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Why Lakshmi & Ganesha Are Worshipped Together on Diwali

Diwali festival without the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha is incomplete. Diwali is the time when the merchants close their finance accounts of the old year and pray to the goddess of wealth to have the New Year open with even bigger increase of trade. Ganesh and Lakshmi were traditionally the principal gods for the merchants. In the Atharva Veda (7:155) it is mentioned that a thousand Lakshmis are born with the birth of a virtuous and auspicious being. This signifies the auspiciousness (Shubha) of Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi when pleased with the pure heart of Her worshipper bestows upon them the both. It is given in the Shatapatha Brahmana (a Vedic treatise on the preparations for rites and rituals) that the original form of Lakshmi is Sri who is the auspicious energy (consort) of Lord Vishnu.

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Ganesha’ is made of gana (group) and ish (control); the one who controls a group (of beings). Ishvara means one who is the master and controls the others. He is one of the celestial deities holding the divine prominence in Vedic scriptures. His form, intellect, divinity and strengths are glorified in the Ganesh Purana. He is the first Vedic deity worshipped first at the altar before other deities at a ritual or a venture. The Puranas mention that Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati with clay her body’s dirt to guard her while she bathed in the mornings. Lord Shiva unaware of his creation out of clay threatened to kill him. When Lord Ganesha emerged as a hurdle between Shiva and Parvati, Shiva beheaded him. Realizing the truth later, Shiva replaced his head with that of an elephant.

He is the ruling deity of the Muladhara Chakra and blesses his devotees with wisdom and ability to face challenges and obstacles in life. He has a pot belly signifying contentment and fullness. He holds a fragrant Modak in His left hand signifying the bliss of satisfaction that he provides. His vehicle, the Mouse, signifies that one needs to curb vices (signified by mice) to achieve his state. Just like a father whose familial responsibility is to help his children progress, removing any hurdles that check their progress. Similarly, Lord Ganesh who is the lord of people (gana) removes various hurdles so that his devotees progress towards their aim (Lakshya); material prosperity (Labha) and spiritual successes.

Worship of Lakshmi and Ganesha: Lakshmi is regarded as the goddess of fortune and Ganesha is called Vignaharta, the one who removes obstacles. Worship of these deities indicates the Shubha and Labha; fortune comes to those who diligently work without duplicity despite obstacles that test their skills, patience and humility.

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