India is a country full of vibrant culture and traditions along with diverse people. Here the art, music and customs have various roots, which have different sub cultures. And hence the grand festival of ‘Deepawali’ is formed with two words, row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homesto celebrate Diwali. It is celebrated by not just one community but by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs as well.
Region wise, it is celebrated by Bengalis worshipping a Goddess, Kali. Kali Pooja is performed on the no moon night(Amavasya) of the Hindu month of Kartik which falls around the months of October/November according to the Gregorian calendar. Amongst Sikhs deepawali is celebrated as the return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji from the captivity of the city, Gwalior. To commemorate his undying love for Sikhism, the towns people lit the way to, Harmandhir Sahib (referred to as the Golden Temple), in his honor. Among the Jains, it is celebrated as the Nirvana of Lord Mahavira who established the dharma. As per the basic Hindu mythology, Lord Rama the king of Ayodhya was send on exile by his father on insistence of his wife Kaikeye .He was accompanied by his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshman, Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom after 14 years, during after killing the evil Ravana, the king of Lanka, for abducting his wife, Sita.After his victory, Rama returned to Ayodhya where the people welcomed him by lighting diyas.. Hence it becomes an occasion of celebrating of Truth’s victory over Evil.
Dhanteras kicks off the fifth day festival which occurs a day before the Deepavali. Houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated and decorated. Entrances are decorated with Rangoli - creative colorful floor designs both inside and in the walkways of their homes or offices. This day marks the birthday of Lakshmi - the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari - the Goddess of Health and Healing. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.
Dhanteras is also a day which marks the purchasing of household goods and jewelry particularly gold or silver articles. Merchants, traders and retailers stock up for the upcoming festival. They also maintain a new ledger book for their business on this day.
Clean your house properly.
Set up the platform. Spread a red cloth on a raised platform and keep a handful of grains in the center.
Place the kalash on the platform and fill it with water and put one supari, a marigold flower, a coin and some rice grains also tie 5 mango leaves to a thread and tie it around the neck of the kalash.
On a small Puja thali placed on the kalash placed on small flat mountain of rice grains draw a lotus with haldi over it and place the idol of Goddess Lakshmi on it.
Place Lord Ganesha's idol on the right side of the kalash, and apply a tilak of haldi and kumkum on it.
place stationary items like books and pen and things related to your business or wealth which you consider to be a source of your income besides the complete arrangement.
Light a ghee diya and place it in a thali along with other important ingredients like haldi, kumkum and rice grains. You can also additionally use sandalwood paste, saffron paste, abeer and gulal if you are feeling too religious.
You are now set for the puja which you start by applying tilak to the kalash and offering flowers to it.
Recite the Diwali puja mantra of goddess Lakshmi which you can read from those easily available booklets in the market which contain the mantras and shlokas for various pujas
Offer more flowers and rice grains to the Goddess after the prayer.
Now pick and place the idol of Lakshmi in a different thali in which you will bathe it with water and then by panchamrit which constitutes of luke warm milk, preferably home made yoghurt, ghee, honey and sugar in appropriate quantities. Flow some water again on the idol and then wipe the idol with a clean cloth and place it back on the kalash.
Apply haldi and kumkum along with rice to the idol and garland it with a garland of cotton beads. offer some Betel leaves.
Place a coconut and a supari on a supari leaf and and apply haldi, kumkum and rice on it. Place some diwali sweets, fruits and money or gold ornaments in front of it which are is an offering to the Goddess.
Worship the idol by performing the lakshmi puja aarti .
Maa Lakshmi Aarti
Shree Ganesh Aarti