Diwali Puja Vidhi and Important Customs•
Posted on October 27 2021
Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is one of the main Hindu festivals in India. It is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show and signifies the victory of good over evil or light over darkness.
Stories about Diwali
There are several stories related to the history of Diwali. According to Hindu mythology, Diwali marks the return of Lord Ram, Sita, and Lakshman to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile. The people of Ayodhya lit the path with diyas to welcome them and hence Diwali is known as the festival of lights. The literal meaning of Diwali in Sanskrit is ‘rows of lighted lamps.’
This year Diwali is on 4 November.
In another story, Diwali is the day when Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura and freed the people of his kingdom. The people declared it a day of celebration and festivities.
Diwali is also considered to be the day when Goddess Lakshmi chose Lord Vishnu, one of the chief gods in the Hindu Trinity as her consort.
Most importantly, Diwali is synonymous with new beginnings. Many parts of India celebrate it as a new year. It is also a post-harvest festival.
Ways in which Diwali is celebrated
There are several different ways of celebrating Diwali at home. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi only comes in clean surroundings and visits the cleanest houses first to bless them with wealth and prosperity. Because of this, people thoroughly clean their houses, offices, or workplaces before Diwali. Many people sprinkle water from the holy River Ganga in all corners of the house to purify it. One of the most important aspects of Diwali is the pooja of Goddess Lakshmi.
Let’s take a look at a simple pooja that can be done at home on Diwali.
- The best time to do Diwali pooja is in the evenings. The muharat is usually between 6-8 pm but this differs every year. It is best to find out the muharat so that the pooja can be done during that time.
- Make an altar in the pooja room or the area that is designated for prayers in your house. Take a red cloth and put some rice on it. Place a kalash filled with water in the center of the rice. The kalash can be decorated with kumkum, mango leaves, water from River Ganga, etc. This depends on the traditions followed in each family. Put a plate on the kalash. It is said this is where Goddess Lakshmi shall sit.
- Place an idol of or picture of Lord Ganesh to the right of the kalash.
- In a prayer plate, take 6 small and 1 big diya filled with oil and wicks. Light the diyas just before the pooja.
- On another plate, take some coins, a pen, visiting cards of the working members of the household, books, and anything else you want Goddess Lakshmi to bless.
- Take some Kumkum and put a teeka on each of the gods and goddesses in your prayer room as well as on all family members.
- Start with the pooja of Lord Ganesh. This can include Ganesh mantras, Chalisa, and Aarti.
- Move onto the pooja for Goddess Lakshmi. There is a special chant for Diwali that you should do. Conclude the pooja with the Aarti for Goddess Lakshmi.
- Invoke the blessings of the Goddess and distribute the prasad.
There are several other additions to the pooja which can be done in accordance with the customs followed in every household. For instance, many people make rangoli with coloured powders at the entrance of their homes and in the pooja room. In many homes, the footprints of Goddess Lakshmi are made in red colour from the entrance of the house. It is said that this is symbolic of the Devi visiting the house, as much as inviting her into your home.
Diwali is traditionally a five-day pooja beginning with Dhanteras. This is followed by Choti Diwali, Diwali, Govardhan Pooja, and Bhai Dooj.
Written by Aarti Natarajan Sharma