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Festival Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Diwali Celebrations

Diwali festival, the festival of lights

During the second part of the year, Indians celebrate a lot of important festivals with zeal and vigour. During this period, Navratra, Dusshera and Diwali are celebrated. Diwali is one of them, which holds a very auspicious place in Hindu festivals.

In most parts of India, Diwali is celebrated by performing worship of Goddess Lakshmi. This is a ritual performed on Diwali day (the third day) in order to seek divine blessings from the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, who helps those who strive to achieve wealth. It consists of an elaborate ritual using grains, leaves, coins, and idols to prepare a ceremony.

Laxmi and Ganesh

During this ritual, one can invoke the Goddess by reciting the Vedic mantras or by thinking of her being showered with gold coins with two elephants standing one each side of her as you chant her name. Offerings are made and at the end, the aarti is performed quietly and a peaceful atmosphere should accompany the entire ritual.

Cleaning and decoration

On this occasion, lot of preparations take place prior to Lakshmi pooja. Every household is cleaned, this indicates to get rid yourself of any unnecessary elements in your environment. To welcome the Goddess, rangolis are created on the entrance of houses, small feet depicting Goddess’s feet are also painted.

 

Rangoli Patterns

Easy rangoli pattern for Diwali

Deepak, earthen pots

Diwali is nothing in absence of earthen pots of Diyas or Deepaks. Legend is that people of Ayodhya have lit earthen pots when Shri Ram returned along with his wife Sita, after slaying Ravana.

Earthen pots or Deepak on Diwali

Wear new clothes and jewels on the second and third days. If you are a woman, try to obtain a sari, the traditional Indian dress for women. If you’re a woman, wear an Indian blouse(known as sari) and top. Men normally wear kurthas, the national clothes for Indian men.

 

The Tradition of Gambling

The tradition of gambling on Diwali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year. Diwali is associated with wealth and prosperity in many ways, and the festival of ‘Dhanteras’ (‘dhan’ = wealth; ‘teras’ = 13th) is celebrated two days before the festival of lights.

Lord Shiva and Parvati gambling on Diwali
Categories
Festival Indian Mythology

Dhanteras festival

The festival of Dhanteras

Dhanteras festival is believed to mark the beginning of good times and celebrated a day before Diwali, a major hindu festival. Dhanteras holds special significance for the businessmen due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day. Dhanteras indicates the beginning of Diwali celebrations. It is on this day on which people purchase precious metals with a belief that they will bring prosperity. Dhanteras is also known as Dhantryaodashi or Dhanwantri Triodasi.

Dhanteras festival

Dhanteras is observed differently by different communities. It is considered to be highly auspicious day to do new purchases and investment. Most people complete the Diwali shopping on the day. The first lamps of Diwali are lit on the day. People hang up paper lanterns with festoons and sends out the message of the arrival of Diwali.

Legend behind Dhanteras

An interesting story about this day is of the sixteen year old son of King Hima. As per the stars,  he was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that fateful day, his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband’s boudoir and lighted many lamps all over the place.

Yamraj

Then she went on telling stories and singing songs. When Yama, the god of death arrived there in the guise of a serpent, he got blinded by that dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the prince’s chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he went away without harming the boy.

The legend of Samudra Manthan

But as with almost any Hindu festival, there is more than one mythological tale behind it. Another version has it that when the gods and demons were churning the ocean in search of amrit, the elixir of life, Dhanvantari, the physician of all gods, emerged from the ocean with the amrit in his hands. That day became known as Dhanteras, and it marks the discovery of Ayurveda, the science of healing using natural ways. Explains Hemanand Joshi, another senior priest with Hanuman Mandir, “Dhanteras is the day of amrit sidhi yog. Also, an atte ka diya is placed outside the house for Yamraj pooja to avoid akaal mrityu (premature or untimely death)”.

Dhanvantri bhagwan

During Samudra manthan (churning of ocean), it is believed that Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras.

Dhanvantri Stotram

The legend of Vishnu and Laxmi

Once Goddess Lakshmi wanted to accompany Lord Vishnu to the earth during one of His visits. Lord Vishnu agreed to take Her with him provided She will not will not look in the southern direction and fall for earthly temptations. But Goddess Lakshmi looked in the southern direction and she saw yellow mustard flowers and started dancing in the fields and decorated herself with the flowers. She fell for earthly temptations.Further south she saw sugarcane fields and started enjoying the sugarcane juice.

Lord Vishnu soon found out that Goddess Lakshmi had violated the conditions and said that now you will need to spend 12 years as laborer in the field of the person to whom the sugarcane and flowers belonged.

With the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi as laborer the farmer became very prosperous. Twelve years passed and it was time for Goddess Lakshmi to return.

But the farmer was not ready to relieve a good laborer. So he offered Goddess Lakshmi more wages. But Goddess Lakshmi still wanted to leave; the farmer offered more things and this denial and offers continued.

Finally, Goddess Lakshmi asked the farmer and his family to take a pilgrimage to Ganga River and they will decide on her future stay there on his return. Goddess Lakshmi also gave four small shells to the farmer to offer to Goddess Ganga. When the farmer was offering the shells to River Ganga, four hands came up and accepted the offering. Goddess Ganga then revealed that the woman at the farmer’s home is Goddess Lakshmi.

The farmer returned home happily realizing that it was Goddess Lakshmi who was staying in his house. He requested her not to leave. Goddess Lakshmi said that she cannot live on earth permanently and has to return. But she said that she will visit him on all Dhanteras day. She asked the farmer to keep the house clean and light and earthern lamp.The farmer said as directed by Goddess Lakshmi and he became very prosperous and people who came to know about the incident started performing the same ritual on Dhanteras day