Marathi Culture and Festivals

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Laxmi pujan

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Thursday November 4, 2021 All Day

Lakshmi-pujan is celebrated on the Diwali evening. Believing that Goddess Lakshmi visits every house in the evening, people perform ‘Lakshmi Puja’. This is essentially a worship of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh, money, jewelry and the broom.

Simple steps to perform Laxmi pujan:

First of all find a place facing east west, so the puja performer is facing the east. Get a chaurang, or if you do not have one then you can also use a coffee table or if you are using a kitchen counter then just spread a square shaped red cloth on it.

Now take a kalash and tamhan. Fill the kalash with water, put a quarter in it. Now take haldi and kum kum in separate bowls and add a little water to make a paste, now dip your one finger in haldi and another finger in kum kum and draw 5 Pair vertical lines on the kalash.

Now take about ½ cup rice grains and spared them on the tamhan. Now draw a swastika with kum kum. If fresh mango leaves available then take five leaves and put them in the center of the kalsha so the stems are inside and leaves are sticking out. Now put the tamhan on the kalash.

Place a small laxmi picture on the tamhan. Put one suparee/ beetle nut in front of the photo and put some gold coin or any ornament in front of the photo. Decorate laxmi picture with garland and some lights. Light samai and niranjan . Put scented sticks [ udbatti] on the side of the kalash also put shankh and ghanta on the chaurang or square area. Get some flowers and har and Prasad to offer.

Start the puja with ganesh puja: offer chandan, haldi -kum kum and akshata to suparee and chant any ganesh mantra, offer flower.

Now same way offer all of the above to laxmi photo

Now offer the naivedya [Prasad] and sing arti: you can at least sing two arits, first ganapati arti and then laxmi arti.

These are just basic guidelines , you can follow a puja- book or any other instructions you can find or you can also call a gurujee/ priest to help perform.

This is the most important day during Diwali, so people decorate the whole house with diyas , rangoli , there is a tradition to offer haldi-kumkum to married women after laxmi puja.

The essence of Diwali:

While Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning behind it is "the awareness of the inner light". Central to Hindu philosophy (primarily the Yoga , Vedanta and Samkhya schools of Hindu philosophy is the belief that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. The celebration of Diwali as the "victory of good over evil” refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With this awakening come compassion and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings anand (joy or peace). Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light.

While the story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light Atman or the underlying Reality of all things Bramha.

The Legends

Goddess Lakshmi : The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi was incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.

Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi: On this very day, Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.

Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.

The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic 'Mahabharata', it was 'Kartik Amavashya' when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.

The Victory of Rama: According to the epic 'Ramayana', it was the new moon day of Kartik when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.

Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coronated on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well

As per spiritual references, on this day "Lakshmi-panchayatan" enters the Universe. Vishnu, Indra, Kubera, Gajendra and Lakshmi are elements of this "panchayatan" (a group of five). The tasks of these elements are:

• Lakshmi: Divine Energy (Shakti) which provides energy to all the above activities.

• Vishnu: Happiness (happiness and satisfaction)

• Kubera: Wealth (generosity; one who shares wealth)

• Indra: Opulence (satisfaction due to wealth)

• Gajendra: Carries the wealth

• Saraswati: Knowledge

दिवाळी सण साजरा करण्याची पद्धत

लक्ष्मीपूजन करतांना एका चौरंगावर अक्षतांचे अष्टदल कमल किंवा स्वस्तिक काढून त्यावर लक्ष्मीच्या मूर्तीची स्थापना करतात. काही ठिकाणी कलशावर ताम्हण ठेवून त्यावर लक्ष्मीच्या मूर्तीची स्थापना करतात.

. धने, गूळ, साळीच्या लाह्या, बत्तासे इत्यादी पदार्थ लक्ष्मीला वाहून नंतर ते आप्तेष्टांना वाटतात. मग हातातील चुडीने पितृमार्गदर्शन करतात. ब्राह्मणांना आणि अन्य क्षुधापीडितांना भोजन घालतात. रात्री जागरण करतात. आश्विन अमावास्येच्या रात्री लक्ष्मी सर्वत्र संचार करते आणि आपल्या निवासासाठी योग्य असे स्थान शोधू लागते. जेथे चारित्र्यवान, कर्तव्यदक्ष, संयमी, धर्मानिष्ठ, देवभक्त आणि क्षमाशील पुरुष आणि गुणवती आणि पतीव्रता स्त्रिया असतात, त्या घरी वास्तव्य करणे लक्ष्मीला आवडते.

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