The Word Diwali is derived from Sanskrit word Deepawali. This is a compund of two words Deepa and Avali. Deepa means light and Avali means row or line. Thus the literal meaning of the word is 'line of lights'.
Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of light, beauty, wealth and good fortune. She is said to be the daughter of sage Bhrigu who took refuge in the ocean of milk and was reborn during the famous ocean churning process carried out by Gods and demons. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Goddess of Wealth and hence Lakshmi Puja is a very important part of the celebrations.
The word "Lakshmi" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Laksya", meaning 'aim' or 'goal', and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. Also 'lakh' which means "one hundred thousand' as a monetary unit in India, is the first part of Lakshmi's name, symbolizing her blessings that pour forth abundantly. Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form "lakS," meaning to perceive or observe.
Goddess Laxmi is the ruler of eight kinds of wealth.
1) Ädi Lakshmi [Wealth a priori]
2) Dhänya Lakshmi [Granary Wealth]
3) Dhairya Lakshmi [Wealth of Courage]
4) Gaja Laksmi [Wealth of Animals]
5) Santaana Lakshmi [Wealth of Progeny]
6) Vijaya Lakshmi [Wealth of Victory]
7) Vidyaa Lakshmi [Wealth of Knowledge]
8) Dhana Lakshmi [Monetary Wealth]
Goddess Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu (Lord of Protection Maintenance & Preservation).As the power and consort of Vishnu, the preserver, she is the power of multiciplicity and the goddess of fortune, both of which are necessary for preservation.
There goes the saying that Goddess Laxmi travels on owl if she travels alone and if she travels with Lord Vishnu then she travels on Garuda. Now these two differenet situations signifies two different aspects of prosperity. When Goddess Laxmi travels alone on owl, then the people who acquire wealth gets intellectually blind and when she travels with Vishnu , then the person acquires wisdom along with wealth .Garuda which can spread the vedic knowledge with great courage.
Diwali the festival of light is the most important time to do wealth related sadhna because Goddess laxmi says whenever I am prayed on Diwali I manifest at such place and bestows the worshipper by fulfilling the desires.
Lakshmi Puja is actually a combined puja of five deities. Lord Ganesha is worshipped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth and Money), Mahasaraswati (the Goddess of Books and Learning), and Mahakali. Worshipping of Kuber (the Treasurer of the Gods) is also an integral part of Lakshmi Puja.
On the night of Diwali, the period after midnight is known as "mahanisha". Occult prayers done in this period are very effective. If one prays to Goddess Lakshmi during this period, he is provided with ample monetary earnings. This period is very significant for those who want monetary success in life as well as spiritual success.
Importance of Laxmi Pujan
A. Destruction of distressing energies On this particular day, Goddess Laxmi's destroyer (marak) form is active, since it is the new moon day. The spiritual emotion of the person doing ritualistic worship, activates Goddess Laxmi's marak form and destroys the distressing frequencies in the environment.
B. Arrival of other Gods (Devtas): Lord Indra and other male deities also get drawn to the place of ritualistic worship and follow Goddess Laxmi. Thus happiness, opulence, prosperity, stability and wealth is maintained in the premise (Vastu) by worshiping the 5 elements or Deities.
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Next post will be on Diwali muhurta and pooja method.