Diwali celebrations are incomplete without the decoration of the Diwali puja thali. Read on to find out about the Diwali Puja Thali, used to perform the puja during the occasion of Diwali.
Diwali Puja Thali
The Diwali puja is performed with a puja thali. 'Puja' means homage and 'thali' means plate. Along with the other activities like lighting lamps, burst crackers, making 'rangolis', prayers also form a vital role in the celebrations.Diwali puja thalis are decorated to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi during the festival of lights. Lord Ganesha represents the God of wisdom and Goddess Lakshmi represents prosperity and wealth. The puja thali is beautifully decorated with immense pleasure and interest during this joyous occasion.Several auspicious items are placed on the puja thali in order to righteously perform the Diwali puja.'Aartis' are performed with the puja thalialong with the chanting of hymns and verses. Diwali pujas are performed elaborately and are an essential element during the festival. The members of the family usually gather around the God idols and pray to invoke the blessings of the Lord with the Diwali puja thali.
The following accessories are required to decorate the Diwali puja thali:
- 'Kumkum' or vermillion is a red colored powder that is believed to emit a divine energy. This energy dispels all negativities from the bodies and minds of worshippers.Turmeric or 'Haldi' is also said to contain purifying properties. Turmeric also has an exceptional fragranceand is an important element on the Diwali puja thali.
- Sandalwood paste is known for its fragrance, and is considered auspicious. This paste is applied on the deity's foreheads as a sign of respect. The Kumkum powder, haldi powder, and sandalwood paste can be kept in small copper vessels on to the plate.
- Incense sticks or 'agarbattis' need to be lit and placed on the thali. The sticks emanate beautiful fragrances and set the mood for the festival.
- A small lamp is also lit and placed on the puja thali. The fire is fuelled with ghee or oil. Tradition states that the lamp or 'diya' should not extinguish during the puja otherwise it may be a sign of bad times. The lamp is to be placed in the middle of the puja thali and should ideally be surrounded by flowers.
- Coconuts are holy fruits offered to the deity and is placed carefully on the puja thali.
- Betel leaves or 'paan' leaves are essential items required for the puja. It is a symbol of freshness and purity. It is a belief that Goddess Lakshmi herself resides in the leaf.
- A 'Panchamrita' consists of 5 ingredients - milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar. These ingredients are mixed together and are extremely vital for pujas. This paste is a sweet offering to the Goddess.
- 'Akshat' or rice grains are to be placed in a bowl. You can also keep silver or gold coins on the rice for good luck.
- The thali should ideally be filled with flowers like jasmine, roses, marigolds and lotus.
During the auspicious occasion of Diwali, it is extremely important to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha to eliminate obstacles before performing the puja to Goddess Lakshmi. 'Mantras' are recited and songs are sung in their glory. With these ideas, the Diwali thali puja can be decorated along with creative ideas of your own.