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Story Of Diwali Festival

BY Mr Shiv Sagar June 12,2020
Story Of Diwali Festival

 Story Of Diwali Festival

Diwali festival, Deepavali

The" festival of lights" is the darkest night; where we are reminded about the existense of a higher energy even in our darkest times.

My heart seek your sight O Raghav; I am in your recourse, respite me from my desperations.

Diwali or Deepawali, the most awaited festival throughout the year, marks the arrival of Shri Ram in Ayodhya after eliminating Raavan. The world witnessed the dawn of Dharm in Lanka after the tyranny of Dashanan was over, but the real Dharmoday happened with the arrival of Shri Ram in his native kingdom Ayodhya, and Diwali is all about the grand celebration of the new beginnings. The era of Ram, Ramrajyam, was initiated from here.

''Deepawali (Deep= lamp, vali= row) of all the festivals celebrated in India is by far the most glamorous and significant. Varying cultures and customs mingle together to make Diwali celebrations very special.''

Being the festival of lights, Deepawali in India is a holy tradition and it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness; darkness refers to ignorance or nescience and light refers to knowledge. Celebrated joyously all over India, it is a festival of wealth and prosperity.

''While Deepawali is popularly known as the festival of lights, the most significant spiritual meaning is the awareness of the inner light. It is a major Hindu festival honoring Maa Lakshmi (consort of Lord Vishnu, the protector   of  world) the Bhagwati of wealth.''

Preparations for the celebration of this festival start weeks before with the spring cleaning of the home, and by purchasing new clothes and ornaments. Shopping for crackers and sparklers is a special occasion especially for the kids. The magnificent five days long jubilation of Diwali celebration is marked by multi-colored Rangoli designs.

''Special pooja ceremonies, lines of lamps, floral decorations, fireworks and exchange of sweets and gifts that lends grandeur to the occasion. Every home shines with the glow of twinkling diyas or candles to welcome Lakshmi, Bhagwati of wealth and prosperity. It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.''



The celebration of Bhagwan Ram's homecoming, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman to Ayodhya ending the 14 - year exile that included the Great War in which he killed the demon King Ravan.

Vibhishan, who had been crowned king of Lanka after Ravan's death, offered the prodigious Pushpak Vimaan to Ram so that they could fly home to Ayodhya.

 Ram gladly accepted his offer and climbed aboard along with Sita, Laxman and their monkey friends. It is believed that when Ram returned to Ayodhya; it was a no moon night. People lit their homes and the path from which Lord Ram was about to come with diyas. Everywhere could be seen the scintillating effect of lights.

''The streets were festooned with flags and washed with scented water. Colorful garlands hung over every doorway. Musicians, dancers and acrobats performed in the streets. The people paraded the streets dress their best finery. Everywhere there was happiness and laughter as Ayodhya anticipated the homecoming of Ram.''

Since then it has become customary to celebrate the day with so much of enthusiasm. Following the tradition people till today wear new clothes, decorate their homes and pray Lord Ram to shower his blessings on their loved ones. Above is the traditional description of the festival of jovial; but there are more legends attached to the festival that happened in different time zones. Let's read the other stories that make the occasion of Diwali a five-day celebration:

Dhanteras/Dhana-Trayodashi/Dhanvantari-Trayodashi: Diwali celebration starts on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishn paksha in honor of Lord Dhanvantari. On this day, Dhanvantri emerged from the Samudramnthan, carrying the godly elixir.

Dhanvantari is believed to be Bhagwan Vishnu's incarnation, and considered to be the teacher of all physicians, and the originator of Ayurveda. Though Dhanvantari is provider of good health; Dhanteras is now more associated with wealth, where people buy gold or silver jewellery and utensils on this day in exuberance, in honor of MaaLakshmi.

Narak Chaturdashi: also known as Chhoti (small) Diwali or Kali Chaudas is a Hindu festival, which falls on the second day of the festival of Diwali. Chaturdashi is the day on which demon Narakasur was killed. It signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.

In south India, they perform a special puja with offerings to Bhagwan Krishn, incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu, as he liberated the world from the demon Narakasur on this day. This day is also known as Roop Chaturdashi. This day is also known as Kali Chaudas in Gujarat, Rajasthan and few parts of Maharashtra.

''On this day, a head wash and application of kajal in the eyes is believed to keep away the kali nazar (evil eye). It is said that the practitioners of paranormal arts learn their tantra & mantras on this day. Alternatively, people offer Naivedya (food) to the Bhagwati that is local to where they are originally from. This Bhagwati is called their Kul Devi, in order to cast off evil spirits.''

Lakshmi pooja (Diwali): The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day which sees colors of firecrackers, lighting of lamps, delicious sweets, new clothes and family get together exchanging gifts. On this day special puja ceremony is observed to worship Lord Ganesh and Bhagwati Lakshmi. Lord Ganesha's puja is an essential part of Diwali.

Ganesha is considered as the Lord who overcomes all obstacles. Being pratham-poojya worshipping Ganpati endows man with poise and courage needed to carry out any undertakings in the world. So it is only appropriate that any ceremony should be started with the worship of Shri ganesh. Lord Ganesh shares the altar with the Bhagwati of Wealth and Prosperity, Lakshmi.

It is believed that nothing is more auspicious than worshipping both these Gods at the same time. Worshipping Lord Ganesh and Bhagwati Lakshmi heralds a year of prosperity without any obstacles whatsoever. Also, this is the day when the Sun enters his second course and passes Libra constellation (Nakshatra) which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing. Despite the fact that this day falls on an Amavasya (dark night) it is regarded as the most auspicious.

Govardhan puja: Govardhan Pooja or Annakoot; is the reminiscence of Bhagwan Krishn's gallantry, when he debased Indra's arrogance, by lifting the GovardhanMount. During his Vrindavan days, when Krishn realized Indra's growing egoism; he opposed the annual offerings made to Indra and convinced the people of Vrindavan to worship Mount Govardhan, whose resourcefulness fulfilled their daily needs. Indra, lord of thunder, invoked heavy rains for seven days and nights causing great flood.

Krishn then proved his supremacy by carrying out the unimaginable; lifting the Govardhan Mount. Indra recognized his fault and submitted to little Krishn, accepting his defeat. The fest also restores our faith in Dharm, which treats every being, big or small, evenly. Who you are, whatever you are, wherever you are; your karma is on check. 

Annakut, in the Gujarati community, a mountain of food is decorated symbolizing Govardhan Mountain lifted by Lord Krishn. Other parts of India also celebrate the day with preparation of range of delicacies & sweets. The day also marks the coronation of King Vikramditya, initiating Vikram-Samvat from this Padwa day.

''In Gujarat; it is celebrated as New Year, as Vikram Samvat starts on this day. In Maharashtra it is celebrated as Padva or Bali Pratipada.''

Yam Dwitya/Bhaiduj: The fifth and final day of Diwali is known as Bhayya-Duj. It is also known as Bhav-Bij in Marathi and Nepalese as Bhai Tika. Legend says Yamraj; the God of Death visited his sister Yami on this particular day. She put the auspicious tilak on his forehead, garlanded him and fed him with special dishes. Together, they ate the sweets, talked and enjoyed themselves to their heart's content.

While parting Yamraj gave her a special gift as a token of his love and in return Yami also gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never be thrown.

That is why this day of Bhayya-Duj is also known by the name of Yama Dwitiya. Since then, this day is being observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers. It became also imperative for the brother to go to his sister's house to celebrate Bhayya-Duj.

Sikhism: also commemorates the day as the return of Guru Hargobind Ji. The Sikhs celebrate Diwali for an additional reason; on this day, the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed from imprisonment along with 52 other Kings (political prisoners) whom he had arranged to be released as well. After his release he went to Darbar Sahib (golden temple) in the holy city of Amritsar. There, he was greeted by Sikhs and many other people. In happiness they lit candles and diyas to greet the Guru.

Jainism: marks the nirvana (salvation) of Lord Mahavir on the occasion of Diwali.

Spiritual significance: Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being,

Deepawali is the celebration of this Inner Light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman, come universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings ''Anand'' (Inner Joy or Peace).

''In India, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the  festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.''


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