Lakshmi Poojan

Lakshmi Poojan

 

For majority of the people, Lakshmi Poojan is the most important day of Diwali. It falls on Ashwin Amavasya. Even though it is a dark night of no-moon day,the atmosphere is illuminated with lights and fire-crackers. As soon as the sun-sets every window is lit up with lanterns and clay lamps. The sound of the fire-crackers make you go deaf, well… almost deaf!

This day is celebrated to honor Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the wife and the active energy of Vishnu, who is regarded as one of the creators of the universe. According to the legends, Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The interesting fact is that Lakshmi has four hands which represent the four important goals of human life as per the Hindu way of life- Dharma, Karma, Artha and Moksha. Lakshmi not just means material wealth but also spiritual wealth. In Lakshmi’s iconography,she is typically carrying a lotus in one or two hands. Since lotus is a flower that blossoms in clean as well as dirty water, it symbolizes purity and beauty regardless of the good or bad circumstances in which its grows. It is a reminder that good and prosperity can bloom and not be affected by evil in one’s surrounding. Her face and open hands are in a mudra that signify giving or daana (charity). Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from the root words lakṣ meaning to perceive and laksa meaning goal.

Legend says that Lakshmi sprung with other precious things from the foam of the ocean of milk when it was churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of the Amṛit (elixir).

She is said to visit her devotees on the day of Lakshmi Pooojan. Hence,people celebrate this day with full enthusiasm. Lakshmi Pooja consists of a combined Pooja of five deities. Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighneshvara and goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms – Mahalakshmi the goddess of wealth and money, Mahasaraswati the goddess of books and knowledge, and Mahakali. Kubera the treasurer of the gods is also worshiped on this day.

 

The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed over the top of the Kalasha, and a few coins are placed around it. Ink and account books of the worshipper’s business are kept on the platform. A lamp is lit and the Pooja starts by offering turmeric, kumkuma, and flowers to the Goddess Lakshmi. Traders and businessmen perform this Pooja with full enthusiasm. Sweets are distributed after the Pooja and people spend the evening bursting firecrackers.

Lakshmi Pooja is celebrated as a part of Tihar, second national festival of Nepal after Dashain. Nepal celebrates Lakshmi Pooja for five days. The people of Nepal buy gold and silver, precious gemstones, new utensils as a sign of good luck and prosperity.

 

It is almost impossible to walk or drive through the streets during Lakshmi Poojan as people burst fire-crackers in every nook and corner of the city. But the atmosphere during Lakshmi Poojan is definitely very beautiful.

 

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