Isn’t Diwali a good time to enjoy before the advent of chilly winters? It’s the festival that marks the closure of the autumn season. Not only that, Diwali is an important festival of Hindus, and we Indians sure know how to celebrate our festivals the best way possible. That’s why we start the preparations for Diwali at least a month before. Yes, we are damn serious about our celebrations. If one visits India at the time of Diwali, they get to witness streets decorated like fairyland, houses spotlessly clean and decorated, market places packed like sardines, People gathering Diwali gifts for friends and family, and not to miss the long queues at sweet shops. But you know there is more to this festival.
We live on land that is graced with cultures and ethnicities in abundance. So, the customs and traditions hold deep sentiments of Indians. Thus, we indulge in celebrations with all our hearts, especially when its Diwali we are talking about. Diwali is indeed an important festival for Hindus, but ever wondered why?
Sure Diwali signifies the same thing everywhere, and that is the triumph of good over evil. Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, but that’s not the only reason for which Diwali is celebrated. Yes, you read that right. There are other reasons as well that make this day as auspicious and important as it is.
Birthday of Goddess Laxmi
Why do we pray goddess Laxmi on Diwali? Did this question ever pop in your head? We all know goddess Laxmi and even hope that she bestows her blessings on us (you see, she is the goddess of wealth). But how many of you knew about her birthday? I know, very few. Well, according to mythology, goddess Laxmi first incarnated on a new moon day of Kartik month during the churning of the oceans. Thus, she has a strong association with Diwali.
Return of Pandavas
Remember Pandavas? And the famous game of dice they lost against Kauravas? As a result of which they were sent to banishment for 12 years. Well, it is believed that it was ‘Amavasya of Kartik month’ when they returned from exile. Though they lost the game, Pandavas were still loved by their subjects. So, to celebrate the joyous occasion of their comeback to Hastinapura, the villagers illuminated the whole state with lights and exchanged Diwali gifts, and the custom is followed to this day.
The defeat of Narakasura
If your childhood was filled with your grandmother’s stories, then the chances are that you might have come across this name, Narakasura. It is believed that he was a demon king of some parts of south India who acquired superpowers. Lord Krishna defeated him, and 16,000 women that were captivated by him were released. So, to commemorate Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon, people indulged in celebration, and the celebration went on for two days, out of which the victory day is celebrated as Diwali.
Rescue for goddess Laxmi
It’s a common belief that king Bali captured the goddess Laxmi. Then what, lord Vishnu came to the rescue. He, disguised in his fifth incarnation called Vaman Avatar (Lord Vishnu’s first Avatar), rescued goddess Laxmi from the prison of Bali. You just found another reason why goddess Laxmi is worshipped on Diwali.
The story of Mahabali
Mahabali was a very wise king who was devoted to Lord Vishnu. But over time, he became very egoistic. But Lord Vishnu wanted him to get rid of his ego, so he visited Mahabali in the form of a poor dwarf brahmin. He asked the king for some land, to which Mahabali replied that he had plenty of lands to give, and he could get as much as he wished. But the brahmin asked for only three steps of land.
The first step covered the whole earth; the second step covered the whole sky, which left nothing for the third step. This scene made the king realize that the brahmin was actually Lord Vishnu. So he offered his head for the third step. Thus, Mahabali was pushed underground, which freed him from the cycle of life.