Deepawali – ‘festival of lights’ is the glorious occasion that is not restricted to one day, but extended to a five-day celebration.
All through these five days, people are in a festive mood. Adding to the festivity is the colorful display of lights. Like every other Hindu festival, stories from Mythology are associated with Diwali too.
The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about Lord Shri Ram. The king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Ram’s wife – Sita from the jungle, where they were staying in exile. In order to free Sita from Ravana’s custody, Ram attacked him. This was followed by a war, in which, Ram defeated Ravan and released Sita from his custody. On the arrival of Lord Ram along with his wife Sita, people of Ayodhya decorated their homes and city by lighting tiny diyas all over, in order to welcome their beloved prince Shri Ram and Devi Sita.
Another story says, on the auspicious new moon day, which is ‘Amavasyaa’ of the Hindi month of Kartik, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity – Lakshmi was incarnated. She appeared during the churning of the ocean, which is known as ‘Samudra Manthan’, by the demons on one side and ‘Devataas’ (Gods) on the other side. Therefore, the tradition of worship of Goddess Lakshmi (Lakshmi Pujan), is done in every household and work place on the day of Diwali.
One famous story behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the demon king Narakasur, who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. After acquiring victory over Lord Indra during a war, Narakasur snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi, who was not only the ruler of Suraloka, but also a relative of Lord Krishna’s wife – Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his palace. With the support of Lord Krishna, Satyabhama defeated Narakasur, released all the trapped women from his palace and restored the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.
The great Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’ has another interesting story related to the ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’. According to the story, ‘the Pandavas’, were sentenced to thirteen years exile as a result of their defeat against ‘the Kauravas’ at the game of dice. Therefore, the Pandavas spent thirteen years in the jungles and returned to their kingdom on the day of ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’. On their return, the people of their kingdom welcomed the Pandavas by celebrating the event by lighting the earthen lamps all over in their city.
Another legend or story about Diwali celebrations relates to one of the greatest Hindu King – Vikramaditya. It was the day when he was coronated, people of his kingdom celebrated this event by lighting tiny earthen ‘diyas’.
In each legend mentioned above about Deepawali celebration lies the significance of the victory of good over evil.It is with this festival of Deepawali the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, convey this simple truth that finds new hopes.
We move from darkness to light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope.
May this Diwali brighten up your life, with lights of happiness, bliss, wealth, prosperity and Devotion!
~ Aratidgr8😉 ~