'Laxmi Puja' : ritual worship of the goddess of wealth, prosperity and peace

Isan Biswas

The Laxmi pooja is one of the most popular festival in Hindu families in Tripura. This festival is specially organized by the women in every Hindu family with great devotion and enthusiasm. The children are very excited in Laxmi pooja in taking participation of crackers burning and picnic. In every family there are a lots of sweets and delicious foods are prepared for this festival occasion.

The importance of the goddess Lakshmi is very high in Hindu religion in India.
The goddess Lakshmi is a vital aspect of every Hindus belief and prayer as she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity whether it is material or spiritual. The word Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Lakshay meaning aim or goal hence Mother Lakshmi suggest the aim of life. Hindus worship her also on the form of a god lamp which they light every day and wash every Friday. Hindu married women are more identified with the goddess as they are also responsible for the success of the household. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, beauty and good fortune in Hindu mythology.
The appearance of Mother Lakshmi

The goddess is portrayed as a beautiful woman with golden complexion, dressed in red attire and adorned with precious jewellery. Mother Lakshmi has four hands representing the four ends of human life which is desires, wealth, liberation and the cycle of birth and death. She holds lotus buds in two of her hands which stands for beauty, purity, spirituality, and fertility. She sits on a blossomed lotus which is a seat of divine truth. There are gold coins flowing from her hands which show that she is blessing people with wealth. The two elephants standing next to her denote that according to people's actions, when governed by wisdom and purity, it can lead to both material and spiritual prosperity.

On the Lakshmi Pooja Prayer Day
On The Lakshmi prayer day Hindus observe a fast where they restrain from eating meat and from their normal indulgences including consuming alcohol, for 24 hours. They can either do their prayer at home or at the temple, but it is better the offerings and prayer is done at home with the god lamp as the goddess is believed to bless the home first. Women normally dress up in Red Indian attire. Families then light their god lamps and make their offerings of fruits and milk and sometimes sweetmeats. The prayer can be done anytime but most Hindus prefer to do it in the afternoon as this is considered a lucky time. There are also red strings that offered to the goddess to be blessed and after the prayer family members tie the string for each other. The purpose of the red string on the hands of a Hindu person is to bring them fortune.Once the string gets cut or open they cannot tie another string until the next Lakshmi Pooja. According to the Hindus belief the goddess Laxmi brings wealth and prosperity in family and to be established in life her blessing is essential. The Hindu women worship her with great devotion and purity and pray to her for the properity and welfare of the whole family. Of all the many deities Hindu worship, mother Lakskmi is the most important as she is the mother of all successes.

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