For people in India, Diwali is one of the most awaited festivals. As the night of Diwali gets closer and closer, the happiness and joy that fills the air subsume everyone. Such is the excitement that young and old, children and adults, people of all ages start preparing for Diwali almost a month in advance. As much as the preparations are vital, equally important are certain customs that give Diwali its sacred appeal. One such important tradition is worshipping of Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesh on the night of Diwali.

What is the Story behind Customary Diwali Poojan?

As per mythology, once Goddess Lakshmi indulged in some self-praise. She claimed that his devotees can claim all the wealth, pleasure, and happiness in the world. Upon hearing this, Lord Vishnu, who happens to be her husband, reminded her that she can’t make such a claim when she is yet to enjoy motherhood, the greatest of all treasures. Naturally, Goddess Lakshmi was very saddened and decided to visit Goddess Parvathi to adopt any one of her two sons’ i.e., Lord Ganesh or Lord Karthikeya.

Goddess Parvathi, well-aware of the amount of trouble her two children were capable of creating, initially refused Goddess Lakshmi’s request. But upon Goddess Lakshmi’s persistence Goddess Parvati gave in. But there was one condition in the agreement. It was agreed that prosperity and wealth will be showered upon only those who worship the mother and son together on the day of Diwali. And hence the customary Diwali Pooja or Lakshmi-Ganesh Pooja.

Are There Any Special Preparations for Diwali Pooja?

Diwali, the festival of lights, falls on the 15th day of Kartika, the most auspicious and holiest month in the Hindu Lunar calendar. Naturally, there are many customs and traditions associated with Diwali preparations. Here’s a list of things that you must follow:

1. Home Purification: Clean every corner of the house before Diwali. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits only those places which are nicely decorated and clutter-free.

2. Set up a Pooja Platform: Create a platform for performing Pooja. You can use a stool or table and cover it with a red cloth.

3. Place a Kalash at The Center: Take a handful of grain and put it at the center of the platform. Now place a Kalash filled with water and betelnut on top of it. Also, place 5 mango leaves around the Kalash in a circular arrangement.

4. Place the Idols: Place the idols facing the Kalash and remember to keep the idol of Lord Ganesha on the right side of the Kalash.

5. Prepare the Puja Samagri: You can buy the Puja Samagri online or from your nearest general store. Arrange all the ingredients on a plate/ thali. Put some coins too, and place the thali in front of the idols.

Once everything is ready and the time is auspicious to begin the Pooja, you can start by first applying tilak to the idols and Kalash. Next, you should light the Diya and offer flowers, fruits, and sweets to the idols. Finally, you should recite the Diwali puja mantra and the Lakshmi Aarti to please Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh. Once you are done reciting the mantras, offer sweets and flowers to the idols and complete the Poojan ceremony by seeking blessings of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi, as well as of your elders.

What is The Present-Day Significance of Diwali Pooja?

The importance of Diwali Pooja is greater than ever in today’s world, where negativity and dissatisfaction rule supreme. Lord Ganesh represents wisdom, and Lord Lakshmi represents prosperity and wealth. In the story, Goddess Lakshmi is guilty of self-appreciation, which indicates a lack of wisdom. Hence, the story tells us that wisdom is essential to make the best use of wealth and prosperity.

There is no denying that wealth is essential to lead a comfortable life, but wisdom gives our life purpose and meaning. It is only with true purpose and meaning we can unlock limitless happiness and contentment, the two most invaluable gifts for leading a truly prosperous life. Diwali is the time when everyone must declutter their minds of all negativity and embrace wisdom for prosperity.

There’s also an age-old tale associated behind celebrating Diwali if you wish to know that, then here’s a little video by Pt. Pawan Kaushik, the best astrologer in Delhi NCR, where he shares the Diwali tale and what should we avoid doing on this auspicious day.