The Legends behind Diwali
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most-awaited festivals in India. Several legends talk about the origin of the Diwali festival.
Diwali, or Deepavali as it is also called, marks the victory of good over evil. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, along with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana. The people of Ayodhya were so happy to hear of his return that they lit diyas all along his route to welcome him back. Supposedly, it was a no-moon night, but the darkness was dispelled by Ayodhya's lighted earthen lamps, which brightened even the sky with their glow.
While Diwali is associated with Lord Rama, it is a fact that Poojas for Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are performed in the evening. An interesting story lies behind this.
Once, there was a poor Brahmin. On seeing his plight, a priest advised him to worship Lakshmi for gaining wealth. We live during the era called Kaliyuga, when Rajo Guna is seen to be more dominant, making people pursue wealth and prosperity more than other things. So it is not surprising that people worship the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
Another legend that says Diwali occurs during the quarter of the year when Lakshmi’s consort, Lord Vishnu, sleeps. He sleeps from the 11th lunar day of Ashadh (i.e. Shayani Ekadashi) to the 11th lunar day of Kartik (i.e. Prabodhini Ekadashi).
Diwali also marks the death of many Asuras or demons like Narakasura, who met his end at the hands of Lord Krishna. Lord Rama had killed Ravana before returning to Ayodhya, and Vamana had defeated Bali. When good triumphs over evil, it brings prosperity, so Lakshmi is worshipped.
Why is Ganesha also worshipped with Lakshmi for Diwali?
On the occasion of Diwali, Lord Ganesha is also worshipped along with Lakshmi. A Hindu myth says that Lakshmi had adopted Ganesha from Parvati (his mother) because the former had no children. Due to her love for Ganesha, Lakshmi said that all her prosperity, luxury, and accomplishments belonged to Ganesha, too. She also declared that if anyone in Trilok or the three worlds did not worship Ganesha with her, they would never be blessed with prosperity in their life.
Another explanation for worshipping both deities is that Ganesha is a very righteous God. Wealth without prosperity means nothing. To use money properly, one needs wisdom. And, without intelligence, material gains will not be permanent. For this reason, Ganesha is worshipped as he helps maintain the balance.
Tips to Attract Goddess Lakshmi into Your Home
Diwali is the festival that brings the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. She is the goddess of wealth and good fortune. So, Hindus want her to dwell in their house in the form of money. Diwali is the best time to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into our homes and please her so that she will stay in our house for a long time. This will help us attract more wealth and luck.
Here are some useful tips to please Goddess Lakshmi and attract her into your home on the occasion of Diwali.
1. Offer rice kheer to Lakshmi along with the other sweets that you offer during the Diwali Pooja, as it is very auspicious.
2. Buy new vessels or utensils for your home. You need not buy many, even one new utensil will be enough.
3. Chant the Mantra, “Shree”, 108 times. This is the strongest of all the Lakshmi mantras.
4. Offer lotus flowers to the Goddess as she loves them.
5. Make 5 diyas using ghee and light them in front of Lakshmi’s image.
6. Gift something that is green in color to your maids or employees on the day of Diwali.
7. Keep silver idols of Lakshmi and Ganesha for the Pooja, as it is very beneficial. They must be worshipped every day.
8. Buy a silver item, as silver is really auspicious on this day. Keep it near Lakshmi’s idol during the Pooja.
9. Goddess Lakshmi is very particular about cleanliness. So keep your house very clean and tidy. There should be no mess around her idol. Make a beautiful rangoli using bright colors. Decorate the house with some pretty diyas.
10. Do not wear black clothes during the Lakshmi pooja. Bright colors including red, orange, yellow, and white are the Goddess’s favorites.
11. Goddess Lakshmi prefers peaceful and harmonious environments. So there should be peace and serenity in your home. Fights or arguments must be strictly avoided during this time.
12. Perform the Diwali Rituals with the whole family in a peaceful manner. Don’t clap or chant loudly when the Pooja is taking place, as it displeases the Goddess.
Diwali is the time to spread lots of love and happiness among your family and friends. Keep this in mind when you celebrate the enchanting