Diwali - You must know

The ancient stories in India are divided as:
  1. Itihasa - meaning which actually happened
  2. Puranas - mythological, symbolic stories meaning absolutely new and fresh in Sanskrit.
The symbolic stories are ever new and fresh and the meaning wrapped in them needs to be decoded. It is said that when one meditates and contemplates on them, the essence of these stories is revealed to him.

The celebrations of Diwali and the associated past events and stories are very special as they make us aware of the profound truth of life.

The Diwali festivities start from the 13th day of the fortnight of the waning moon.

DAY 1 - Dhantrayodashi
DAY 2 – Naraka Chaturdashi
DAY 3 - Lakshmi Puja
DAY 4 – Varshapratipada
DAY 5 - Bhai-dooj

DAY 1 – Dhantrayodashi / Dhanteras

How is it celebrated?

On the first day of celebration, Dhantrayodashi, houses and business premises are renovated and decorated. The entrances are made colourful with lovely traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of wealth and prosperity (Lakshmi).
To indicate her long awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermillion powder all over the house. Lamps are kept burning all through the nights. Believing this day to be auspicious, women purchase some gold or silver or some new utensils, and in some parts of India, cattle are also worshipped.

    Dhanvantari - God of Ayurveda
    Dhanvantari - God of Ayurveda
  • This day is considered to be the birthday of Dhanvantari – the God of Ayurveda or the Physician of Gods, and celebrated as Dhanvantari Jayanti. The consciousness which exhibits itself as the knowledge and science of ayurveda and health through all the beings is honored. Multiple hands with multiple things symbolize that there are many ways in which the divine consciousness acts and works and serves the beings. Blue colour symbolizes the infinity and vastness depicted through a finite body. This one life saving energy is represented as Dhanvantari.
  • On this day, lamps are lit all night in reverence to the Lord Yama – the God of Death and hence also known as ‘Yamadeepdaan’. This is supposed to take away the fear of an untimely death. Remembering death makes one aware of his life. Forgetting ones past and living in the present moment is what the remembrance of death does. Knowing that the spirit is immortal while the body is subject to extinguish, lamps are lit on this day.
  • There is also a custom to take out all the wealth, gold coins, jewelry, money and do puja. The secret behind this is - Taking out all the wealth and thanking and feeling abundance for all that the Divine has given us. Recognizing this and feeling grateful for all that one has and feeling abundance fills ones life with abundance and joy. There is a saying in Bible- 'Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him'

DAY 2 – Naraka Chaturdashi

How is it celebrated?
On the second day, Naraka Chaturdashi there is a tradition to wake up early in the morning and have a bath before sunrise.

Historical event
King Narakasur - ruler of Pragjyotishpur (a province to the South of Nepal) – after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi (the Mother Goddess) and had imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of many saints and people from the society.

Krishna killing Narakasura

On the day previous to Naraka Chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned damsels and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. 

The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Hence, this tradition of an early morning bath signifies the victory of the Divine over Evil. This day represents the heralding of a future full of goodness.


DAY 3 - Lakshmi Puja

How is it celebrated?
The most important day of the celebrations is the third day – Lakshmi Puja.This is the day when the sun enters its second course. This day is considered to be very auspicious, in spite of it being the darkest night. The impenetrable darkness of the night slowly disappears as small twinkling lamps light up entire cities.
It is believed that Lakshmi walks on this planet on this night and showers blessings for abundance and prosperity. 
This evening people perform Lakshmi Puja and distribute homemade sweets to everyone.

Historical events
  • On this very auspicious day, many saints and great people have taken Samadhi and left their mortal bodies. The great seers include Lord Krishna and Bhagwan Mahavir.
  • This is also the very day when Lord Rama returned home with Sita and Lakshman after 14 years in exile.
  • According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was ‘Kartik Amavashya’ when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.

Lakshmi is considered as the goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty.
Our ancient sages beautifully depicted the divine qualities such a beauty, love, prosperity, compassion, faith, wealth, power, knowledge, wisdom in the form of Mother Divine. Also attributes like sleep, hunger, thirst, delusion, ignorance are considered as her different forms. 
It is said that as we praise something or someone, that quality starts reflecting in us. So by praising the vastness and beauty of the Supreme energy which beholds this entire creation or universe, we invoke that Consciousness in us and in our lives.
So do not get confused that Lakshmi is someone ,some person/goddess sitting somewhere. She is present in this entire creation in various forms.

Mahalakshmi denotes a great wealth, a wealth that includes the eight aspects as below:
1. Adi Lakshmi is the memory of the source. When we forget that we are part of the entire creation, we feel small and insecure. Adi Lakshmi is that aspect which connects us to our source, bringing strength and calmness to the mind.
2. Dhana Lakshmi is the aspect of material wealth and 
3. Vidya Lakshmi is the aspect of knowledge, skills and talents.
4. Dhanya Lakshmi manifests as wealth in the form of food. There is a saying ‘jaise ann, waise man’ – implying that the food we eat has a direct impact on our mind. The right amount and type of food, eaten at the right time and place affects our body and mind positively.
5. Santana Lakshmi manifests as wealth in the form of progeny and creativity. People full of creativity, talented and skillful in the arts are bestowed with this aspect of Lakshmi. 
6. Dhairya Lakshmi manifests as wealth in the form of courage 
7. Vijaya Lakshmi is the aspect that manifests as victory. 
8. Bhagya Lakshmi is the aspect of good luck and prosperity. 
At different times in life, different aspects of this energy manifest in a person.

(Reference: http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/tapping-the-source-of-the-greatest-wealth)


DAY 4 – Varshapratipada / Govardhan Puja / Bali Pratipada / Padwa

Historical events
    King Vikramaditya
  • The fourth day of the celebrations is known Varshapratipada and marks the coronation of King VikramVikramaditya was the king of Ujjain,India. He was famous for his wisdom, valour and magnanimity.

    Krishna Lifts Govardhan
  • This is also the day when Lord Krishna lifted the mighty mountain Govardhan to save the people of Gokul from the torrential anger of Lord Indra.

    King Bali and Vamans
  • The day also commemorates the victory of Vishnu in his dwarf form Vamana over the king Bali, who was pushed into the patala. Mahabali also known as Bali was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada in Indian mythology.

This day is celebrated as the coronation of King Vikram and beginning of new year of Indian calendar. It is also celebrated  as 'Annakoot' in relation to Lord Krishna in Gujarat and other places. It is celebrated as Bali Pratipada in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka. 


DAY 5 - Bhai Dooj / Bhai Duj / Bhaiya dooj

How is it celebrated?
The fifth and final day of the Diwali Festival (Bhai Dooj / Bhaiya Dooj / Bhau-beej). On the final day of Diwali, brothers and sisters renew sibling love, with sisters applying the sacred red tilak on the forehead of their brothers and praying for their long life, while brothers bless their sisters and provide gifts of love.

It is based on a story when Yama, lord of Death, visited his sister Yami (the river Yamuna). 
According to religious scriptures, Yama went to visit his sister's house after a long period of separation. His sister, Yami was very happy to see him and welcomed him by putting an auspicious mark on his forehead for his welfare. Yami and Yamraj then shared a meal. He was so pleased with his sister's reception, he proclaimed that every year, on the dooj day, if a sister puts a tilak on her brother's forehead, then no one can harm her brother. Till date, this tradition is followed. Sisters perform puja for their brothers safety and well being. Brothers in return give gifts to their sisters as a token of love.
The essence of the Bhai dooj festival is that it is celebrated to strengthen the love between brothers and sisters.

One more relevance is that Lord Krishna, after killing Narakasur, the asura king, went to meet his sister Subhadra. Subhadra welcomed him in the traditional way by showing him a light and putting on his forehead a tilak of her sisterly protection. 

1 comment:

  1. dude are you writing this entire stuff or just copy pasting it from some souce?