Deepawali or Diwali, the festival of Diyas. Diwali is celebrated for five days. This auspicious festival begins two days before Amavasya. Moreover, it goes on till the first fortnight of the month of Kartik.
History of Diwali
Diwali is probably a blend of festivals in ancient India. The diyas (lamps) signify the sun’s part. It is described in Skanda Kishor Purana. In addition to that, it depicts that it is heavenly light and energy giver to all the life existing on this planet. During the 7th Century, King Harsha referred to Diwali as Sanskrit play Nagananda. In this, newly married couples received gifts. Moreover, the Diyas (lamps) were made to lit.
Religious Significance of Diwali
Hindus, Jains, Sikhs all these people celebrate Diwali. Although, everyone has different stories to celebrate this festival. Nevertheless, Diwali represents a similar message victory of ‘Light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance ‘.
The regional significance of Diwali varies in India. According to one tradition, Diwali is celebrated when Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman along with Goddess Sita and Hanuman returned Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. These things are depicted in Ramayana.
Another popular tradition depicts When Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, defeated Narakasur. Moreover, they set free 16000 girls held captive by Narakasur. Hence, people celebrate Diwali as the victory of Good over Evil.
“Mahavira Nirvana Divas” depicts the physical death and final nirvana of Mahavira. Nonetheless, Jain’s celebrate it as Hindu Diwali all around the country. This includes the lightening of Diyas (lamps) and doing prayers to Goddess Lakshmi.
This tradition of lightening diyas is celebrated since the day of Mahavira’s nirvana in 527 BCE.
Sikhs celebrate this day on the release of Guru Hargobind from the Gwalior Fort prison by Jahangir (Mughal Emperor). In addition to this, on this day he reached Golden Temple in Amritsar.
According to Ray Colledge, there are three main reasons for the Diwali celebration. These include the founding of Amritsar in 1577, the release of Guru Hargobind, and the day of Bhai Mani Singh’s martyrdom in 1738.
Different Days of Celebration
Day 1(Dhanteras) – On this first day, bundles of people clears their home and their business offices. Children along with Women decorate their homes with Rangolis and diyas. Additionally, men decorate the roofs and walls of their homes.
Dhanteras is a symbol of cleaning and a blissful start for the next year.
Day 2 (Choti Diwali) – This day depicts all ways to set free all the souls who are in hell or Naraka. Above all, it is a reminder of spiritual encouragement.
On this day many people also buy sweets. Despite this, particularly in Gujarat Hanuman pooja takes place. People believe spirits roam outside on this day and Lord Hanuman shall protect them from these demonic spirits.
Day 3 (Lakshmi Poojan) – On this day, people decorate their homes with diyas, candles, etc. Thus, converting this auspicious festival into “Festival of lights”. The youngest member of families takes blessings from their elders. Further, small business owners give gifts and bonuses to their employees.
No sooner the evening arrives, people wear special clothes and then the whole family take this festival to next level by enjoying and bursting crackers.
Finally, at dusk, all the family members come all together for Lakshmi Poojan.
Day 4 (Govardhan Pooja)– For this day also, many traditions are related. Some celebrate this day as the Lord Vishnu defeated Bali.
Another tradition depicts the story of how Lord Krishna saved the life of people from the anger of Lord Indra. Becasue of Lord Indra anger the situation of flood arrived . Thus, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain and saved the lives of people.
Day 5 (Bhai Duj) – This last day is celebrated to show the bond between brother and sister. This is likewise to Raksha Bandhan. On this day, the brother travels to his sister. Moreover, full family gathers and sisters perform pooja for the wellbeing of their brothers. Hence, there is a ritual sister who gets gifts from the brothers.
Following the end,
I would like to wish you all a very HAPPY AND SAFE DIWALI!
Author: Pranshu Agarwal
Do read my other article -> Is pubg returning India?