Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important and joyous occasions for Hindus across the world. It marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. It is celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which falls on Sunday, 12th November this year.
Diwali is associated with various legends and traditions, but the most common one is the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and defeating the demon king Ravana. To welcome him, the people of Ayodhya lit diyas (earthen lamps) and decorated their homes with flowers and rangoli (colorful patterns). Since then, Diwali is celebrated by lighting diyas, candles, and electric lights, exchanging gifts and sweets, bursting firecrackers, and worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success.
Diwali is also the day when Kuber, the god of wealth, is worshipped along with Lakshmi and Ganesha. According to Hindu mythology, Kuber was the original owner of the wealth that Lakshmi later inherited. He is also the treasurer of the gods and the guardian of the north direction. It is believed that worshipping Kuber on Diwali brings abundance and prosperity to the devotees.
To perform the Lakshmi-Ganesha-Kuber puja, one needs to know the auspicious time (shubh muhurat) and the puja vidhi (rituals). Here are the details for Diwali 2023:
Diwali shubh muhurat
- The new moon (amavasya) of Kartik month begins on 12th November at 02:44 pm and ends on 13th November at 02:56 pm. Hence, Diwali will be celebrated on 12th November.
- The best time for Lakshmi puja is during the Pradosh Kaal, which is the period of 2 hours and 24 minutes after sunset. The Pradosh Kaal on 12th November is from 05:29 pm to 08:08 pm.
- The most auspicious time for Lakshmi puja is during the Taurus (Vrishabha) period, which is the time when the moon is in the Taurus zodiac sign. The Taurus period on 12th November is from 05:39 pm to 07:35 pm.
- The Nishita Kaal muhurta is another option for Lakshmi puja, which is the time of midnight. The Nishita Kaal muhurta on 12th November is from 11:35 pm to 12:32 am on 13th November.
- The Choghadiya muhurta is a traditional method of calculating the auspicious and inauspicious time based on the sunrise and sunset. The afternoon muhurta (Shubh Choghadiya) on 12th November is from 01:26 pm to 02:46 pm.
Lakshmi-Ganesha-Kuber puja vidhi
- On the day of Diwali, wake up before sunrise, take a bath, and wear clean and new clothes. Many devotees also observe a fast on this day. If you are fasting, take a vow (sankalp) to fast while meditating on God.
- Clean your house and temple area and decorate them with flowers, rangoli, diyas, and candles. Place a small wooden platform (chowki) near the temple and cover it with a red or yellow cloth. Place the idols or pictures of Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Kuber on the platform. Make sure they are facing east or west.
- Place a copper or silver pot (kalash) filled with water in front of the idols and put a coconut wrapped in a red cloth on top of it. Tie a sacred thread (Mauli) around the neck of the pot and put some mango leaves and a betel nut inside it. The kalash represents the universe and the coconut represents the supreme self.
- Light two big lamps (deepak) in front of Lakshmi and Ganesha and fill them with ghee or oil. The lamps symbolize the removal of darkness and ignorance from our lives.
- Make a small heap of rice grains on a small plate and place it near the idols. The rice grains represent abundance and fertility.
- Offer coconut, betel nut, betel leaf, fruits, sweets, flowers, and coins to Lakshmi, Ganesha and Kuber. These are the symbols of gratitude, respect, love, and generosity.
- Apply vermilion (sindoor) and turmeric (haldi) paste to the forehead of the idols and put some rice grains on it. These are the signs of auspiciousness and purity.
- Incense (agarbatti) and camphor (kapoor) to the idols and chant their names and mantras. These are the ways of invoking their presence and blessings.
- Perform the aarti of Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Kuber with a lamp and a conch shell (shankh). The aarti is a devotional song that praises and worships the deities.
- Distribute the prasad (offering) to your family members and friends and seek their blessings. The prasad is the food that has been sanctified by the deities and is a source of grace and joy.
By following these steps, you can celebrate Diwali 2023 with full devotion and enthusiasm and receive the blessings of Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Kuber.