Why are prayers offered to Ma lakshmi on Diwali?
On Diwali evening every Hindu offers prayers to Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity. It is believed that on Diwali Lakshmi visits all homes. As a symbolic gesture many people paint the feet of Lakshmi entering from the threshold. Prayers are offered to Lakshmi on several occasions around the year, but prayers on Diwali are most popular. Businessmen offer prayers to Lakshmi, and open new account books. Since it is customary to first offer prayers to Lord Ganesh, it is popular to first establish a temporary temple within the home with idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi and then offer prayers.
Lakshmi is said to be unsteady and transient and does not stay at one place for long. Since everyone desires that she stay within the home permanently, prayers are offered to Lakshmi. It is believed that the art of attracting Lakshmi through devotion is secret and difficult to achieve. This is because of a strict direction by Vishvamitra, who directed that the procedures must be kept secret and taught to a capable successor only at the end of one's life.
In the Ravana Samhita, Ravana has said that devotion to Lakshmi is an outstanding devotion, and that he learnt it from Kuber, the God of Wealth. He said that with that knowledge he was able to make Lanka prosperous.
In the Goraksh Samhita, Guru Gorakhnath has also described devotion to Lakshmi as outstanding. Lord Krishna stressed that through devotion to Lakshmi great prosperity can be attained as he did in Dwarka.
It is believed that during the churning of the ocean by the gods and the asurs when Lakshmi appeared, Indra offered prayers that pleased her. In blessing, she told him that whoever receives the 12-letter mantra from him and repeats it devotedly during the three