Diwali or popularly known as Deepavali is one of the most significant festival in India. Diwali is an Indian festival of light, pyrotechnic display, prayers and celebratory events all across the globe. Deepawali is certainly the largest Hindu festival observed in India. Deepavali can be configured as ‘Deep which means light’ and ‘avali which means a row’, i.e, a row of lights. A festival of Deepavali is marked by the four days of celebrations which illumine the land with its brilliance and dazzles everyone with its joy.
The four day Diwali celebration is marked by different traditions but celebration of life, its enthusiasm, enjoyment and goodness remains constant. Diwali is celebrated for its spiritual significance which signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. Deepavali is celebrated among every Indian household. Diwali celebrations are taken out for a week, followed by different celebrations on each day.
Deepavali Day 1
Deepavali Day 2
Deepavali Day 3
Deepavali Day 4
Deepavali Day 5
Deepavali Day 6
The beginning of Diwali can be traced back to the ancient India. The history of Diwali is filled with legends and these legends are bound to the narratives of the Hindu religious scriptures, commonly the Puranas. Although, all the stories and history points towards the same classic truth of the victory of the right over the evils. Only the manner of presentation and the characters differs with every story. Diwali is considered to be the festival of lights, lighting the lamp of power, high spirits and knowledge within us which means to interpret and reflect upon the significant purpose of each of the five days of the festival.
There are multiple reasons which are observed and believed for the origin of Diwali. The most well-known reason behind celebrating Diwali is the floor in the great Hindu epic, Ramayana. As per the Ramayana, the prince of Ayodhya, Rama who was ordained to go away from his country for fourteen years and to live in the forests by his father, King Dasaratha. So, Rama went into exile with his wife and faithful brother, ‘Sita’ and ‘Laxman’.
When the demon king Ravana abducted Sita and brought her away to his kingdom, Rama fought against him and killed Ravana. It is said that Rama rescued Sita and returned to Ayodhya after fourteen years. On his return, people of Ayodhya were very happy to visit their beloved Prince again. To celebrate Rama’s return to Ayodhya, houses were lit up with ideas (small lamps), crackers were burst and the intact city of Ayodhya was decorated enormously. This day is considered to have started the Diwali tradition. Every year, the homecoming of Lord Rama is celebrated on Diwali with lights, bursting crackers, fireworks and high spirits.
One more well-known story related to the festival of Diwali is narrated in the Hindu Epic, the Mahabharata. This Hindu Epic reveals to us that how the five royal brothers, the Pandavas faced a defeat against their brothers, the Kauravas in a game of gambling. As per the regulations, the Pandavas was asked to serve 13 years in exile. After completing thirteen years in exile, they turned back to their birthplace ‘Hastinapur’ on Kartik Amavasya (it is known as the new moon day of the Kartik month). The five Pandavas, their mother and their wife Draupadi were very kind, dependable, gentle and caring in their ways. To celebrate this joyous occasion of their return to Hastinapur, the state was illuminated by lighting diyas all over the place by the common citizenry. This custom is believed to have been kept alive through Diwali, as believed by many and is remembered as the homecoming of Pandavas.
For the Jain community, Diwali is celebrated as an enlightenment of Lord Vardhamana Mahavir. Vardhman Mahavira is the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankaras of the Jains and the founding father of Modern Jainism. Birth of Lord Mahavira is one more reason for the Jains to celebrate the festival of Diwali. The festival stands for the festivity of the emancipation spirit from other Earthly desires.
Diwali holds a peculiar importance for the Sikhs as it was on a Diwali day that the third Sikh Guru Amar Das proposed the festival of lights as an auspicious occasion when all Sikhs would gather to receive the blessing of the Gurus. In 1619, it was a Diwali day only when their sixth religious leader, Guru Hargobind Ji was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the Gwalior Fort. He was released from imprisonment along with 52 Hindu Kings whom he had requested to be released as well. It was the auspicious occasion of Diwali only when the grounding stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid in 1577.
Loading, please wait...