Diwali festival - A celebration of life

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Nov 2018 09:07:29


By Rajendra Diwe,

City gets illuminated to celebrate Deepawali or Diwali, the biggest and the brightest celebration. Diwali is four-day festival but in many parts of the country it is celebrated for six days. Narak Chaturdashi (14th lunar day as per Hindu calendar in the month of Ashwin) is considered as the first day of Diwali in some states. While Vasu Baras or Govatsa Dwadashi (12th lunar day in the month of Ashwin) is the first day of Diwali in Maharashtra and other states. Dhanteras or Dhana Trayodashi (13th lunar day in the month of Ashwin) is considered as second day of Diwali. In present times, this day is gaining a lot of importance as it is considered as the day of incarnation of ‘Lord Dhanwantari.’

All the four days or six days of Diwali festival are marked with different traditions. Despite these variations, Diwali festival is termed as celebration of life. Each one enjoys the festival with full enjoyment and a sense of goodness.-History and tradition:
No one knows when Diwali festival was started in India. There are many references of celebrations of Diwali festival in ancient scriptures. Commonly, Diwali is believed as an important harvest festival. There are many legends describing the origin of Diwali.

According to some scriptures, Diwali is a celebration of marriage of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth with Lord Vishnu. While in some traditions Diwali is a birthday of Goddess Lakshmi as she is said to have been born on the new-moon day of Kartik. In eastern states particularly in West Bengal, Diwali festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the dark goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom is also worshipped in most Hindu homes on this day. In Jainism, Deepawali has the added significance of marking the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana.

In northern states, Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama (along with Ma Sita and Lakshman) from his 14-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and set off firecrackers.

-Four significant days:
-The first day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.

-Amavasya, the second day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi when she is in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who, in his dwarf incarnation, vanquished the tyrant Bali and banished him to hell. Bali is allowed to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps and dispel darkness and ignorance while spreading the radiance of love and wisdom.

-The third day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Pratipada Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu.

-The fourth day is referred to as Yama Dwitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

-Those who celebrate six days Diwali festival, for them Dhanteras is the most important. This celebration of wealth and prosperity occurs two days before the festival of lights.
-Lakshami Pujan:
Lakshami Pujan is the most important day of Diwali festival. It falls on the new moon day (Amavasya) of the dark fortnight of Ashwin. Generally, the new moon day is considered inauspicious; however, this day is an exception to the rule. Though this day is considered auspicious it is not so for all events, such as weddings, etc. On this day, worship of Goddess Lakshmi is done with the spiritual emotion (bhav) that She has provided us the wealth and in future too, She will give us the necessary wealth. In addition, Deity Kuber (treasurer of wealth) is also worshipped.