Monday, 4 July 2011

Maha Lakshmi

How to observe Margashirsha Laxmi Puja? – Fasting on Margashirsh Lakshmi Puja

Margashirsha Lakshmi Puja is observed on Thursdays in the month of Margashirsh (November – December). This puja is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, the Hindu Goddess of fortune and prosperity. Fasting from sunrise to sunset Thursday in the month is considered highly meritorious. Here is a simple explanation on how to observe Margashirsha Laxmi Puja.

The Lakshmi puja and fasting (Vrat) is performed by both men and women. Married couples perform it together.

The most important aspect on the day is cleanliness. Home and premises should be kept neat and clean.

The fast begins after morning bath. Prayers are offered to Ganesha and Lakshmi in the morning hours after bath.

Fasting is from Sunrise to sunset.

People eat fruits, banana and milk while observing the fast on the day.

Those observing the Margashirsh Lakshmi puja invite seven married and seven young girls on the first day of the puja offer them fruits, haldi kumkum and a book containing the Mahalakshmi Vrat Katha.

Mahalakshmi puja is observed in the evening on the day. Devotees read the Mahalakshmi Vrat Katha and Mahalakshmi Mahatmya.

Sri Mahalakshmi Aarti and Mahalakshmi Naman Ashtak are chanted on the day.

In the evening, after Lakshmi puja vegetarian food is eaten usually the Prasad offered to Goddess Lakshmi.

Ekakshi Nariyal – Rare Coconut with only Two Eyes on Top

Ekakshi Nariyal is a unique coconut with only two dots or two eyes atop instead of the three dots. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi and Hindu God Vishnu reside in Ekakshi Nariyal. Such coconut is very rare to find and if found and kept at home is believed to usher in prosperity and peace.

Usually, coconut has three eyes – three black dots on top of it. But sometimes coconuts have only two eyes. These coconuts are small in size and are known as Ekakshi Nariyal in Hindu tradition. They are wrapped in a red cloth and kept in the puja room or the space used to worship. They are also offered pujas daily along with deities installed at home.

Some astrologers are of the view that presence Ekakshi Nariyal will help in increase of wealth.

Margashirsha Laxmi Puja 2010

Margashirsha Laxmi Puja is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and is observed on Thursdays during Margashirsha Month (November – December) in Maharashtra and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In 2010, the Margashirsha Laxmi Puja begins on December 9, Thursday. This Laxmi puja is performed to get Sukh, Shanti and Aishwarya – comfort, peace and prosperity.

The Mahalaxmi Puja is observed for four Thursdays of the Margashirsha month. Some people observe it for eight Thursdays (including the Thursdays in the next month – the Poush month).

Margashirsha Laxmi Puja fast is from sunrise to sunset.

Symbolism in Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha Together

Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped together in all important pujas. One of the popular images of Goddess Lakshmi is that of Ganesha along her side. Some of these images also include Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning. There is a symbolism associated in worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha together.

Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity and wealth. But when one is blessed with prosperity and wealth one needs a sound judgment and discernment to enjoy the prosperity and this is provided by Sri Ganesha. Ancient saints term this as ‘viveka’ – without viveka the blessing of Goddess Lakshmi will go in vain. And to keep us composed and calm we take the blessings of Ganesha.

It must be also noted that during Durga Puja – Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha are considered as the children of Goddess Durga.

Goddess Lakshmi and elephants – Symbolism of white elephants along with Mahalakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is often depicted with two white elephants pouring water. This form of Goddess Lakshmi is known as Gajalakshmi. In some images four elephants are shown pouring water on Goddess Mahalakshmi. The four elephants are symbols of Kama (desire), Dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), Moksha (enlightenment). Goddess Lakshmi blesses the individual who finds the right balance of Dharma, desire, wealth and moksha.

As Gaja Lakshmi is also the Goddess of elephants – symbol of fertility.

Another symbolism suggests that the water showered by the white elephants symbolism rain without which prosperity and wealth has no value.

Another legend has it that two elephants welcomed Goddess Lakshmi by performing jal abhisheka (pouring water) when she was churned out of ocean during Samudra Manthan (churning of the milky ocean in Puranas).

A popular belief in Hinduism is that there are eight pairs of elephants standing on eight corners of cosmos holding up the sky. These eight elephants are known as ‘dig gaja.’ The elephants that performed jal abhisheka on Goddess Lakshmi are one of the eight pairs of ‘dig gaja.’ The elephants worshipped her because they realized her power to enrich and nourish the world.

Sri Mahalakshmi Annakut Festival at Mumbai Mahalakshmi Temple

Sri Mahalakshmi Temple in Mumbai is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. This temple located on the northern side of the Malabar Hills in Mumbai attracts thousands of devotees daily and the number increases manifold during the Navratri festival (September – October). Apart from the Navratri festival, one of the most important festivals at the temple is the Varshik Annakut Festival. Sri Mahalakshmi Annakut festival 2010 date is November 21.

The festival is observed on annually on the full moon day in the month of Kartik as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Shripada – Footprints of Goddess Lakshmi – Sripada

In Hindu culture there is a practice of drawing Shripada, Goddess Lakshmi's footprint, on the threshold of the house pointing inwards. This ritual is followed by many Hindu communities. Symbolically the drawing of Shripada in front of homes welcomes Goddess Lakshmi. She likes clean places and only resides where there is cleanliness and peace. The daily drawing of Shripada also suggests that the wealth has to flow and no one should attempt to stop the normal flow of wealth – therefore she is invited daily.

Alpana drawings of Goddess Lakshmi’s feet are very popular in Bengal and eastern parts of India.

Shripada is made during Varalakshmi puja, Navratri Lakshmi puja, Diwali Lakshmi puja and during all the important occasions in a Hindu calendar year dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

Special drawings of Shripada are also made during Kojagari Lakshmi puja and also during Manabasa Gurbar Puja in eastern parts of India.

Those people who perform monthly or yearly vrats dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi also draw the Shripada.

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja 2011 - Lakshmi Puja 2011 on Ashwin Purnima

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja 2011 as per traditional Hindu calendar – India Standard Time. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja 2011 date is October 11. This Mahalakshmi Pooja is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and is observed in Bengal, Orissa, and other parts of eastern India and also in some regions in western India.

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is observed on the Purnima (full moon day) after Durga Puja.

In Hinduism, Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes prosperity and wealth and it is believed that on Kojagari Poornima night in Aashin month she visits the homes of devotees and blesses them. Therefore special Laksmi Puja is held in the evening on the day in homes.

On the day women draw Alpana or Alpona patterns (something similar to Rangoli) at homes. Most preferred Alpana is that of Goddess Lakshmi’s feet.

You can find more details about Kojagari Lakshmi Puja here in this article.

Lakshmindra Puja – Lakshmi Indra Pooja

Lakshmindra Puja is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Hindu God Indra and is observed on the Purnima day in Ashwin month. Lakshmindra Puja 2010 date is October 22. In Bengal, Orissa and other parts of India the pooja is referred as Kojagari Lakshmi Puja. In Hinduism, Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes prosperity and wealth and it is believed that on Poornima night she visits the homes of devotees and blesses them. Therefore special Lakshmi Puja is held in the evening on the day in homes.

Elaborate traditional Lakshmi Pujas, which needs the help of a priest or elderly person, are conducted on the day by communities and organizations.

Today, many people also perform a simple Lakshmi Puja on the day sticking to the main traditions.

Special vegetarian dishes, fruits and sweets are offered to Goddess Lakshmi and Indra on the day.

Goddess Lakshmi Puja in Shravan Month – Mahalakshmi Pooja in Sawan Month

The Shravan month in a Hindu lunar calendar is one of the most auspicious months and numerous pujas and rituals are held in this month. One of the most important puja in the month is the Varamahalakshmi Puja which held on the last Friday of the Shukla Paksha of Shravan month (August 20, 2010). Apart from this another puja and ritual dedicated to Mahalakshmi is held on the first Friday of the Shukla Paksha of Sawan month (August 13, 2010).

In some regions a murti of Goddess Lakshmi is installed on the first Friday of Shravan Shukla Paksha for puja. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi only visits those houses that are clean. The houses are cleaned and offerings are made to Goddess Lakshmi. In some regions this is a community puja in which women of neighborhood gather in a house and perform the puja.

But the most important puja is the Varamahalakshmi puja. You can find details of Varalakshmi Puja here in this article.

Samudra Manthan and Goddess Lakshmi – The Reason for Undertaking Samudra Manthan

Samudra Manthan is the churning of the ocean performed by Asuras (demons) and Devas (gods) to obtain Amrita or elixir of life. But there is an interesting episode mentioned in the Vishnu Purana which suggests that the need to perform Samudra Manthan arose after Goddess Lakshmi disappeared from the world due to a curse.

Sage Durvasa once received a flower garland which had a unique fragrance. While roaming through the forest with the garland, Durvasa came across Lord Indra (king of demigods) who was sitting atop his white elephant Airavat. The Sage gifted the garland to Lord Indra and he placed it on the head of Airavat.

Airavat wanted to know the reason for the unique fragrance and using his trunk he tried to get the garland. But unfortunately the garland fell down and the elephant stamped on it.

Durvasa happened to see this and he thought it was done purposefully to insult him. He thought that Indra has gone arrogant with wealth, power and prosperity.

Durvasa cursed Indra that Goddess Lakshmi, who is responsible for all his prosperity, will desert him.

The curse proved to be fatal and Indra lost all his glory. The Devas thought that the Asuras will take advantage of their precarious situation and would drive them out of heaven.

The Devas then approached Lord Vishnu for help. He said that Goddess Lakshmi has disappeared deep into the oceans and the only way to make her reappear was by Samdura Manthan or Churning of the Ocean.

Thus the Devas took the help of the Asuras by tempting them with the Amrit that can be obtained through Samdura Manthan. Numerous things appeared during the churning of ocean including Goddess Lakshmi who sought the hand of Lord Vishnu and became his consort.

Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat – How to observe Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat?

Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat is dedicated to Vaibhava Lakshmi a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi. The Vrat is observed for success and prosperity in life. The fasting and other rituals associated with Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat are observed mainly on Fridays. It is women who observe the Vrat and some people observe it for 8 consecutive Fridays.

On the day of the Vrat after early morning purification processes, a Shri yantra is worshipped in puja area. A lamp is lit and the usual prayers are chanted.

Then handful of rice is spread in front of the Shri Yantra and a kalash (Pot with coconut) is placed on it. A few coins are placed near it. Usual puja and prayers are performed. Red flowers are offered.

Fasting starts before sunrise and ends after sunset and evening puja.

In the evening Puja, Betal leaves, betal nut, coconut, fruits and a sweet is offered to the Goddess.

An Arati is performed before the Kalash, Shri Yantra and the coins. Prayers associated with Goddess Lakshmi are chanted.

Those people who are unable to stay without food for more than 12 hours eat fruits or kichadi made of Sabudana.

In some regions, Vaibhav Lakshmi is counted among Ashtalakshmi or the eight forms of Goddess Laxmi.

Kubera Lakshmi Puja

Kubera Lakshmi Puja is performed for prosperity, wealth and materialistic gains. The puja is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity, and Kuber, who is the treasurer of wealth. Kubera Lakshmi puja is mainly performed during Akshaya Tritiya and Diwali.

In some regions, the Kubera Lakshmi Puja is performed by priests and it begins in the morning and ends in the evening.

Those people who perform the puja independently keep a painting or photo or idol of Goddess Lakshmi along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra and perform the puja. All the usual offerings and puja items used in regular Lakshmi puja are used in this particular puja too.

The mantra that is chanted during the puja is – Kubera Twam Danadeesam Gruha Te Kamala Sithta Tam Devem Prehayasu Twam Madgruhe te Namo Namah.

There is a popular belief that Kubera himself will pray to Goddess Lakshmi for his devotees.

Kamal Gatta Mala – Rosary made of Dry Lotus Seeds

Kamal Gatta Mala is associated with Goddess Lakshmi worship. This rosary is made from dry lotus seeds. It is widely believed that performing Lakshmi puja and chanting mantras dedicated to the Goddess with Kamal Gatta Mala will bring in prosperity and material wealth.

Some devotees offer Kamal Gatta Mala to the idols, pictures and paintings of Goddess Lakshmi.

Some people use Kamal Gatta Mala as a rosary to chant mantras dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

The seeds of Lotus flower are collected and then it is dried. The good dried seeds are used in making the rosary.

Posted by abhilash on 4.5.10 Post Comments
Read More On: Goddess Lakshmi

The Story of Worshipping White Elephant Along With Goddess Lakshmi

Elephant is worshipped along with Goddess Lakshmi in many regions and the goddess is also known as Gaja Lakshmi. Two white elephants are also depicted along with the image of Goddess Lakshmi and the animal is also believed to be the Vahana (vehicle) of the Goddess. The popular belief is that worshipping Gaja or elephant will help in attainment of wealth and prosperity. There is an interesting story which connects the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and elephant.

Long ago a king had two wives. The first wife had many children and the second wife had only a single son. The first wife and her children once made a huge white elephant of clay and worshipped it along with Goddess Lakshmi. The second wife was unable to perform the worship as she did not want her son to make a huge clay idol of the elephant all alone.

But the son noticed that his mother was sad and when he found out the reason for her sadness, he decided to alleviate it. The son prayed to Lord Indra and asked for his white elephant – Airavata – for worship. Lord Indra was pleased with the son’s devotion and dedication for his mother and lend his white elephant.

The mother performed her prayers for Goddess Lakshmi along with the real white elephant and it is said that due to this worship, the son became a very successful and powerful king. After this incident people started worshipping white elephant along with Goddess Lakshmi.

Shri Lakshmi Panchami 2010 Date – Laxmi Panchami in Chaitra Month

Shri Lakshmi Panchami, also known as Shri Panchami and Shri Vrata, is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Shri Lakshmi Panchami 2010 date is March 20. Laxmi Panchami is observed on the fifth day during the waxing phase of the moon in Chaitra month – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Panchami.

Shri Lakshmi Panchami is considered ideal to propitiate Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that the prayers and observances dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi will help in attaining prosperity.

People perform special pujas to Goddess Lakshmi on the day.Some business people and traders conduct elaborate pujas on the day.

Prasanna Lakshmi – Hindu Goddess Prasanna Lakshmi

Prasanna Lakshmi is one among the eight forms of Goddess Mahlakshmi mentioned in the Hindu scripture Laxmi Tantram. In this form Goddess Lakshmi is in white colored clothes and appears on the left side of Lord Vishnu. She is four armed and has beejapuram kanak, kalash and padmam or lotus in her hands.

The shlokam dedicated to Prasanna Lakshmi in Lakshmi Tantra reads like this

Vande Laksmim parshivamayeem shuddhajambundabham
Tejopuram kanakavasanam sarvabhooshojjvalamgeem
Beejapuram kank kalasham hema padam dadhana
Maadyam Shakti sakalajananee vishuvamamk samstham

The image of Prasanna Lakshmi is worshipped along with other forms of Goddess Laxmi. This is form is very rarely worshipped as an independent deity.

Please note that Prasanna Lakshmi is not counted among the popular Ashta Lakshmi forms of Goddess Laxmi.

Cawra Cawry Puja and Ritual Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi – Cowra Cowrie Ceremony
Cawra Cawry puja and ritual is a unique ceremony dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Phalgun (February), Vaishakh (April), Ashwin (October) and Margashirsh (December). The ritual is observed on Sundays and Thursdays in the above months. It must be noted that Thursday is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi in many regions and special rituals are observed on the day in certain months.

Cowrie, or Cawry, shells are used in the worship of Goddess Lakshmi during the ceremony. During the puja Goddess Lakshmi is invoked on a copper plate and the plate is placed on a three-legged brass utensil.

Cawra Cawry puja is performed for the welfare and prosperity of the family.

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