Lakshmi Puja is a Hindu religious festival that falls on Amavasya, the third day of Tihar or Deepawali. Adherents show reverence to the Goddess Lakshmi by placing small oil lamps or candles inside and outside their homes. They pray for prosperity and well-being for their families and businesses.
According to legend, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Vishnu’s wife, visits her devotees and bestows gifts and blessings upon each of them. To welcome the Goddess, devotees clean their houses, decorate them with finery and lights, and prepare sweet treats and delicacies as offerings. Devotees believe the happier Lakshmi is with the visit, the more she blesses the family with health and wealth.
Lakshmi is connected to Lakshya – the goal. She is the Shakti that directs you to your source, the goal of your life. There are eight aspects of this divine energy that may be bestowed upon us.
Adi Lakshmi is the memory of the source. When we forget that we are part of the entire creation, we feel small and insecure. Adi Lakshmi is that aspect which connects us to our source, bringing strength and calmness to the mind.
Dhana Lakshmi is the aspect of material wealth and Vidya Lakshmi is the
aspect of knowledge, skills and talents.
Lakshmi is adorned with golden ornaments and is holding a lotus flower in two hands. This represents a brighter outlook and celebrative aspect of life, a combination of abundance without any possessiveness towards the wealth. Further when wealth is used for the benefit of humanity, it doesn’t bog you down, it is light like a flower. The other two hands hold mudras symbolizing the shower of blessings and indicating that we should have patience.
Lakshmi Puja is celebrated as a part of Tihar, a second national festival of Nepal after Dashain. In Nepal, it is celebrated for five days, which include Kag (crow) Tihar; Kukur (dog) Tihar; Gai (cow) Tihar in the morning and Laxmi pooja at night; Maha puja (self puja); Goru (Ox and Bull) Tihar and Gobardhan Puja; and finally, Bhai Tika (bhai dhooj)—respectively the first, second, third, fourth and fifth days. On Lakshmi Puja in Nepal, people buy gold and silver, precious gemstones, new utensils of copper, brass and bronze as a sign of good luck, prosperity, money and wealth. These are then used to Lakshmi at night. Nepalese people perform this worship at a place cleansed with holy water, cow dung and red mud; they light the whole house with candles and lamps. From Lakshmi Puja, Deusi and Bhailo is played by gathering with friends.