Lakshmi Devi the goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped throughout the country on the main day of the festival of Diwali. She is welcomed with elaborate puja rituals, singing bhajans, chanting mantras and performing Lakshmi Aarti.
Evolutions and Origins of Lakshmi Devi
Lakshmi Devi is said to be the wife of Lord Vishnu. In the treat Yug she married Lord Rama in her incarnation as Sita and in the DwaparYug she was Radha, the divine beloved of Lord Krishna. In fact in the Hindu religion, Ashta Lakshmi or eight Lakshmis are the manifestation of the Goddess. They are:
- Adi Lakshmi
- Dhanya Lakshmi
- Dhairya Lakshmi
- Gaja Lakshmi
- Santana Lakshmi
- Vijaya Lakshmi
- Vidya Lakshmi
- Dhana Lakshmi
Worship of Lakshmi Devi by different names
Other than the day of Diwali Lakshmi Devi is worshipped in different regions of the country with different names and rituals. In the state of West Bengal, she is worshipped four days after Dussehra and this observation is called KojagariLakshmi Puja.
In the state of Andhra Pradesh, she is worshipped during the month of Aadi and is known as Varalakshmi Devi. Her worship there is called VaralakshmiVratam or Varalakshmi Puja.
Lakshmi Puja is incomplete without the Lakshmi Aarti. Performing the Aarti is an integral part of the puja. After the commencement of the starting rituals of the puja, the Aarti should be performed with the Thali properly decorated with all the necessary items. The wordings of the Lakshmi Aarti are given below. This can be sung to the tune of ‘Om Jai Jagadish Hare’.
Jai lakshmimaataa, maiyaa jai lakshmimaataa Tumkonishadindhyaavata, haravishnuvidhaataa Brahmaani, rudraani, kamlaa, tu hi haijagamaataa Surya chandramaadhyaavata, naarada rishi gaataa Durgaarupaanirantara, sukhasampatidaataa Jo koi tumkodhyaavata, riddhi siddhi dhanapaataa Tu hi haipaatalabasanti, tu hi shubhadaataa Karma prabhaavaprakaashaka, jaganidhiketraataa Jisgharamein tum rahati, sabasadagunaaataa Kara sake koiikara le, mananahinghabaraataa Tumabinayagyana hove, vastranakoiipaataa Khaanapaanakavaibhava, sab tumse hi aataa Shubhagunamandirasundara, kshirodadhijaataa Ratanachaturdashatuma hi, koiinahinpaataa Aartiilakshmiijiki, jokoiinargaataa Uraaanandaumangaati, paaputarjaataa