Deepavali – Mahalakshmi Puja
Deepavali is the festival of light, love and harmony. It is celebrated not just for one day, but is a set of festivals that lasts for five days.
The celebrations begin with Dhanteras, when we worship Kubera to bless us with prosperity. This prosperity is not just the outer one but also the inner wealth.
The next day is Naraka Chaturdashi, the day on which Narakasura was killed by Sri Krishna. ‘Naraka’ denotes all the low tendencies or paapavasanas that lead us to committing mistakes. On this day we pray to the Lord to remove all kinds of negativities from our hearts.
Then comes Deepavali. On the day of Deepavali, we light the lamps and worship Shree Mahalakshmi. It is believed that it was on this night that Devi had appeared for the first time during the churning of the milky ocean. She visits each one of us on this day. Devi Mahalakshmi is worshiped in eight forms known as the Ashtalakshmi. These forms stand for inner purity, victory and knowledge. Lakshmi denotes all that makes our life beautiful and meaningful. She is the one who takes us to the supreme joy and the supreme Lord. She is the one who fulfils our life and takes us to the higher level of understanding.
The next day is celebrated as Annakoota, when Sri Krishna is believed to have worshiped Govardhana with anna (food).
The celebrations end with Bhaiduj, the day which celebrates the strong bond of affection between brother and sister.
A very beautiful Mahalakshmi Puja was performed at CIF by Swami Sharadananda Sarasvati on the Deepavali day.