So, I recently received an email from Blog Adda to write a piece on a memorable gift I gave or received on Diwali and thought it would be a great idea to write about it. Although, I provided a good description of what Diwali is and some photos of how I celebrated it; I didn’t talk t0o much about the actual gift of Diwali.
Because Diwali marks a new beginning for many Hindus and Indians, gifts are exchanged between friends and family. Generally, on Diwali everyone would wear new clothes and celebrate as if it was the beginning of a new year. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to wear something new. My mom was out of the country, visiting back home and normally, it’s her who gives all us kids the new clothes and gifts. However, I did celebrate Diwali this year on my own. I did all the rituals that my mother would generally do.
First, I cleaned my home and prepared a feast for my family and friends. I then went to my father’s restaurant and prayed there and lit a diya to bring prosperity into his business. I returned home and lit diyas with Dev. We probably lit around 20-30 diyas. While he was preparing the diyas, I prepared my Puja ki Thali (prayer tray). We then prepared all of the items for our Laxshmi Puja. Once all the diyas were lit, Dev and I took my prayer thali and offered Goddess Laxshmi our prayers. Below are the details of performing the Laxshmi Puja and the items required to do so.
However, before I tell you how to do that, I must say, that although, Dev and I did not exchange gifts between each other, celebrating Diwali together and being able to share such an important puja with someone was a gift in itself. Dev mentioned to me that night that he has not celebrated Diwali the way we did for many years as he’s been away from his family for so long. For me because my family is just down the street from me, I get to celebrate all events properly. My mom is very religious and has always included all of children in each traditional and religious celebration so that when we become parents and have families of our own, we can celebrate with them. However, I have not participated in much family celebrations over the past few years. So, for Dev’s sake and my own, this Diwali was definitely a memorable gift for the two of us. It’s a memory that I don’t think either of us will forget. It was a perfect Diwali and celebration. My house turned into a home, lit up like the stars in the sky, filled with love and hope for a prosperous year ahead and new beginning. That, is a gift in itself.
How to perform Laxshmi Puja:
- Clean your prayer room
- Wash the Deity (Goddess Laxshmi and Lord Ganesha) with water and then a little bit of rose water and then Ganga jal if available
- Make Panchamitra (5 ingredient offering): milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey
- Place 5 pieces of Mithai (Indian sweets) in the thali
- Offer flowers, sindoor (red color powder), namakpare (salty snack), dakshina (money), 5 paan leafs (betel leaf) and 5 cloves
- Light 5 diyas
- Place all items into thali and then say a prayer
I don’t really know how to say the Laxshmi prayer/mantra so normally in my mind I say the Gayatri mantra. But here’s the Laxshmi mantra on Youtube.