Diwali – The Festival of lights
Hinduism is undoubtedly the oldest religion of the world. Hindus believes in the trinity of Gods i.e. Brahma – The Creator, Vishnu- The Preserver and Shiva – The destroyer.
As per Hindu mythology it is believed that as and when sin or wrong doings increases on earth, Lord Vishnu takes incarnation to eliminate the evil and maintain the balance between good and bad. It is further believed that there will be total 10 incarnations after which the world will come to an end but to be rebuilt. So far 9 have taken place and one is yet to happen.
One of the most important incarnations of Lord Vishnu was Lord Ram who killed the demon Ravana and saved the earth from his wrath. It is believed that Lord Rama was sent to exile for 14 years by his step mother and his wife Sita & Brother Laxman followed him voluntarily. During his stay in jungle his wife was kidnapped by the demon. He formed a bridge on Indian Ocean, went up to Lanka (present day Sri Lanka) along with his army of monkeys & bears and after a fierce battle killed Ravana.
After this war he returned to his home town Ayodhya. Residents of Ayodhya were extremely happy with the return of their beloved son Lord Ram and to celebrate the occasion, they enlightened the whole city. This, till date is the most widely accepted reason for celebrating Diwali also known as festival of lights.
For most of the Indians, primarily Hindus Diwali is the major festival which is celebrated all over with love, blessings, wealth, prosperity and happiness… The celebrations of Diwali lasts for five days. This festival begins with the bang and finishes with spreading it’s brightness, enlightening our hearts and rejuvenating each individual. It is celebrated on a no moon day of Hindi month Kartik (October or November). This no moon night OR amavasya comes in every fifteen days and in the Kartik month of Hindu calender, this day is celebrated as Diwali. The entire five days of celebration are filled with enthusiasm, energy & festivity. To begin with is the Dhanteras which is 2 days before the main festival. Immense positivity is seen during this day. This day is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. Inaugural ceremonies of new ventures or buying of new items are especially awaited to be done on Dhanteras….this day is considered as shubh or auspicious for shopping of gold and silver items as well which symbolizes prosperity for entire year. This is followed by Choti Diwali on the penultimate day
As Diwali is the festival of Goddess Laxmi, all rich & poor try to please the Goddess in the best way they can. To welcome goddess and show their gratitude towards her all the cleaning of the house is done and decorations with small electric lights, candles and divas or diyas(clay lamps), are done all over. Rangoli or Art on ground with dry colors too is done on this day. People wear new clothes on this day. A special prayer is performed in the evening and after the prayer Children play fire crackers. Peoplse exchange sweets and gifts with their near and dear ones.
After this day is the Govardhan Pooja or Diwali Padva which depicts the husband wife relationship and their prosperity. Last, to mark the end of this festival is the Bhaiya dooj dedicated to sister- brotherhood relationship. Both of them take vows and brother promises to keep good care of her sister in any circumstances. All five days indulges Individual to a great extent. People worship, play cards, distribution of sweets, greetings, blessings and fireworks are seen. Children love to play with crackers with utmost zest. The dazzling sparkles spread happiness all over. Diwali is meant for celebrations. Diwali depicts how brightness rules over darkness.
According to other legends, Pandavas from the Mahabharata returned to their homeland after 13 years and the day is celebrated to commemorate their return. The Sikhs celebrate this day to mark the day of freedom or the day when their Guru, Guru Hargobind got free from the jail. The Jains celebrate this day as they believe that Lord Mahavira attained enlightenment on this day. Another mythology story tells about Sri Krishan…he too killed demon Narakasura.
Actually in today’s world of technology and mass communication, these festivals acts as a missing links and take us back to our roots
No matter what Diwali shall rule over every Indian’s heart.