Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated for four consecutive days - the thirteenth day as Dhanatrayodashi, the fourteenth day as Narak Chaturdashi and the new moon day or Amavasya as Lakshmi Pooja of the dark fortnight of Ashwin (Sep – Oct) and the first day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (Oct – Nov) as Balipratipada. Following article illustrates the celebrations on the third day of Diwali.
Lakshmi Pooja is celebrated on the New Moon day or Amavasya in the month of Ashwin (Sep – Oct). Although, Amavasya is generally considered inauspicious, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber (treasurer of wealth) are worshipped on this day for their boons of wealth in present and in future.
How To Worship Lakshmi?
- Have an early bath at the break of dawn and worship the God and Goddess of wealth
- Perform rites for the departed souls (parvanshraddha) and offer meals to Brahmins or priests
- In the evening, worship Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kuber on your decorated Pooja altar.
While worshiping Goddess Lakshmi, place an idol of the Mother on an octa-petalled lotus or a swastik is drawn with consecrated rice (akshataa). Next to her, place an idol of Lord Kuber on a Kalash (metal pot). Offer Naivedya (sacred food item) made up of coagulated cow’s milk (khava), sugar, cardamom and cloves to all the deities. Then offer coriander, jaggery, corn obtained from parched and unclean rice, sugar candies (battase), etc. are to Goddess Lakshmi and then distribute to everyone. Offer Tarpanam to ancestors and feed the Brahmins or priests.
Worshipping Lord Kubera
Lord Kubera is the banker of heaven and he instills the art of saving money. Businessmen worship him with more fervor and passion by offering coriander seeds and parched corn from parched and unclean rice. Coriander seeds denote wealth and parched corn indicates prosperity. If a few grains of parched, unclean rice are roasted one gets a handful of parched corn. Since one aspires to acquire wealth from Goddess Lakshmi, parched corn is offered symbolically.
Destroy Alakshmi or Poverty
As a symbolism to drive away poverty on this auspicious day, a new broom is bought. At midnight, house is swept with this new broom and garbage is collected and thrown out of the house.