“Be the beacon of LIGHT in someone’s darkness”
Why is Lakshmi Puja held on the first day of Deepavali ?
The first day Of Deepavali, among the five days of celebration of the Festival of Lights, always starts with a prayer to the Goddess of Wealth in Hinduism, Shri Lakshmi by lighting a lamp/Lakshmi vilakku. Deepavali, the Festival of Lights is all about the triumph of LIGHT over darkness.
What does Lakshmi mean ?
Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from the root word lakṣ (लक्ष्) and lakṣa (लक्ष), meaning to perceive, observe, know, understand , goal, aim, objective respectively. These roots give Lakshmi the symbolism
Who is Lakshmi?
“Beautiful goddess seated on a chariot,
Delighted by songs on lustful elephants,
Bedecked with lotuses, pearls and gems,
Lustrous as fire, radiant as gold,
Resplendent as the sun, calm as the moon,
Mistress of cows and horses —
Take away poverty and misfortune
Bring joy, riches, harvest and children.”
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness. According to Hinduism, she holds the promise of material fulfillment and contentment.
How is Lakshmi portrayed in the scriptures?
Draped in a red saree woven with silk, bedecked with gold ornaments, seated on a lotus, pot in hand, flanked by white elephants, the image of Lakshmi adorns most Hindu homes and business establishments.
She is described as restless, whimsical yet maternal, with her arms raised for blessing and granting wishes.
Did you know ?
Listed below are some less known facts about Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth.What better day to share than today , the first day of Deepavali, when we worship her at sunset with a Lakshmi Puja, also known as “Dhanteras” in the Northern parts of India.
Lakshmi Vilakku or Gajalakshmi Villaku (Gaja means elephant in Sanskrit) as it is popularly known in South India is an auspicious lamp passed among generations with blessings of prosperity oof every kind. On the first day of Deepavali, when the Lakshmi Puja is done, the common belief is that it is auspicious to light the lamp & keep it lit through the night, chasing all the darkness/evil away from our lives bringing in only light and prosperity.
The word Dhanteras is made of two words – Dhan which means wealth, and Teras which means 13th day. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honor of Lakshmi ,The goddess of wealth and Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda in Hinduism
Symbolism and meaning
Did you know these facts about Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth? Why is she always associated with ….
- Red saree & jewels : “Lustrous as fire, radiant as gold” Often depicted in a red saree & jewelry both symbolic of wealth.
- Four arms : Her four arms are symbolic of the four goals of humanity that are considered good in Hinduism – dharma (pursuit of ethical, moral life), artha (pursuit of wealth, means of life), kama (pursuit of love, emotional fulfillment) and moksha (pursuit of self-knowledge, liberation).In some representations, wealth either symbolically pours out from one of her hands or she simply holds a jar of money. This symbolism has a dual meaning: wealth manifested through Lakshmi means both materials as well as spiritual wealth.
- Elephants : She is often seen flanked by white elephants in pictures & paintings of her.Elephants symbolize work, activity and strength, as well as water, rain and fertility for abundant prosperity.
- Owl : The bird associated with her is the barn owl.Her vehicle the barn owl represents the importance of economic activity in maintaining life, the ability to move, work and prevail in confusing darkness.
- Her fickle nature : The association with many gods has led to Lakshmi being viewed as fickle, restless and independent.Philosophers choose to view the fickleness and independence of Lakshmi as an allegory for the restlessness of fortune. More often than not, there are no rational explanations for fortune and misfortune. Good times come without warning and leave as suddenly.
- “Shri” : She is often addressed as Shri in scriptures.”Shri” is the sacred sound of cosmic auspiciousness and abundance since Vedic times.The word evokes amongst other things: grace, affluence, abundance, auspiciousness, authority.
HAPPY DEEPAVALI !
May her grace bless our homes & hearts, on this first day of Deepavali & all through our lives !
Sharing some links to my published blogposts on Deepavali celebrations for your interest :