Deepavali, also known as the festival of lights is one of the famous festivals of Hindus which is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm in India, and other parts of the world also. It falls on the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November). This festival reminds us of the time when good triumphed over evil and knowledge over ignorance. And it has got different shades in different regions of India. As we know, during this occasion, homes are cleaned and people decorate their houses with lights, lamps, diyas and candles. As per the Hindu mythology, it is believed that many centuries ago, on this day, Lord Rama, had returned home with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana after spending 14 years in exile, and defeating the evil forces of the King of Lanka, Ravana. And people of Ayodhya had welcomed the trio with great enthusiasm. They had lit lamps and diyas, a tradition that has continued till date. There are other folklores also which says Diwali celebrates the day Lord Krishna defeated demon Prince Narakasura and brought peace to earth. Though the tales may vary, they all celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Besides the mythological tint, this festival also echoes a deep philosophical meaning. As the Light signifies God, goodness and knowledge .On the contrary, darkness embodies evil, and ignorance. The more we bring light into our heart; it will erase all the woes and impart our life with true pleasure and eliminate all the negativity.Apart from Lord Rama, various other deities are also worshipped on this day. Among them are Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kuber and Goddess Kali. As the festival begins with Dhanteras, a day dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera, and the two deities of wealth. Worshippers mark the occasion by praying for the prosperity, success, and well-being of their loved ones. In Bengal, during Diwali, Goddess Kali is worshipped, who is the Goddess of strength. In certain homes Ganesha is worshipped too, since he is a symbol of auspiciousness.
The second day, called Narak Chaturdashi, is observed in different ways. For some, it is a day to abolish laziness and drive away demons from homes with traditional rituals. The third day is ‘Lakshmi Pujan,’ is the main day of Diwali festival falling on the night of the new moon. But it’s not only ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ who is worshiped but also ‘Lord Ganesh’ and we all know the story of why they are worshiped together. The night ends with a huge feast and fireworks. The fourth day is the day of, ‘Govardhan Puja’ also known as ‘Padwa’ or ‘Bali pratipada.’ This day is celebrated as per the story according to ‘Vishnu Puraan’ where ‘Lord Krishna’ saved the people of ‘Vrindavan’ from the wrath of ‘Lord Indra’ (God of Rain), giving the people and cattle shelter under the ‘Govardhan Mountain’. Lord Krishna held the Mountain on his little finger for seven days and nights, after which ‘Lord Indra’ accepted him as supreme power and ‘Govardhan Puja’ came into existence. The fifth day of Diwali is called ‘Bhai Dooj,’ dedicated to brothers and sisters. According to the legend, ‘Yamraj’ (God of death) visited his sister ‘Yami’, also known as ‘Yamuna’, on this day and was moved by the way he was treated by her, he then blessed her and declared that any brother who receives an ‘Aarti’ and ‘Tilak’ on this day from his sister should never be frightened of death.
However, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic people have restricted their celebrations to discourage the spread of the deadly virus. Hence, on this auspicious occasion, let there be light everywhere…