DEEPAVALI FESTIVAL - Significance of Deepavali festival

                          

DEEPAVALI also called Diwali, Deewali, Naraka Chaturdashi, Bali padyami..The Sanskrit word “Deepavali” means “an array of lights”..On Diwali, the goddess Laxmi, a symbol of prosperity, is worshipped.

Day/Month of Celebration:
Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November. 



God Worshipped  on this Occassion:
Godess Lakshmi



Special Food Prepared:
Many sweets are prepared on this 5 day long festival.


Practise on this Day :   
Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Cracker are burst because it is believed that it drives away.

First day : The festival starts with Dhanteras(Dhan - wealth Thera - 13th, It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of hindu calender.. On which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. 

Second day: 2nd day  is called the Naraka chaturdasi

Third day :  Amavsya is  the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of  Lakshmi  the goddess of wealth.

Fourth day: Kartika Shudda Padyami.(Yama Dvitiya) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

 








Significance:

**The return of  Lord Rama after 14 years of  Vanavasa     (exile). To welcome his return, Lamps are lit. 

**Return of pandavas after 12years of exile, and 1 year of Agnyatavas(disguise)

**Great king Bali is said to visit his subjects on this day.

**Narakasura evil demon was defeated on this day. 


Story associated with Deepavali:(Favourite part :)

Lord Rama's exile and his return to ayodhya:
Well this is pretty much,  entire story of Ramayana..But let me just give brief story...Lord Rama is son of King Dasharata, who had 3 queens,Kausalya,sumitra,kaikeyi..Dasharatha's favourite queen, Kaikeyi forces Dasharata to make his son Bharata crown prince and send Rama into exile.Thus Rama along with Sita(his wife) and Lakshmana(brother, son of sumitra)sets out to forest.. They lived happily in the forest.. On a unfortunate day,  Sita is abducted by Ravana (King of Lanka).. Rama and Lakshmana with help of Hanuman defeat Ravana and gets back sita and return to Ayodhya(After 14yrs of exile) His subjects lit lamps as a mark of  his welcome....


Return of Pandavas (12yr of exile and 1yr of disguise)

Pandavas were son of King Pandu. And Kauravas were son
of King Dhritarashtra.. Duryodhana(elder of Kauravas) dint
want  Yudhistira(elder of Pandavas) to be crowned as the Prince, and does lot of plans to kill Pandavas.. Every time
Pandavas were saved...Shakuni(maternal uncle) suggests Duryodhana to invite the Pandavas over to his court for a game of dice (gambling). Shakuni was a master at gambling and owned a pair of dice which magically did his bidding and produced numbers desired by him. Owing to this, bet after bet, Yudhisthira lost all of his wealth and eventually,his kingdom,his brothers, his wife Druapadi... Duryodhana threatened  Dhritarashtra and made him invite Pandavas for one last round of gambling, the terms of which were that the loser would be condemned to 12 years of exile into forests, and a 13th year to be spent incognito, and if the cover be blown during the 13th year, another cycle of 13 years would ensue. Obeying their uncle's orders, the Pandavas played the round, and again lost to Shakuni's cheating. Thus Pandavas left to Exile..And finally there was war at Kurukshetra when Duryodhana refused to return kingdom even after exile.. Pandavas won and got the kingdom back.. This day also marks Pandavas return to Kingdom.

Great king Bali is said to visit his subjects on this day. 
 
Bali is a demon king, who is grandson of Bhakt Prahlad. Like Prahlad even Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He became invincible with the blessings of Lord Vishnu and defeated all the 'devas'.Indra, the Lord of heaven, and the other 'devas'; sought Vishnu’s help in defeating Bali. So Lord Vishnu went to King Bali disguised as ‘vamana’, a dwarf. Bali was a very generous king, who would always help the needy or anyone who sought his help. Vamana asked Bali if he could give him space that he can cover in three strides. Bali thought that a dwarf will cover little land with his tiny feet and agrees to give vamana the three strides of lands. As soon as Bali agreed, vamana started growing bigger and bigger till he was big enough to cover the whole earth in one stride and the sky in the second. Lord Vishnu asks Bali where he should keep his third stride, to which the generous King bows down before the Lord and requests him to keep his feet on him. Appeased by the King’s devotion and generosity, Vishnu blessed him and raised to him to Suthala, the supreme position in heaven.He was given a boon to visit earth once in year. (Karnataka and Maharasthra celebrate it as Bali padyami during diwali, keralites celebrate his arrival as Onam)



Narakasura evil demon was defeated on this day. 

Narakasura is son of Bhumi devi and Hiranyaksha.(In some version he is son of Lord vishnu and Bhumi devi).Narakasura had a boon from Lord Brahma that he can die only from his mother... Drunk with powers, he terrorised the Devas and Gandharvas and humans and imprisoned 16000 women from all the worlds. He harassed the Devas in heaven and stole the kundalas (ear drops) of Devi Athithi. All the Devas went to Lord Mahavishnu and prayed for the end of Narakasura. The Lord answered their prayers and promised to kill Narakasura. Thus in Lord Mahavishnu’s incarnation as Sree Krishna, He along with his consort Satyabhama went to Pragjyothishapura to kill Narakasura. During the battle Krishna fell unconscious after being hit by an arrow of Naraka, Sathyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly.(Later it is revelead Satyabhama is incarnation of Bhumi devi so could kill him). During his last breaths Narakasura apologises for his evil deeds and said he saw light in his life that day. And requests day to be celebrated as Victory of Light over darkness..

 
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