Why We Celebrate Diwali Festival – Story Behind Diwali Festival

Diwali (festival of lights) celebrations is not only because of the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya after his 14-year banishment, during which Lord Rama has killed the demon king of Lanka ‘ravana’, the festival has a different story of origin in different parts of our country.

Story Behind Diwali Festival

Story Behind Diwali Festival

 

The popular story about the festival of lights celebrations relates the festival to Lord Rama’s victorious return to his kingdom Ayodhya.  There are various traditions and beliefs that claim on the origin of the Deepavali. Each region has a different story to tell about why Diwali festival is celebrated there.

This festival is the glorious occasion that is not restricted for only one day but extended to a 5-day celebration. All through these 5 days, people will be in a festive mood. Like every other Hindu festival, stories from Mythology are associated with Diwali festival too. Given below is information on the celebrations of Diwali festival.

The Lord Krishna Connection

The Lord Krishna Connection

Yet another legend relates the festival to Lord Krishna, whose consort, Satyabhama Devi killed demon Narakasura on Naraka Chaturdasi, which falls a day before Diwali. In the western part of the country, this legend is credited for the origin of Diwali.

In some other versions of the legend, Lord Krishna is credited with slaying demon Narakasura.

The Return of the Pandavas

The Return of the Pandavas

The great Hindu epic ‘The Mahabharata’ has another interesting story related to the ‘Kartik Amavasya’. According to the story of Mahabharata, ‘the Pandavas’, Yudhishthhira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sachdeva, were sentenced to 13 years exile as a result of their defeat against ‘the Kauravas’ – Duryodhana and his ninety-nine brothers, at the dice game. Therefore, the Pandavas spent 13 years in the jungles and they returned to their kingdom on the day of ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’. On their return, the people of Pandavas kingdom welcomed the ‘Pandavas’ by celebrating the event by lighting the earthen lamps all over in their city.

Return of Lord Shri Ram to Ayodhya

Return of Lord Shri Ram to Ayodhya

The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali festival is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri – Lord Shri Ram. The king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Lord Shri Ram’s wife – Sita Devi from the jungle, where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dasaratha, the father of Lord Rama. In order to free Sita from Ravana’s custody, Rama attacked him.

This was followed by a war, in which, Lord Rama has defeated king Ravan and released Sita Devi from his custody. On the arrival of Lord Rama along with his wife Sita Devi, people of Ayodhya decorated their homes as well as the whole city of Ayodhya by lighting tiny deepam all over, in order to welcome their beloved prince Lord Shri Ram and Devi Sita.

Diwali and Kali Puja

Diwali and Kali Puja

Kali Puja is celebrated on Diwali night, in Bengali tradition, Kali Puja is celebrated to control ego and other negative tendencies, Lord Shiva lay down on the path of goddess Kali Mata, who went on a rampage slaughtering demons. she calmed down when she unknowingly stepped on Lord Shiva’s bare body.

Diwali In Jainism and Sikshim

Diwali holds immense significance for Jains and also Sikhs. As per the Jain tradition, Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana on Diwali. Jains celebrated this occasion by lighting lamps.

In 600 AD, Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru of Sikhs was set free from imprisonment after 15 years on Diwali. Sikh devotees celebrated the occasion by lighting lamps.

The Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi

The Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi

On the auspicious new moon day, ‘Amavasyaa’ of the Hindi month of Kartik, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity – Maha Lakshmi was incarnated. She appeared during the churning of the pala Samudra, which is known as ‘Samudra Manthan’, by the demons on one side and ‘Devatas’ (i.e., Gods) on the other side. Therefore, the worship of Goddess Maha Lakshmi on the day of Diwali became a tradition.

Kashmir Gave The Name?

Do you know Kashmir has a different story linking goddess Maha Lakshmi with Diwali? Nilamata Purana- composed in the Kashmir of ancient days between 500 AD & 800 AD- for the first time mentions goddess Maha Lakshmi at the center of Diwali celebrations. The very name of Diwali could be traced to Nilamata Purana.

The Kashmiri text mentions about a festival by the name of Deepamala, it is also known as Sukhasuptika. It was celebrated on the same night of the lunar calendar as Diwali festival is celebrated now.

According to Nilamata Purana, on the new moon night- Amavasya- in the month of Kartik(karthika Masam), devotees should worship the goddess Maha Lakshmi placing earthen lamps at places visited and resided by them. After the prayer rituals, people should sit with their family members and friends for dinner.

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