The Mahalakshmi Vratha or Mahalaxmi Puja which begins on the Bhadrapad Shukla Ashtami Tithi (eighth day after new moon in September) and ends on Ashwin Krishna Ashtami Tithi (eighth day after full moon in September).Mahalakshmi Vrata and puja, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, is observed for 16-days starting from the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Bhadrapad Month (August – September) as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Mahalakshmi Vrata 2014 begins on September 2 and ends on September 15. The popular belief is that Goddess Dhan Lakshmi blesses devotees with wealth and prosperity during the period.
Tying the sacred thread having sixteen knots after traditional puja is an important ritual during the period. A specifically prepared Kalash symbolizing Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the last day of Mahalakshmi Vrata.The 16-day Mahalakshmi Vrata ends on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha of Aswhin month (on the Ashtami day of waning phase of moon).
It is believed the importance of Maha Lakshmi Vrat was first explained to Yudhishthir by Lord Krishna. This Vrat is observed for 16 days and fulfills every wish of the devotee. This puja is believed to bring immense wealth, fortunes, prosperity, love, happiness, and luck to the devotees.
A bronze Kalasham (pot) is filled with water, akshatas, couple of coins etc. The neck of the pot is decorated with betel leaves or mango leaves. The pot is smeared with kumkum, sandalwood and turmeric paste. A coconut is placed on the neck of the pot and is also smeared with kumkum and turmeric. A new cloth is tied to the Kalasha and it is worshipped as Goddess Lakshmi.Normal pujas are performed on all days like lighting a lamp, incense and dhoop, chunt Lakshmi mantra etc. You can also listen to Lakshmi Sahasranama or other bhajans or Mahalakshmi Vratha Katha dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi during the period.
ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं श्रीं कमले कमलालये प्रसीद प्रसीद ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं श्रीं महालक्ष्मयै नम:॥
Om Shreem Hreem Shreem Kamle Kamalalaye Praseed Praseed
Om Shreem Hreem Shreem Mahalakshmaye Namah॥
Please read the below mantra three times.sometimes used to read the 108 names for 108 times.Its very powerful.so please atleast read it 16 times while doing pooja.Its good if you read this mantra of MahaLakshmi everyday also.
Pujan Vidhi ::
Put the Lakshmi ‘murti’ or statue or picture on a wooden ‘chauki’ or plank
Cover the plank with a white cloth, before putting the statue on it
Cover statue or picture with red chunni
Place a kalash on some rice, on NE side of puja place
Put water, coins in kalash, and cover the mouth of Kalash with mango or betel leaves
Put a coconut wrapped in red cloth on the kalash . Make swastik signs on kalash and coconut with yellow chandan, vermillion, turmeric, sindoor, kumkum etc Keep ‘akhand jyoti’ or continuously burning Ghee diya on SE side of Kalash. If you can not maintain ‘akhand jyoti’, its alright. Just light diya and agarbatti, every morning and evening for the puja
If you cannot do puja for 16 days, then just observe puja for three days. The first day, the last day, and the day in the middle Offer bhog/prasad everyday and read any prayer or mantra devoted to Goddess Lakshmi, morning and evening.Tie a thread (mauli or kalawa) with 16 knots on your ‘kalaii’ or wrist. Women usually tie on left wrist and men on right wrist
‘Paran’ or ‘Puja Samapti’ or End day Prayers:
On the last day of the 16 days puja, Lakshmi puja is closed in the evening.You need two ‘Soops’ or large platters
Do puja in the evening. Light 16 diyas, 16 agarbatti. Use 16 flowers, 16 malas, and pledge to donate all items placed in the soop or large platter to a temple or to someone who may need the items .In the platter place 16 suhaag Samagri – like, 16 chunnies, 16 bangles, 16 bindis, 16 combs, 16 ribbons, 16 kajals etc
Also in the platter place 16 sweets or mithaii, 16 long/elaichi, 16 fruits, 16 coins or money, 16 dry fruits etc Now cover one platter with another platter and leave it near the puja place . At night, offer water or ‘arghya’ to the stars. Now face NORTH and call Ma Lakshmi 3 times – 1. ‘Mother Lakshmi pl. come into my home’— 2. ‘Mother Lakshmi pl. come into my home’— 3. ‘Mother Lakshmi pl. come into my home’ Now come inside. Eat prasad/bhog. Now one can have ‘bhojan’ or food. Distribute the food for all family member and also for Ma Lakshmi. First place the food in a plate for Ma Lakshmi, cover it and leave it near the Goddess for the whole night . Now everyone can have their dinner and end the puja
Next day, donate all the items in the platter to some Mandir/Temple or to someone who needs the items. Offer the food that was near Lakshmi mata, from last night, to a cow.
Finally, put away the thread with the 16 knots from your wrist to your treasury or safe and watch your wealth grow..