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Introduction Legends Dhanteras Naraka Chaturdashi
Lakshmi Puja Varsha Pratipada The Conventional Puja

The fourth day is known as Varsha Pratipada and is more popularly known as Padwa. This day is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of King Vikramaditya. There is also a very interesting legend that explains the significance of this day. According to the Vishnu Purana, the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival to venerate Lord Vishnu. Every year as the monsoon clouds bid goodbye, the people used to make the preparations for this festival. This was a regular practice until one year when Lord Krishna stopped the celebrations and stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra to an extent that he threatened to submerge the whole of Gokul. But luckily for the villagers Krishna came to their rescue. He lifted the colossal Govardhan Mountain with his little finger and held it over them like a protective shield. Thus every year on this day, people offer their prayers to Lord Krishna to commemorate this incident.

We shall pray to the Goddess of Wealth ‘Laxmi’.

She is the Beloved of Lord Narayan, also popularly known as Lord Vishnu. And you may forcibly and/or by foul means try to keep 'Laxmi' with you. But She will not stay, for longer than She needs to, until you accord the respect to Her Dearly loved Lord Narayan, as much if not more, than that, you extend to Her.

According to the sculptures and paintings that have come down from ancient times, if the Goddess Laxmi travels alone, she travels on an owl. If she travels with Lord Vishnu, she travels on the Garuda (Eagle). Explanation of the above symbolism is thus: An owl is supposed to be blind during the day and a wealthy person without the right kind of intellect cannot see beyond his richness. Therefore whenever Laxmi (The Goddess of Weath) travels without Lord Vishnu she makes the person whom she visits metaphorically blind. However when the Goddess Laxmi travels with Lord Vishnu, She travels on a Garuda, which is the symbol of wisdom.

Moral of the story: Let us pray to Laxmi but let us not forget the worship of God, and She will grace us with Her presence forever.

May the Goddess Laxmi bestow Her choicest Blessings on all of you, this coming Diwali.

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