Chopda pujan

Read in the Gujarati PDF everything you need to know about the chopda pujan ritual. You will also find an illustration of what is written on the first page of the books of accounts before laid out for the ritual.

Lakshmi puja is considered to be the main ritual on Diwali day. But for some communities, especially the business community in India, there is another ritual called the chopda (books) pujan, which is considered to be the most important.

Diwali is usually synonymous with the Maha Lakshmi puja, worship of the goddess of wealth, however, before the main Lakshmi puja is done, Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of education and knowledge is first attended to. In most cultures, on Diwali day, Goddess Saraswati holds equal importance as Goddess Lakshmi.

As per the ritual, on Diwali day, before the Maha Lakshmi Puja, ledger books or account books are worshiped in front of Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, signifying the start of the new financial year according to the Hindu calender.

This ritual is called by different names in various parts of the country – it is chopda (meaning book) pujan in Gujarati, Bhai-Khata for North Indians, and Sharda (meaning Goddess Saraswati) puja and Muharat pujan for others.

This ritual is mainly important for the business community. The business community, mainly in the North India, close all the accounts and present the ‘Chopda’, seeking the blessing for the next financial year. According to the Hindu calendar, financial year starts from the next day of Diwali.

Most businesses shut shop for Diwali on this day yet invite its entire staff for the ritual. On this day, during the Saraswati puja, the new books of accounts that will be used in the new year, are worshipped. For decades, the ritual only included books of accounts, but now, with changing times, people even include computer printing papers as that is the main commodity used through the year.

Inside the account book, people write ‘Shubh’ meaning auspiciousness, and ‘Labh’ meaning merit. They also make the ‘Swastik’ symbol to start the new business year.

During the ritual, vedas and mantras are chanted followed by the main Maha Laxmi Puja.