As we approach Diwali on Thursday 24th October, below we share the timings to perform the auspicious Lakshmi puja and also the reason why we do this special ritual on this day.
Diwali & Lakshmi Puja
Diwali, the festival of lights, which celebrates the ultimate triumph of light over dark, good over evil, is a five-day-long festival and the most important is celebrated as Lakshmi puja. On that day, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity and abundance, and the consort of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, is honored to welcome good luck and prosperity.
Lakshmi is honored on the third day of Diwali, that falls on Amavasya or the new moon, with sincerity and faith that she will watch over us, protect us and provide us with an abundance of wealth that goes beyond monetary value.
Diwali Lakshmi Puja Timings
The puja is done during a special time period to ensure the fortune and prosperity that is showered upon us stays permanently. This is calculated using a specific time during sunset called Pradosh, in conjunction with the exact Amavasya tithi (time period) and Taurus ascendant (the time when Taurus is rising in the sky).
Monday 24th October
New York – 07:03 PM to 08:42 PM
London – 06:34 PM to 08:11 PM
Germany – 06:36 PM to 08:12 PM
Chennai – 07:05 PM to 08:12 PM
Why is Goddess Lakshmi worshipped on Diwali?
According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, Lakshmi emerged from the water along with the nectar during the churning of the ocean or samudra manthan done by the Gods and the demons (signifying the churning of the mind between opposite values). She emerged along with Kuber, the God of wealth who is worshipped on Dhanteras, the first day of the Diwali festival. When you have Lakshmi, the right type of wealth, then life is filled with nectar.
During Lakshmi Puja we honor Lord Ganesha, who we honor at the beginning of every auspicious ritual or ceremony and Goddesses Lakshmi.
To welcome them into your home and in honour of their visit, it is important to make sure your house is clean and tidy.
Set up a special place with the pictures/idols and everything else you might need for the puja. It doesn’t matter how simple or elaborate, as long as the correct and honorable intention is there.
If you are unable to perform the puja, or if you do not have Ganesh and Lakshmi pictures/idols, it is perfectly fine to close your eyes during the Lakshmi Puja times and first chant the Ganesh mantra “Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah” and then the Lakshmi Mantra “Aum Shreem Mahalakshmaye Namah” 108 times each.
As we honor Goddess Lakshmi this Diwali, seek her blessings not just for material wealth but also for the wealth of peace, knowledge and moksha.
Let us honor the energy that is Mahalakshmi. ‘Maha’ implies great. Mahalakshmi denotes a great wealth, a wealth that includes the spiritual wealth that takes care of our well-being in all the three worlds (adibhautik, adidhaivik and adhyatmik).
Through turbulent times it is of great importance for us all to come together with the intention of sharing these blessings – not just for ourselves and our immediate community, but to wish for light for all beings on Earth.
How to perform a simple Lakshmi Puja
- Welcome Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi into your home by offering them a seat.
- Offer water to honor the Jala Tattva (water element)
- Light a lamp to honor the Agni Tattva (fire element)
- Create a sandalwood paste by mixing sandalwood in water and apply it on the forehead of the deities (if you have an idol or a photo) to honor the Prithvi Tattva (earth element)
- Offer incense sticks or dhoop to honor the Vayu Tattva (air element)
- Offer some flowers to honor the Akash Tattva (space element)
- Chant a simple Ganesha mantra – Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah 108 times
- Chant a simple Lakshmi mantra – Aum Shreem Mahalakshmaye Namah 108 times.
The 5 Days of Diwali
Day 1: Dhanteras - 22nd October
On Dhanteras – the first day of Diwali – People clean and prepare their homes, and there is a custom to buy gold, silver or something metallic such as kitchen utensils, which is believed to bring good fortune. This day is the birth anniversary of Lord Dhanvantari, the father of Ayurveda, so people pray for good health. Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Good Fortune) is honored.
Day 2: Narak Chaturdasi - 24th October
Narak Chaturdashi or Chhoti Diwali – the second day of Diwali – is celebrated in different ways in different regions. Generally people spend time at home and exchange sweets with friends or family. They may also decorate the floors of their home with rangolis, which are intricate patterns made from colored powder, flowers and rice. It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasur. He is also said to have saved thousands of girls who were held captive by the asura (demons).
Day 3: Lakshmi Puja - 24th October
This is the New Moon (Amavasya) Day and the main celebration day of Diwali, considered to be the most auspicious day. A special Puja (ritual) takes place for Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Good Fortune) to seek her blessings for wealth and prosperity, and prayers are recited to invoke the deity. Lord Kuber (God of Material Wealth) is also honored. Lamps or tea lights are lit around the entrances and balconies of the home. The family gets together, dresses up and gifts are exchanged. A feast is served, and there may be a celebration with fireworks.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja - 25th/26th October
On this day a specific Puja is done to commemorate the child form of Lord Krishna. It is said that Lord Krishna rescued the villagers of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra (God of Rain) by lifting the Govardhan Hill and providing them with shelter. Many food offerings are prepared for the Puja.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj - 26th October
The last day of Diwali celebrates the bond between siblings. Traditionally, brothers visit their sisters on this day, and their sisters honor them, put ‘tilak’ on their forehead and pray for their good health and long life. The brothers make a promise to protect their sisters, and offer them gifts.