Diwali 2020: All You Need to Know – Significance, Puja Samagri, Vidhi & Muhurat

Diwali is an Indian festival that celebrates triumph of good over bad. Diwali 2020 will fall on 14th of November.

What Diwali means in Sanskrit

The word Diwali literally means ‘row of lights’ and originated from the Sanskrit words for lamp ‘dipa’ and row ‘vali’, the festival is also called Deepavali. It’s observed on the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. In 2020, Diwali is on November 14.

A Holiday across India & A New Financial Year!

Diwali is the biggest holidays in India. Streets across the billion something country light up in joy and festivities. Most of the Indian states have a 5-day holiday including banks, government institutions and private businesses.  Most of the traditional businesses start their financial year on Diwali. New accounting and recording books are opened after receiving the blessings of the gods. Hence, on Diwali, pujas / prayers are not only performed at homes, but even at all offices and retail outlets alike.

How People Prepare for Diwali – Décor, Shopping, Food

Before the festival, people across the country prepare their homes to welcome the gods. Right after the end of the monsoon season, people repaint their homes, buy new furniture, buy new electronic appliances and perform major renovations. Hence, right before Diwali, India witnesses one of the biggest sales extravaganzas. Retailers compete like there is no tomorrow. This means that consumers get the best value for their bucks!

Traditionally, ladies in the house used to plan for the feast and sweets for the family and relatives while the men returned from pujas at workplace to join them. However, the dynamics have now changed and for the better. People collectively experience the joys of preparations.

Although, on this day, people mostly do not leave their homes or visit others as it is believed that goddess Lakshmi visits their home to bless with wealth but returns back if no family member is present. However, this belief is not prevalent across the country. For instance, many across the central and east part of the country prefer to visit the temples and even their friends. However, in the north and western parts of India, people keep the celebrations and gatherings for the preceding days.

Obviously, no part of this festival is complete without shopping:

During Diwali, Indians believe in wearing brand new clothes (the new beginning). Hence, the streets are bustling with crowds trying to bargain their way to clothes and accessories. Street food vendors join the party by offering mouth-watering chaats, rabris and samosas to the engaging crowd.

Markets across the states are decorated and even compete for a price. For instance, Jaipur (aka the pink city) holds one of the one of the best competitions for decorations. Markets compete with each other and spare no expense in lighting up the streets and shops. They even showcase innovative art forms and live sculptures based on the festive theme. It is truly a sight to witness once in your lifetime.

At home, people (almost all of them) overshoot their budgets on sweets. Weather home-made or bought from a vendor, Diwali is known (and now even marketed) as a festival of sweets – Remember the Cadbury advertisement featuring the Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan – “Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye” literally translating into Let’s have something sweet!

However, sweets and chocolates aren’t the only flavors bought and consumed. Indians never discriminate the savory. Samosas, malasa paras and spicy dry fruits are one of the most sold snacks along with sweets. Decorative gift boxes add the extra creative tinge to the festive mood.

Significance of Diwali

According to Ramayana, it is believed that Lord Rama, the reincarnated form of Lord Vishnu returned to Ayodhya kingdom after defeating demon Ravana, who kidnapped his wife, goddess Sita. This was also his end of a 14-year exile period. Upon his return on this darkest night of the kartika month, the streets and homes were lit with thousands of earthen lamps or diyas.  

According to the Skanda Purana, the earthen lamps or the diyas symbolize the Sun, describing it the cosmic giver of light and energy. However, this isn’t the only legend behind the festival. Some believe that Mata Lakshmi was born on Diwali during the churning of the cosmic ocean.  Others say that Mata Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu were married on this day.

Hence, Diwali is also seen as a festival of new beginnings. On Diwali, people worship goddess Lakshmi who is believed to visit each devotee’s home to bless with good fortune and prosperity. Lord Ganesha who is the remover of obstacles and blesses the being with intellect is also worshipped on Diwali.

Lakshmi and Ganesha worshipped together on Diwali are believed to remove all the roadblocks in life and bless the devotees with wisdom, good health, happiness, money and spiritual growth. In braj or brijbhumi, it is believed that lord Krishna defeated Narakasura on Diwali. In East India, goddess Kali and Durga (forms of goddess devi) are worshipped on Diwali to ward of evil and bring prosperity.

Diwali 2020: Lakshmi Puja Preparations

Below is the list of samagri or list of things you will need:

Sticker or Murti of Lakshmi Ji and Ganesh Ji (Right click and save the image)

Bahi – Khata (Accounting Books for Office)

Red Cloth

Gangajal

Coconut / Naariyal

Silver Lakshmi Coins / Lakshmi Chaandi ke Sikke

Sandlewood / Chandan

Metal Container / Kalash

Mango Leaves / Aam ke Patte

Wood Stool for Keeping Idols / Puja / Making Nav Graha

Earthen Pot / Kalash

Mustard Oil / Sarson Ka Tel

Turmeric / Haldi

Broken Rice / Chawal

Flowers / Phool

Garlands x 3-4 / Phool Mala

Clarified Butter / Ghee

Sugar / Chakkar

Milk / Doodh

Honey / Shahad / Madhu

5 Coins / Sikke

Thread/Moli

Scent / Ganda

Fruits / Phal

Sweets / Mithai for Bhog

Durva Grass

Vermillion / Sindoor

Bell / Ghanti

Betel Leaf / Paan Ke Patte

Betel Nuts

Curd / Dahi

Camphor / Kaapoor

Incense / Agarbatti

Earthen Lamp / Diya

Diwali 2020: Lakshmi Puja Vidhi / Procedure – 10 Easy Steps

Phase 1 of Diwali 2020 Puja

Step 1 – Purify the wood stool on which the idols will be placed and puja will be done. Use gangajal or fresh water. Also, wash your hands and make sure you start preparations only after taking bath.

Step 2 – Place the red cloth and put a fistful of rice in the center. Fill half Kalash with fresh water. Put 1 betelnut in it, few coins, few rice grains, one flower, turmeric, durva grass and 5 mango leaves. Make sure the leaves are vertical and form a circle. Place the coconut on the kalash.

Step 3 – Prepare Aarti Thali by taking a fresh plate. Draw a swastika in the center using Kumkum. Place a betel nut on it and sprinkle some broken rice. Offer one banana and some flowers. Now, place camphor on one side along with sandalwood powder. Light and place a diya next to it.

Step 4 – Place the idols of Ganesh Ji and Lakshmi Mata next to the Kalash. Ganesh Ji must be placed on the right side of the kalash and Lakshmi Mata on the left side. If you are using a sticker, place it on either side of the kalash. You can stick it on to something or use a support to place it. Also, keep the bahi khata or accounting books on the table.

Step 5 – Welcome the gods by sprinkling water using druva grass on the sticker. If you are placing the idols, wash their feet using fresh water. Then, offer flowers to welcome them. Next, bathe the idols first – using fresh water, then using panchaamrit (mixture of milk, honey or sugar, curd, ghee and jaggery), then using scent/ganda and finally using fresh water again. If you are using a sticker, sprinkle all of the above using druva grass.

Phase 2 of Diwali 2020 Puja

Step 6 – The next step is to offer Vastra. Place 3-6 inch of Moli on the idols. Offer Vermillion to Lakshmi Ma. Additionally (and optional), you can also offer Abeer Gulal & Kumkum to Laskhmi Mata.

Step 7 – Now offer scent to Ganesh Ji and Mata and apply Chandan or Kumkum tik to the gods. Apply broken rice on the tilak. Offer garlands.

Step 8 – Light the diya and incense/agarbatti in front of the gods. Next offer sweets, fruits, betel leaf/ paan and water to the gods. Finally, offer dakshina to the gods.

Step 9 – Perform the below aarti using thali made in step 3. Open the accounting books and on the first page of each book, draw a swastika, do tilak and offer broken rice and flowers. Write om shree ganeshaya namah below the swastika. Keep the books open during aarti:

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता, मैया जय लक्ष्मी माता

तुमको निशदिन सेवत, मैया जी को निशदिन सेवत हरि विष्णु विधाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

उमा, रमा, ब्रह्माणी, तुम ही जग-माता

सूर्य-चन्द्रमा ध्यावत, नारद ऋषि गाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

दुर्गा रूप निरंजनी, सुख सम्पत्ति दाता

जो कोई तुमको ध्यावत, ऋद्धि-सिद्धि धन पाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

तुम पाताल-निवासिनि, तुम ही शुभदाता

कर्म-प्रभाव-प्रकाशिनी, भवनिधि की त्राता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

जिस घर में तुम रहतीं, सब सद्गुण आता

सब सम्भव हो जाता, मन नहीं घबराता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

तुम बिन यज्ञ न होते, वस्त्र न कोई पाता

खान-पान का वैभव, सब तुमसे आता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

शुभ-गुण मन्दिर सुन्दर, क्षीरोदधि-जाता

रत्न चतुर्दश तुम बिन, कोई नहीं पाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

महालक्ष्मीजी की आरती, जो कोई नर गाता

उर आनन्द समाता, पाप उतर जाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता, मैया जय लक्ष्मी माता

तुमको निशदिन सेवत,

मैया जी को निशदिन सेवत हरि विष्णु विधाता

ॐ जय लक्ष्मी माता-2

Step 10 – Shama Prarthana – After the aarti, pray to god and seek forgiveness for any mistake (knowingly or unknowingly) during the puja.

Diwali 2020 Lakshmi Puja Shubh Muhurat (Indian Standard Time)

Afternoon Muhurat – 02:17 PM to 04:36 PM

Evening Muhurat  – 06:00 PM to 07:36 PM ** (Best Time)

Night Muhurat – 09:12 PM to 01:59 AM, Nov 15

Early Morning Muhurat – 05:10 AM to 06:46 AM, Nov 15



Author Dr. Palash Thhakur (Vedic Astrologer, Numerologist, Spiritual Healer, Tarot Reader, NLP Master Practitioner). Connect: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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