why do we celebrate diwali in india
From the Rama s return to Ayodhya to Guru Hargobind s release from Mughal captivity, here are all the reasons why the festival of lights is so popular through the length and breadth of the country. While the overarching reason for celebrating Diwali is the victory of good over evil, the festival of lights is in fact celebrated for various reasons around the country. Here are seven reasons why we celebrate Diwali in India. 1. Return of Rama to Ayodhya
After defeating Ravana and rescuing his wife, Sita, Rama returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in exile. Legend has it that the citizens of Ayodhya lit oil lamps outside their homes to welcome and show their favorite prince the way back home. ALSO SEEВ 2. Birth of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and her wedding to Vishnu According to yet another legend, this is the day when Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, was вborn out of the S amudra Manthan (or the great Churning of the Ocean). Married off to Vishnu on the same night, the wedding was marked by the lighting of oil lamps. 3.
The killing of Narkasura Then there is the story of Narkasura, the demon king who had become so powerful that he wreaked havoc in the entire universe. One day before Diwali, Krishna killed the demon and rescued some 16,000 women who were in his captivity. Another version of the story credits Sathyabhama, Krishna s wife with the killing of Narkasura. Sathyabhama was believed to be an incarnation of Bhudevi, Narkasura s mother and the only one who had the power to kill him. In any case, Narkasura s downfall is just one more reason why Diwali is celebrated in India. In Goa, large effigies of Narkasura are burnt to commemorate the event. ALSO SEEВ 4. The killing of the demons, Shambhu and Nishambhu Born from the forehead of Durga, Kali went on to kill Shambhu and Nishambhu, two demons who had terrorized humans and gods alike. After having killed them, Kali went on a rampage destroying everything and everyone that lay in her path till Shiva threw himself before her.
Shocked by the sight, Kali stopped in her tracks. The image of her tongue sticking out is Kali in a state of astonishment. Just like Durga, Kali is also worshiped widely in West Bengal. ALSO SEEВ 5. The release of Guru Hargobind Even though Diwali is a Hindu festival, it is celebrated on a large scale in Punjab, a predominantly Sikh state. Amritsar s Golden Temple, the most important shrine of the Sikhs is lit up and shines brighter than ever during Diwali. The release of sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind from Mughal custody along with 52 other kings (around 1611) who were held for upholding their personal religious beliefs is the reason for these celebrations. But even before that, some 34 years before this historic release, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid in 1577. ALSO SEEВ 6. Mahavira attained Moksha Even though Jains abstain from fireworks because they believe it harms other living beings, the community does celebrate Diwali in its own quiet way to commemorate Mahavira s attainment of Moksha or eternal bliss.
But it wasn t just Mahavira s big day; his disciple of Ganadhara Gautam Swami also reached a state of Kevalgyana on the day, making Diwali all the more important to the small but prosperous Jain community. 7. End/beginning of the harvest season Diwali is as much a festival of farmers as it is a festival of merchants. The kharif harvest season draws to a close around this time of the year and the celebrations traditionally involve a simple ritual of making delicacies out of poha or puffed rice taken from the freshly-harvested crop. In Gujarat too, the time marks the beginning of a new harvest season and traders also close all financial accounts and clear debts for the year to begin afresh. I think in the north people celebrate Diwali coz Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya that day.
Also, what strikes a chord with most is that on Diwali night Goddess Laxmi visits. So that is why folks decorate their houses with lights and other things and many leave their doors open. So that Laxmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity can come in and bless with wealth and prosperity. :-) Also, as my grandfather had once practically mentioned festivals like Diwali and in general spending on weddings encourage commerce and boost the economy. And in earlier days that is what folks spent money on. Spending. boosting trade (wedding stuff, festival stuff) and commerce. It boosts the economy, you share your bounty and is fun. Instead of hoarding which is not the ideal for the economy. Good stuff for the economy and hence good and godly stuff for all. :-) Now you might wonder. isn t the money better spent on charity etc. That is one different debate and discussion. No black n white anwers here.
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