Hello people! It is the festival season and the excitement and joy can be felt clearly in the atmosphere. So first of all wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Every year, this time we celebrate the festival with great pomp and show. But not many of us are familiar with its significance. Here in this article I will highlight some points on Diwali.
What is Diwali?
The word Diwali means Rows of Lighted Oil Lamps. Diwali, also known as Deepavali is an ancient Indian festival celebrated every year with great enthusiasm. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair. Diwali is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik which falls either in the month of October or November.
History of Diwali festival
In ‘Skanda Purana’ the diyas are mention (a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts) to symbolically represent the parts of sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life. In some parts of India, people link Diwali with the legend of Yama and Nachiketa on Kartika Amavasya.
Significance of Diwali in Hinduism
It is believed that one this very day, Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana returned from exile of 14 years after defeating Ravana. So to owner their return and to illuminate their path, villagers lighted Diyas to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Diwali also celebrates the return of Pandavas after 12 years of Vanvas and 1 year of agyaatvaas in Mahabharat. Diwali is also linked to the celebration of birth of Goddess Lakshmi who is worshiped among Hindus as the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and is wife of Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Diwali in Sikhism
Diwali for Sikhs marks the Bandi Choorh Divas. When Guru Hargobind Ji got freed along with some Hindu Rajas from the Gwalior fort from the prison of Mughal emperor Jahangir and arrived at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Ever since then, Sikhs celebrate Bandi Choorh Divas with the annual lightening of Golden Temple, fireworks and other festivities.
Significance of Diwali in Jainism
Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankar (saviour) of this era attained Nirvana(paradise) on this day at Pavapuri on 15th Oct, 537BCE on Kartik Krishan Amavasya. Jain celebrate as a day of remembering Mahavira. On Diwali morning, Nirvana Ladoo is offered after praying to Lord Mahavira in all Jain temples across the world.
Significance of Diwali in Buddhism
Buddhist celebrates the festivals through chanting mantras and remembering Ashoka’s conversation to Buddhism following the Kalinga war.
How is Diwali celebrated?
In many parts of India, the festival starts with Dhanteras on day 1 followed by Narak Chaturdashi on 2nd day , Deepawali on day 3, Diwali padwa dedicated to husband wife relationship on the 4th day and the festivities end with Bhai Dooj dedicated to brother sister bond on the 5th day.
Dhanteras usually falls 18 days after Dusshera. Start of the 5 day festival, people decorate house entrances with Rangoli. Houses are renovated and decorated with colorful lightening. On the night of Dhanteras, Diyas are kept burning throughout the night in owner of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Dhanvantri, the provider of good health rather than wealth. On this day people also buy gold or silver jewellery and utensils. Day 2 is Narak Chaturdashi also known as Choti Diwali is marked as the day when Asur Narakasur was killed by Krishna.
Only 5-7 Diyas are lit and placed at the entrance of the house. 3rd day is the big day, Diwali. People celebrate it by distributing gifts and sweets and by bursting crackers. For Jains, it is known as Deva Diwali. For Kashmiri Pandits, this day is celebrated as Sukhsuptika (meaning sleep with happiness).
In Gujarat, it is Badhausar. It is believed that on this day Goddess Lakshmi visits all houses. Day 4 is Diwali Padwa or Govardhan Puja is usually marked as the beginning of the New Year for most Hindus. And the festival ends on Day 5 with Bhai Dooj which is dedicated to the brother sister bond. Brothers visits their sister on this day and sisters pray for the happy life of their brothers.
I hope you got to learn something new through this article. Again wish you a very happy, prosperous and safe Diwali.