Mahalakshmi Pooja 33


The morning after establishing Mahalakshmi and her children in our home, the panditji (priest) came to lead the ceremony to invoke the spirit of the Goddess into the idols. My husband and I performed the pooja (prayer) wearing the same outfits we wore for our wedding ceremony, with the house full of family, friends, food and flowers.

mahalaksmi pooja foreigner festival mahalaksmi pooja foreigner festival panditThis festival is a really special one for my family and only celebrated in east Maharashtra. I have heard so much about it since meeting my husband, I knew it was really special for everyone.

Just as we did for Lord Ganesh, we invoked Goddess Mahalakshmi with mantras, sacred leaves and flowers. We touched their hearts and with our own breathe, blew life into the beautiful idols.

mahalaxmi love saree paithani ceremony marathi

Strings of mogra (jasmine) buds in my hair, aren’t they beautiful?

heart touching hinduism Goddess Meanwhile, during this long pooja, forty-eight dishes (yes, forty-eight!!!) were being prepared by the other women of the house, There will be a point when I have to learn to cook these dishes to carry on the tradition, I should start taking notes next year!

The mountain of food was placed before the Goddesses and their children, this made the food prasad, prasad is food which is blessed. It wasn’t long before guests arrived to eat a blessed lunch and take the darshan (seeing the auspicious image of God) of Mahalakshmi. 

mahalaksmi pooja foreigner festival mahalaksmi pooja foreigner festival purple sareeVisiting Lakshmi’s from other families (eldest daughter-in-laws) were celebrated and given gifts. As the Lakshmi of our family, I performed the special gift giving ceremony which involves applying haldi (tumeric) and kum kum (sindoor) to their foreheads followed by pouring four hand fulls of rice and a coconut into their laps. Some brought gifts to give to the Mahalakshmi and performed the same ceremony infront of the idols.

8 mahalaxmi

The traditional Marathi look!

7 mahalaxmi

Real lotus flowers, absolutely gorgeous

The next day, sadly Mahalakshmi had to go home, with another pooja her spirit departed. I put my right hand to each of their chests and held my heart with my left hand as Grandma chanted Sanskrit mantras. She was gone, with a heavy heart, the idols were dismantled and put into the wardrobe where they would wait until next year.

Grandma separated yellow strings which had been placed with Mahalakshmi during the pooja. They were tied around our wrists (on the left hand of women and right hand of men). The sofa which had been sitting on our terrace to make room for Mahalaksmi, had to be put back and the house looked and felt normal again.

 


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


33 thoughts on “Mahalakshmi Pooja

  • Archana'sDiary

    Thats a great tradition. It’s a bit differnt. We in the south do the Vara Mahalakshmi pooja which falls on a Friday that falls before the full Moon day of the month of Shravana. I offer 8 varieties of Naivedyam for that pooja.
    The pics of your pooja look really great. I was searching for that pic of 48 offerings though :-p. Good post

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Archana!
      Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a pic of the food. Next year I will try again :D.
      So lovely to hear about all the different but similar traditions from everyone!! xxx

  • atmaprana

    Hello,
    I juste discovered your blog last week and i really like it. you speak from the heart and I love reading about all the traditionnal rituals that are kept alive in the baeutiful family you married into. I was once in a relationship with an Indian man myself but we were living in Paris and it was very hard for him being far away from his traditions.Both of you are lovely!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Atmaprana <3

      Thank you so much for reading, welcome!! I can see that he would miss them, I miss Paris. I visit a lot when I live in England! I cannot wait to visit with my husband one day!

      I miss the food and galleries so much!!!!!!

      I hope you are well <3 xxx

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      They were really really beautiful but unfortunately didn’t smell, but the incense made up for it! It’s practically a crime to not wear jewelry in India haha! xxx

      • hungrydai

        Great answer, Lauren. Sometimes we can takes things much too far as is the case here in Nepal sometimes. Have a great pooja, Lauren. Oh one thing I haven’t told you yet. I never got an answer from my ISP for some reason but I can now access WordPress.org. Best wishes from Dai

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Thanks, Dai!
          I hope that everything with your ISP is sorted, so stange. I change my passwords three times a week because of all these hackers and whatnots haha (paranoid? lol!)

          I hope you and flossy are okay. We had another little puppy in our house today, we rescued her and found a good home for her. Would loved to have kept her, Alfonso is smitten!!

          Take care,

          Lauren

  • Nicola

    The seventh photo down, the picture of you – absolutely lovely! So good to see you looking so at ease in your own skin, and looking as if you feel that you are in the place where you are supposed to be. If I was your mum or one of your sisters, I think that photo would have me dabbing away a tear.
    Lots of love to you Lauren. xxx

  • friend

    @Lauren

    No offence meant, I have seen you hugging and carrying Alphonso in every pooja. Sometimes it is licking you. Animals roam everywhere and predictably carry dirt with them. I don’t think it is appropriate to have a dog anywhere near the pooja place. You should be absolutely clean to participate in a pooja, that is why there are strict rules regarding cleanliness. You have to take a bath, you cannot visit the loo and wear the same clothes to the pooja, you cannot be having ‘those days’ of the month and participate in pooja, you cannot eat non veg and enter temple/participate in pooja. There are certain ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts”, i.e. if you have belief in the ceremony.

    Most of these were to ensure cleanliness and purity of the individual as physical purity is necessary for spiritual purity. I know I sound like an Indian grandma but that is what I was taught. No offence meant.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Friend,

      No offense taken.

      The thing is, with Alfonso, he is considered as a member of the family, by everyone, including my Indian Grandma. He is washed regularly, sleeps on our bed, eats prasad and treated with respect. I personally think that animals are more pure of heart than humans, plus you always see the Gods and Goddesses accompanied by an animal.

      When I am cuddling Alfonso, it is usually after the poojas have finished, but he is usually present, watching what goes on. Like I said, me and my family think it is more than appropriate because he is a member of our family, it doesn’t mean we have any less belief in the ceremony itself! He deserves a blessing as much as we do 🙂

      Take care!

  • Satya - (In English it means "Truth")

    I have already read all your stories in one day.
    It is really interesting.
    Thanks for sharing such a lovey and interesting stories to us.
    Thanks again

  • Crystal (My Hindi Heart)

    I’m so glad you explain these ceremonies – especially when they are Maharashtrian and the rest of us may never get to experience them like you do!
    You look beautiful in your wedding saree and with your bridal mehndi! ♥

  • Amu

    OMG, I just discovered your blog, and it is super super super awesome, and so vibrant! 🙂 Such a fun post!! I’m going to come back to read more xoxo

  • Roshni

    You look fab!! It’s wonderful that you are made comfortable and *are* comfortable doing these rituals! It speaks of how broadminded you are!

  • Amit Jadhav

    Hey Lauren, nice blog. You are simply great as accepting someone’s tradition is not so easy. I know some indian men who have got married to a foreigner but have got settled abroad and their wives are also least bothered of the Indian tradition. But I really appreciate the way you have transformed yourself from a British Lady to an Indian Lady, especially a Maharashtrian Lady. In England you must have worn all then western dresses like shorts and minis but you look simply superb in Saree.

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