshmi and Narayana. Panchmitra is prepared by combining five items – milk, ghee, sugar, curd, and honey. Let the gold and silver coins be bathed with milk. Then wash them with water and apply gulal. Place flowers along with the coins kept on the thali. Next, you should break the coconut and make an offering of sweet dishes to the deities.
Once you’ve offered sweet recipes to the idols, recite Lakshmi mantra (sloka or stotra) so as to welcome the Goddess into your home. Lakshmi Ashtottaram or Lakshmi Shatanamavali is often chanted as part of Diwali Puja vidhi.
When the puja is over, the idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha should be preserved for one year. The deities should be immersed in the water of the Ganges or any pond after you bring new idols to your home on next Diwali.