Sunday, October 23, 2011

DIWALI

Diwali or Deepavali is one of the main and biggest festival of India which is celebrated by all Hindus in India and abroad with enthusiasm fabulously.The word
Diwali and Deepavali literally means 'row of lights'.As the name suggests lights have a vital part in this celebration and this celebration has earned International fame as 'Festival of Lights'.
Deepavali is a public holiday in India,Nepal,Sri Lanka,Myanmar,Mauritius,Guyana,Trinad&Tobago,Suriname,Malasia,Singapore and Fiji.In all these countries people of Indian origin celebrates it ecstatically with full devotion and as per the tradition.
As in the case of some other Hindu festivals there are different variations about the origin of Diwali but all agrees that it denotes the victory of good over evil.
According to one belief it is the celebration of killing of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna with the aid of his spouse Sathyabhama.He killed the demon on Chaturdasi day of Krishna paksha(Fourteenth day after full moon) and people celebrated the event  fullest by lighting clay lamps,exchanging sweets,dishes and other gifts.The rejoice of Diwali continued further for next two days also.In most parts of Northern India the rejoice of Diwali extends for five days altogether.The third day is the most auspicious day and 'Lakshmi Pooja' is performed on that day.Traditional designs of  colorful 'Rangoli' will be drawn at the entrance of most of the houses to welcome Lakshmi Devi.
Some believes that the significance of Diwali is that Goddess Lakshmi emerged
out of the 'Ksheera Sagar'(Ocean of Milk) when the great churning event was performed for getting nectar by the Devas and Asuras.Lakshmi Devi the goddess of wealth was emerged on the Deepavali day and people celebrates it gorgeously every year.
Diwali is celebrated by Jains also and they believes that Lord Mahavira got enlightenment on this day.
In some parts of India like Uttar Pradesh, importance is given to Lord Rama and people believes that Rama returned to Ayodhya  with Sita  after a long gap of fourteen years stay in the forest and killing Demon King Ravan. He reached there on Deepavali day and the people greeted him with love and joy and celebrated the occasion  lighting up the streets and buildings with oil lamps in large numbers elaborately  in every place.
In Kerala  Deepavali is a one day festival mostly but in several parts people celebrates it for three days consecutively.In many parts of the state on the day prior to Deepavali day which is the Naraka Chaturdasi day from the evening people starts rejoicing by lighting crackers.To enhance the spirit and color of the festival crackers became an important item which turned out to be an   unavoidable essence which spice up  this festival every where in  India.During the one week of Diwali  festival crackers worth several millions of rupees will be burnt and people think it is an essential part of this festival of lights especially the children and youth.
Illuminating houses and commercial buildings with color bulbs is also done throughout Indian cities,town and villages.Even in  foreign countries where Indian communities  live in large numbers they illuminate their residential buildings and commercial spaces.In the Gulf Countries most of the shops and buildings in the city areas will be beautifully decorated and illuminated during Diwali season.
There is reference of this festival in "Skanda Purana' and  'Padma Purana' as the importance of this day is told to Subramanya by Lord Siva.
In Kerala much importance is given to the oil bath to be performed on Deepavali day early morning.The advice given in this manner is that
"Thaile Lakshmir Jale Ganga  Deepavaliam Chaturdasim
Pratha Snanam  hiya kuryath  Yama Lokam na Pasyathy"
It is said that on the Chaturdasi day and Deepavali day performing oil bath should be done since there will be presence of  Lakshmi Devi in the Oil and Ganga Devi in water and those who perform the oil bath in the early morning on these days will be blessed and fatality and untimely death will not  occur for such devotees.
People wear new dress, sweets and feast are prepared on that day and gifts are exchanged with others.This is an occasion  to extend our love and care to all.
May the Festival of Lights,Deepavali remove the evils of darkness from our minds  and  fill it with lights of wisdom and joy.May  God Ganesha the God of auspicious initiations  and  destroyer of obstacles bless us all.May Goddess Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of wealth bless us all with prosperity and well being.



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