DIWALI /DEEPAWALI /DEEPAVAU
Deepavali or Diwali is the day
(or night) of Goddess Lakshmi's special worship. Although the Goddess is said to grant prosperity and riches, yet if we observe the pre-requisites
of her worship, we realise that she is also the Goddess of cleanliness. No other deity's worship requires such a massive cleaning of the entire
house not only of the special chamber of worship. People clean their houses around Deewali with special enthusiasm to welcome Lakshmi, they remove
the dirt, old clothes, torn garments, etc. They have their house whitewashed and freshly painted. Getting new clothes, new shoes, etc. is an age
DIWALI DATE IN 2019
- Friday 25th October, 2019
Roop Chaturdashi - Saturday, 26th October, 2019
Diwali - Sunday, 27th October, 2019
Govardhan Puja - Monday, 28th October, 2019
Bhai Duj - Tuesday , 29th October 2019
India, being a tropical country, has a long spell of rains. When this season is over, the rains stop but humidity remains. This humidity seeps down the walls of the houses, causing the
walls to sweat which also become the breeding ground for a variety of insects and mosquitoes. Owing to stale air and very well pronounced humidity, these germs cause an outbreak of a
variety of illnesses and viral fevers. This season, called 'Sharad' in Sanskrit is the most difficult period to survive. Hence the popular maxim "Jeeven Sharadah Shatam" or let us
live for hundred 'Sharad' seasons. The inherent assertion is that if one survives through 'Sharad', One is sure to live for the rest of the year. The reckoning point is Sharad and no
other seasons like 'Shishir' or 'Vasant'.
Owing to the great natural disturbance caused by the rains, the next season gets full of germs and viruses. So one has to live very
cautiously through this season. Having only one principal meal during the first fortnight after the rains or during the 'Shraddha Paksha' and having virtually no solid food during
the coming nine days or during the 'Navratras' are some of the measures one has to adopt to survive through this difficult period. Besides taking these health-oriented measures, one
has to get the surroundings also cleansed of the dirt, dust and germs. So around Deewali, people not only clean their houses but also have their houses whitewashed to remove the
inherent humidity that seeps down the 'marrow' of the walls. The solution that is used to whitewash the houses has ample dose of lime— the natural dehumidifying agent.
of lime ensures the absorption of all the residual humidity inside the houses and thus the breeding ground for the germs and insects is also removed. Hence the prevalent custom of
whitewashing the houses before Deewali.
The celebration of the Deewali Day starts from early morning. People get up early in the morning, tidy up their houses which have already been white-washed, decorate the arches with
festoons and other means, take their bath and then go to the market to buy the earthen lamps, cotton wicks, oil, etc. In the evening, they place the earthen lamps filled with oil and
fixed with the cotton wicks. They have special meals prepared on this occasion. Gifting sweet packets and other items are also part of the Deewali custom. Having done all these
preparations they eagerly wait for the auspicious hour which is determined by astrological calculations.
The worship of Lakshmi starts with cleaning the place or the temple with pious Gangajal and the sacred cowdung. Then on the high pedestal, a joint image of Lakshmi and Ganesh is
installed. Some people have these images made of mud and colours while the elite class get these images specially carved in gold or silver.
List of Item required for
Lakshmi worship in Diwali:
1 . Two stems of the banana tree,
2. A bunch of the mango leaves (minimum five),
3. The golden (or mud) image of the Goddess Lakshmi & Ganesha,
4. A well cleaned metal pitcher, also called Kalash
5. A piece of the sacred thread or the yagyopaveeta, also called Maouli
6. Five gems (depending upon the financial capability of the worshipper),
7. A piece of red silken garment,
8. Grains of rice,
9. A piece of camphor,
11. A garland of flowers,
12. Five leaves of the basil (Tulsi) plant,
13. A piece of wood apple,
14. A betel leaf,
15. The freshly produced and
16. Partially roasted rice grains (called 'kheelen'),
17. Peculiar sweet-objects known as Khilonas ,
18. Panchamrita (made by mixing curds, milk, ghee, honey, sugar and a few leaves of the basil plants),
21. Holy red string,
23. A wooden pedestal,
24. A coconut
HOW SHOULD WE PERFORM DIWALI PUJA
- Deepawali puja process
Step 1 - Having cleaned the place, instal the joint image of Lakshmi and Ganesh on it.
Step 2 - Place the metal pitchar(kalash), covering it with the mango leaves and placing the coconut on the cover of
Step 3 - The pitcher should be kept alongside the banana stem covered with the piece of red garment.
Step 4 - All these things should be kept before the Goddess including the edibles and Panchamrita.
The process of worship differs from place to place and region to region. But here we are giving the one most prevalent in north India.
Step 5 - In the Prasadam of the Goddess, the 'Kheelen' and Khilona or Batasha have especial significance as these represent the agriculture produce.
Step 6 -
Many people start worship with lighting an earthen lamp filled with ghee.
Step 7 - Then the deities' foreheads are marked with the holy vermilion powder (or Roli) and the rice grain.
regions, they mark the forehead with a gold coin or the gold ornament.
After marking the deities with the holy powder, the ghee filled burning lamp is moved around the deities with the
accompaniment of the
Step 8 -
Goddess's Aarti preceded by Ganesh Vandana.
Step 9 - Then they partake of the prasadam in the form of Kheelen, fruits, Panchamrita etc.
Step 10 -
As soon as the worship is over, the
priest or the head of the family marks the forehead of the family members with the holy mark.
It is customary to light lamps placed in readiness over the sills and the boundary walls
of the house. When all the earthen lamps have been lighted the younger ones start bursting the crackers and the elders go to greet their friends and relatives.
In some communities,
calling on their bereaved relatives and sending sweets, etc. is the ritual reserved for the Diwali day.
The idea is to cheer up those sorrowing persons and make them eat the sweets
etc., as they themselves would not prepare owing to the bereavement in their family. The ghee-filled lamp is kept on burning for the entire night and the soot collected in the
lamp is applied as collyrium in the eyes the following morning.
It is essential to place a candle or an earthen lamp near the exhaust- points in the house. The folk-belief says
that all the inlets of the house should be kept properly lighted for the entry of Goddess of Prosperity into house.
In some families, gambling is part of the Deewali celebrations. They believe that through gambling they test their financial luck for the rest of the year. Victory in these gambling
sessions is heralded as the sure sign of the imminent prosperity.
Besides Deewali, in some regions a festival called 'Kojagara' is also celebrated to propitiate the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi. This festival is observed on the night of full moon
in the month of Ashwina . 'Kojagara' literally means the night of awakening. It is also a festival of Goddess Lakshmi, who descends on the earth on this auspicious night to bless all
with health and prosperity—specially those who remain awake the entire night. This is one of the most popular festivals of the Central India—especially the Bundelkhand region. In order
to remain awake the people pass this entire night singing and dancing, chanting hymns and orisons to draw the Goddess's attention.
DIWALI is also a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout the country in one form or the other. Lakshmi is worshipped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk tale, a king, on
his queen's advice worship the Goddess on this night when he had fallen on the evil days and by the Goddess' grace he recovered his lost kingdom. This festival's celebration involves
no ritual worship but confined to invoking the Goddess by singing hymns and devotional songs.
Why is Diwali Celebrated
Diwali, Puja items required and Puja Procedure
Dhanteras, Dhanvantri Puja
Remedies to be done on Diwali for wealth and Prosperity
RUDRAKSHA FOR GODDESS LAKSHMI