HINDUS deem some nights auspicious for material and spiritual success. These nights are so magical that worship with sincerity can alter one’s destiny, making it more favourable even if it’s not written in one’s horoscope. One can easily tap the divine cosmic energy through proper prayer and rituals on these auspicious days and times as the planetary alignment is such that it opens up to enable us to reap the benefits. Among such nights are Hanuman Jayanti, Navaratri, Janmasthami, Sharad Purnima, Diwali and Shivaratri. Holi night is also very auspicious to do secret prayers. On Diwali, Sharad Purnima and Navaratri, devotees can please Mother Lakshmi easily. Diwali is a five-day festival with the first three days crucial to pleasing Mother Lakshmi.
- The first night of the Festival of Diwali is called Dhanteras and will be celebrated on November 2.
- Roop Chaudas will be celebrated the day after.
- On the third day of Diwali, November 4, the most powerful and auspicious night of the year, to please Maha Lakshmi, one should light a total of 11 or 21 or 51 or 108 diyas. Chant “Shreem” (pronounced Shree-m) 108 to 1 080 times. While chanting, concentrate on a picture of Mother Lakshmi on a lotus flower, two elephants with raised trunks at either side.
- The fourth day of the Diwali celebration is Govardhan Pooja (November 5). This prayer is performed by making a hill called Govardhan Parbat using cow dung to make a small mould. Early in the morning it is usually placed at the entrance of the front gate of the home, where it is worshipped for this day. It is believed there was once a drought in a village in Vridavan. The villagers were worried and wanted to pray to Lord Indra (God of Heaven). At the time, Lord Krishna convinced the villagers they should instead pray to Mount Govardhan. This made Lord Indra angry and he sent a big thunderstorm to flood the village. Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan to form an umbrella over the village and protect the villagers and their cattle. Govardhan has since been worshipped on this day. This is a manifestation of Lord Krishna, so Lord Krishna is also known as Govardhan Dhari.
- Bhai Dooj (November 6), is the last day of the five-day Diwali festival. On this day, sisters show their love by putting a tilak (a mark worn usually on the forehead) or vermillion mark on the forehead of their brothers. They perform aarti (prayer) for their brothers and show the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters in turn are spoilt with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers. Astrologically, it improves their brother’s luck for a year. In India, legends are the backbone of the festival. They are also a great way for parents to interest the younger generation and impart the values of Indian festivals. Legends of Bhai Dooj:
It’s believed that on this day Lord Yamaraj (Lord of Death) visits his sister Yami, who puts the auspicious mark on his forehead and prays for his well-being. It is said that anyone who receives a tilak usually on the forehead from a sister, will increase his luck on this day.
On the auspicious day of Bhai Dooj, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister, Subhadra, where she welcomes him with a lamp, sweets and flowers. She puts the holy protective tilak on his forehead. With this legend in mind, the festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated with enthusiasm. Special astro advice for Diwali: Astrologically, Diwali occurs in the month of Karthik on a new moon. The auspiciousness of this festival begins with the lighting of diyas (lamps) after sunset. The main ritual is Lakshmi Pooja and as per scriptures it must be done on a new moon to get manifold benefits. Diwali prayer One should perform Lakshmi prayer at an auspicious time to reap maximum benefits by pleasing Maha Lakshmi, who will shower you and your family with wealth. The morning and evening are best, however, the entire day is very auspicious to perform your prayer. Vastu and astrological tips to attain wealth and prosperity on Diwali: Before following and applying these tips, you need to understand the concept of the energy field of your homes. It is a cosmo-magnetic energy field around your home which is not visible to most people, but it can be instinctively sensed or experienced by experts. Utilise this time to increase cosmic power in your home.
- All desire to be blessed with wealth and prosperity with the arrival of Mother Lakshmi over the period of Diwali. Apart from performing the various religious rituals, a few Vastu methods can help you fulfil these wishes. Remember, before doing the Lakshmi prayer, pray to Lord Ganesha first. On Diwali, it is considered auspicious to worship Lord Ganesha with Mother Lakshmi. Astrologically, it will bring good fortune and improve your finances. Lord Ganesha should be kept on the left side of Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswati should be placed on the right side of Goddess Lakshmi. Very small idols of all of these gods and goddesses should be in sitting form. It is best to worship the deities in picture form.
- It is advisable that you avoid using the colour black in the interiors of the sacred prayer place. Keep a new and clean piece of cloth aside for the purpose of cleaning the photos and idols. Do not use this cloth for any other purpose. Avoid wearing black and dark colours while performing prayer. Dress smartly.
- Before the festival of Diwali, discard all unwanted and useless items that have been lying around in the house and create some space for the new. As per the Vastu Shastra, the front door is related to opportunities. Therefore, make sure that the front door of your home opens fully and no clutter is stored behind it, otherwise the divine energies and opportunities may not enter your home as easily. The main hall or lounge is the place where you primarily connect with the external world so it should always be neat, beautiful and welcoming. Mother Lakshmi enters the house that is neat and clean.
- Mix salt in water and spray this salted water in each and every corner of your home a few days before Diwali.
- You may light Guggal Dhoop (a special type of incense) in each and every part of your home, if it is available in SA.
- The lighting of your home should be maximised on this day and no corner should be left in darkness.
- The main door should be well decorated and it should be welcoming. The ideal garland for the entrance door is made with the leaves of mango, ashok trees etc. They help in purifying the environment and keep the negative vibes out of the house, if not possible then a fancy garland will be appropriate.
- Put two earthen lamps on both sides of the main entrance door. The lamps outside the house can be placed in multiples of four. The day before lighting the diya (lamp), soak in water then dry them. On the first day, place the diyas on a metal plate and sprinkle a little kumkum (red powder) mix with a few drops of water, like doing tilak before lighting them.
- Rangoli designs can be used to encourage the positive energy to enter the house before lighting.
- For businessmen, new account books are inaugurated on this day of Goddess Lakshmi to seek Her blessing for the next financial year, during preparation of Lakshmi prayer.
11.The family should eat together, especially at dinner. Stick to vegetarian meals and avoid alcohol. Family should not fight or have heated arguments or discussions.
- Mops and brooms should be stored horizontally, out of sight, after cleaning.
- It is traditionally believed that if you see a white cat, lizard and/ or owl after Lakshmi prayers, it is considered auspicious until the next Diwali. Throughout the year, you will be showered with money. May all the above tips improve your vastu and increase your luck all year round.
Wishing you and your family a happy and prosperous Diwali. | Mahesh Bang and family.