How to celebrate Deepavali – Festival of Lights ?

Deepavali is a festival where people from all age groups participate. They give expression to their happiness by lighting clay lamps, decorating the houses, bursting crackers, inviting near and dear ones to their households for partaking in a sumptuous feast and exchanging sweets.
During Deepavali season there are many astrologically significant configurations that make it prime time for evil forces to attack (Poverty is one kind of evil force too). It is also a time when the Gods and Goddesses come to the earth plane to help us with the battle; the army of light.

So on this day Goddess Lakshmi and Kubera is worshipped to protect us from poverty the evil forces. Goddess Lakshmi would be in her benevolent mood and fulfill the wishes of her devotees because it was on this day that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Pal Kadal ( Ocean of Milk ), when the Gods and demons were churning the sagara (ocean) for nectar (Amirtha). Lakshmi Pooja is performed in the evenings when tiny clay lamps are lit to drive away the shadows of evil forces.

Goddess Lakshmi is the deity of wealth, but Kubera is the treasurer. Some people possess the art of earning money but do not know how to save it. However, saving money and spending it appropriately is far more important than earning it. Since most people do not know how to spend money properly, their spending is unwarranted and ultimately, and they become bankrupt. Kubera is the deity Who teaches the art of saving money as He Himself is the treasurer. Therefore, in this ritual, the worship of Lakshmi and Kubera has been recommended. Though all people celebrate this festival, the business community in particular does so with great enthusiasm and splendor. Remember poverty is also a demon (evil force).

Even Lord Balaji or Venkateswara at Thirupathi is said to have Borrowed money form Kubera for his marrige and he is still paying the interest on the loan amount.

Kubera (God of Wealth)
Kuber is regarded as the god of wealth, in Hindu mythology. Lord Kubera is also known as the god of yakshas (savage beings). Kubera is always remembered with the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi. Chanting of Kuber Mantra blesses the worshipper with money and prosperity by drawing new avenues and sources of income and wealth. Mantra of Kubera helps to increase the flow of funds and the ability to accumulate wealth.

Kubera Mantra  : Om Shreem Om Hreem Shreem Hreem Kleem Shreem Kleem Vitteswaraaye Namaha
-It is composed of bija mantras, rough meanings: Shreem for Lakshmi (love, beauty, health, prosperity), Hreem for Great Goddess/Sun (illumination/dispel illusion), kleem for Kama/Krishna (love and fulfiller of desires from material to moksha, where your intention is) and Vitteswaraay (Kubera)

Sri Lakshmi Kubera Mantra : Om Shreem Hreem Im Kubera Lakshmiai Kamaladharinyai Dhana Akrashinyai Swaaha

The celebration of Deepavali proceeds as follows:
– On Deepavali neatness is important. Every house should be cleaned and walls are coulered, decorated with flowers and leaves specially mango leaves. Clay lamp is lighted in night to welcome Gods and Goddess the army of lights to destroy evil forces which can bring poverty. On Depavali eve midnight one should sweep the house with new broom, accumulate the garbage in a dustbin and throw it out. This is called ‘driving off’ of alakshmi (garbage – poverty). Remember sweeping/vacuuming the house and throwing the garbage out at night is forbidden on other days.

-One should wake up early in the morning and take an oil bath. On the day of Deepavali new moon(amavasai) sesamee oil(nallanai) is very important. On these day our mystics says that goddess Lakshmi lives in sesamee oil and goddess Ganga lives in warm water. This bath removes bad luck and attract prosperity. After the bath, wear new dress and jewels.

– After an auspicious bath at dawn, one should do Tarpanam for their ancestors. You can put Moksha Villaku (lamp) at Sivan temple or do Tarpanam yourself at home since Deepavali will always fall on Amavasai ( New Moon ).

The Secret of Why We Light Lamp (deepam)
The Gods and Goddess will personally become present in the jothi for you when you light lamp in your house. This is the secret behind lamp jothi worship.
The lamp jothis also have the power to neutralize negative forces since they bring the divine inside your house. They are a simple way of marshalling the divine force to drive away the negative forces from your house.
The departed soul (ancestral beings with great spiritual power who are responsible for the spiritual welfare of those souls that are part of their blood lines) also can make themselves present in the lamp jothi. When the pithrus are present in your house, they will bless you with contentment and peace of mind. Wherever they go, they bring goodwill and peace with them.

What kind of lamp, oil and wick to use ?
Earthen lamps and lamps made out of brass, bronze, copper, silver or gold are the ones that are ideal for lamp jothi worship. To start with, light your lamp jothis using sesame oil and wicks made out of cotton. First pour the oil in the lamp and then place the wick in it.

How to cool the Lamp?
The Siddhas insist that the spiritual aspirant must never allow the oil to run out in the lamp. Always ensure that there is enough oil in the lamp for the jothi. When you think it’s time to cool the jothi, drag the wick by its tail portion into the oil while saying Om Santha Svaroopine Namaha. This is the proper procedure for cooling the lamp.

Mytology related to Deepavali
The Vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna’s wife Sathyabhama.
Naraka, son of Bhudevi, acquired immense power from a blessing given by Lord Brahma after a severe penance. Narakasura ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram . Under his rule, the villagers suffered a lot of hardship as the demon tortured the people and kidnapped the women to be imprisoned in his palace with his invincible might. Unable to bear the tyranny of the demon, the celestial beings pleaded with Lord Krishna to save them from his torture. But Naraka had a boon that he would face death only at the hands of his mother Bhudevi. So, Krishna asks his wife Sathyabhama, the reincarnation of Bhudevi, to be his charioteer in the battle with Naraka.

When Krishna fell unconscious after being hit by an arrow of Naraka, Sathyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly. Later Lord Krishna reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhudevi.

One, who worships lord Kubera and Lakshmi, can never fall short of money and material comforts. The special puja of Kubera is performed on Deepawali, asking for prosperity and his blessings : / Om Sri Lakshmi Kuberaya Namaha