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Goddess Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of wealth, good fortune, prosperity, fertility, and auspiciousness. She is the divine consort of Lord Vishnu. It is said that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean during the Churning of Ocean (Samudra Manthan) and then selected Lord Vishnu as her husband. Goddess Mahalaxmi accompanied Lord Vishnu during many of his incarnations on earth as Sita and Radha to accompany Lord Vishnu during his incarnations as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, respectively.
Puja is held in honor of Goddess Lakshmi to bring wealth and prosperity to the family in the future. All the members of the family dress up in newly –bought traditional clothes. As per Hindu mythology since it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi will visit the cleanest house first, the houses are cleaned vigorously on this auspicious day. The puja requires the five deities to be worshipped which are:
The women of the household are seen as an embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi herself. Small lamps known as ‘diyas’ are lit and placed at different places in and around the house to attract the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Lakshmi. After all the rituals of the puja are performed, people go outside their houses and burst firecrackers. As per mythology, this signifies a way of chasing away malicious spirits.
Importance of Vrat:
Fasting of Mahalakshmi ends poverty. The house of devotees becomes full of wealth. Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, she can be pleased by fasting for 16 days or 3 days by law and resolves all the problems of her devotees. Lord Vishnu is also pleased by worshiping her as she is his ardhangini. This also keeps the blessings of Lord Shrihari on the devotees.
The fast of Mahalakshmi is 16 days. If any person cannot fast for 16 days due to any reason, then by fasting on 3 important dates, he or she can get the full benefit of Mahalakshmi fast. The first day of the Mahalakshmi fast, the eighth day and the last sixteenth day for fasting for three days of fasting.
Before starting the Lakshmi Puja, clean your home thoroughly and decorate it. On the day of Lakshmi puja, take a bath, sprinkle Ganga Jal throughout your home and on the members of the household as a mark of a purification ritual.
Place a table and spread a cloth red cloth over it. Place some grains in the center and draw a lotus in the center of the Grains with turmeric powder. Place an image of Laxmi, Ganesh and on the grains spread on the pedestal.
Fill a silver or copper pot with three-fourths of water. Place some coins, betel nut, raisins, clove, dry fruits, and cardamom inside the pot. Place a bunch of mango leaves on the pot arranging the leaves in the circular motion. Place coconut on the pot to finish the setup. Place the Kalash on the pedestal along with the idols and decorate it with sindhoor and flowers.
Give a holy bath to the idols of Lakshmi and Ganesh with pure water, panchamrit (fruit salad in honey), sandal water, rose water and pure water to complete the cycle. Decorate the idols with turmeric powder, sandal paste and sindhoor. Decorate the idols with flowers and garlands.
Light the lamp and incense sticks. Start the puja with Lord Ganesh worship. Then worship Goddess Lakshmi. Chant the mantra for both the deities and place the offerings in front of the deities. Some of the offerings of Lakshmi puja include batasha, sweets, betel leaves and nuts, dry fruits, coconut, sweets, dishes made in the home kitchen, some coins and others. Offer flowers in front of the idols accompanied by the chanting of mantras.
Listening to the story of Lakshmi is an important part of the Lakshmi puja. Let an elderly member or an interested volunteer to read the story of Lakshmi. Others must listen to the story in rapt attention and devotion. At the end of the story session, let all members offer flowers at the feet of the deities. The storyteller will get a gift of a silver coin, sweets, and some presents.
Sing the Aarti song of Goddess Lakshmi and wave the camphor light in front of the idols and Kalash. Say the prayers for the prosperity and welfare of the home and pray for the world too. Walk all the way around the altar and prostrate in front of the deities. Distribute the Puja Prasad among the attendees. You can then enjoy a special meal with your family and guests by starting with the sweets obtained as Prasad.