Friday, 7 October 2011

WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWALI

WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWALI !!!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

When is Diwali in 2011?

When is Diwali in 2011?

Diwali 2011
In 2011 Diwali will fall on 26th October.

 

Diwali (Dipavali, Divali or Deepawali), also known as 'the festival of lights', is an Indian festival that brings a series of festivals with it. The people of all age groups and classes celebrate Diwali throughout India with equal zeal and enthusiasm. They put on new clothes and participate in the various activities that are related to Diwali celebrations. Diwali falls on the day of 'Amavasyaa' usually in the month of October or November. On this day, people light tiny diyas (earthen lamps) to illuminate their homes with bright light and create lovely designs all around their home with colorful rangoli art.

Diwali is a five-day long festival, each day being significant in its own terms. The celebrations commence on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdashi and culminate on Kartika Shudha Vijaya. The first day of this festival is called 'Dhan Trayodashi' or 'Dhanteras', wherein people worship Goddess Lakshmi and purchase utensils made of silver. The second day of Diwali is called 'Narak Chaturdashi', which is popular as 'Chhoti Diwali'. The third day of Diwali, which is also called 'Badi Diwali', is the main day of the celebrations of the festival. People perform Lakshmi Puja (worship of divine Goddess Lakshmi) on this day and offer prayers to her, to bless them with wealth and prosperity.

The fourth day of Diwali is devoted to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). The fifth day of the Diwali is Bhai Dooj, the time to honor the brother-sister relationship. Bursting crackers, social gatherings, exchange of greetings, sweets and gifts with loved ones are also part of the festival. During the festival, people following Hinduism offer prayers, and worship their favorite deity. Worshipping of Goddess Lakshmi, worship of Lord Ganesha, worship of Mother Kali, worship of Lord Chitragupta and worship of Govardhan Parvat is considered very auspicious for the occasion.

Diwali 2011

In 2011 Diwali will fall on 26th October.

Chhoti Diwali

Chhoti Diwali

Chhoti Diwali

Diwali is a festival, which brings a series of festivals with it. One after another we get a chance to celebrate five festivals together. Narak Chaturdashi is one of these festivals and it is celebrated on the second day of Diwali celebrations, just one day before the actual Diwali celebrations. The Narak Chaturdashi, falls on the fourteenth day of the Hindi month, Kartik is more popular by the name of Chhoti Diwali. It is celebrated with same zeal and enthusiasm as the main Diwali but it is on comparatively lower scale. Just like Diwali people light diyas on Chhoti Diwali to fill their homes with light and worship Goddess Laxmi.

Legends

One famous story behind the celebrations of Chhoti Diwali or Narak Chaturdashi is about the demon king Narakasur who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. During a war, he defeated Lord Indra and snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi who was not only the ruler of Suraloka but also a relative of Lord Krishna's wife, Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his harem.

When Satyabhama came to know about this malevolent act of Narakasur she got furious and she prayed to Lord Krishna to empower her so that she could destroy Narakasur. The legend also tells that Narakasur was under a curse that a woman would kill him. So, Lord Krishna empowered Satyabhama to fight with Narakasur and himself became the charioteer of her 'Ratha' in the battlefield. Thus, by the grace of Lord Krishna Satyabhama beheaded Narakasur on a day before to Narak Chaturdashi and released the imprisoned ladies from Narakasur's harem and also recovered the precious earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.


In order to save all those imprisoned ladies from embarrassment Lord Krishna accepted them all as his wives. As a symbol of the victory over Narakasur, Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with this demon king's blood. Then Lord Krishna returned home with his new wives early morning of the Narak Chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then, there is a custom to take bath before sunrise on the day of Narak Chaturdashi, especially in the state of Maharashtra. It is said that the mother of the Narakasura, Bhoodevi, declared that the death of her son should not be a day of mourning but an occasion for celebrations. Since then people celebrate Chhoti Diwali with joy and fun every year.


Another legend is about King Bali, who was king of the nether world. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all 'Devatas' so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali's powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height 'Brahmin', who is known as incarnation of 'Batu Waman', and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height 'Brahmin' asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish.


That very moment that short-height 'Brahmin' disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step, Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.


Chhoti Diwali - The Narak Chaturdashi Celebrations

People wake up early in the morning break any bitter fruit and apply the kumkum-oil paste, which is called 'Ubtan', on their foreheads and then take bath. The breaking of the fruit represents the head of the demon King, Narakasur and the kumkum-oil paste symbolizes the blood that Lord Krishna smeared on his forehead. In the state of Maharashtra, people take the traditional early baths after applying the paste of gram flour, fragrant powders and oil on their foreheads. As long as the ritual of bath takes place, deafening sound of crackers and fireworks could be heard so that the children enjoy bathing. At dusk, people start lighting Diyas and candles in and around their house to mark the celebration of Chhoti Diwali.





 

Diwali Significance

Diwali Significance

Diwali Significance

Diwali falls, the Indian festival of lights, falls on the day of 'Amavasyaa', when the moon does not rise and there is darkness all around. Light, being symbol of hope and positive energy, indicates the victory of good over evil. By spreading light in every corner of our premises, we try to destroy the reign of darkness, on the night of Diwali. People decorate their premises with diyas, electric bulbs and other decorative electric lighting fixtures, to make their surroundings filled with colorful light and to make it bright and beautiful. Go through the following lines to learn more about Diwali and its significance.

What Is Diwali

Deepavali - the very name of this festival reveals its meaning. The festival is all about the lighting diyas. Later the term 'Deepawali' became 'Diwali'. Deepawali or Diwali is also known as 'the festival of lights', because on this day, people illuminate their home and premises with diyas and colorful lights. Celebrated usually in the month of October or November, Diwali bears significance in the Hindu culture as well as among Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. The legends connected to the festival are different for different religions.

Importance of Diwali

Diwali is the Indian festival that brings a series of festivals with it. One after another, we get a chance to celebrate five ceremonious occasions. The people of all age groups and classes with equal zeal and enthusiasm celebrate Diwali throughout India. They put on new apparels and participate in the various activities that are related to Diwali celebrations. It is a festival of celebrations such as lightings, crackers, cleanliness, colorful rangoli making, social gatherings to exchange greetings and sharing sweets with your loved ones. Diwali is a festival filled with spiritualism and religious activities, such as worship of Goddess Lakshmi, worship of Lord Ganesha, worship of Ma Kali, worship of Lord Chitragupta and worship of Govardhan Parvat.

The celebration of the five-day long festival, Diwali, begins on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdashi and concludes on Kartika Shudha Vijaya. The first day of this festival begins with 'Dhan Trayodashi' or 'Dhanteras'. After the Dhanvantari Trayodashi the second day of Diwali is 'Narak Chaturdashi', which is popular as 'Chhoti Diwali'. The third day of Diwali, which is also called 'Badi Diwali' is the main day of celebrations of the festival of Diwali. People perform Lakshmi Pujan (worship of divine Goddess Lakshmi) on this day and offer prayers to her to bless them with wealth and prosperity. The fourth day of Diwali is devoted to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). The fifth day of the Diwali is Bhai Dooj, the time to honor the brother-sister relationship.



 

 

History of Diwali

History of Diwali

History of Diwali

The festival of Diwali is celebrated by Indians throughout the world in a joyous mood, with zeal and enthusiasm. The festival is predominated by colorful display of lights, bursting of crackers, cleanliness, sweets, lots of shopping, happiness. The festive spirit brings people of different communities closer, to celebrate the vibrant festival in the most blissful and lively way. Like most of the festivals in India, Diwali too has its base in mythology and there is a very interesting history about this festival. Go through the following lines to get information on the history of Diwali.

History of Diwali


Five Days of Diwali Celebrations

The first day of this festival begins with 'Dhan Trayodashi' or 'Dhanteras'. After the Dhanvantari Trayodashi, the second day of Diwali is called 'Narak Chaturdashi', which is popular as 'Chhoti Diwali'. The third day of Diwali, which is also called 'Badi Diwali' is the main day of celebrations of the festival of diwali. The fourth day of the festival is devoted to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). The fifth day of the festival is Bhai Dooj, the time to honor the brother-sister relationship.

Dhanteras History

The first day of Diwali celebration is marked by Dhanteras. According to the legends, during the churning of ocean by the Gods and the demons, Dhanvantari - the physician of the Gods came out of the ocean on the day of Dhanteras, with a pot of amrita that was meant for the welfare of the humankind. This day also marks the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi, which is celebrated by drawing small footprints of the deity, with rice flour and vermilion powder.

Narak Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali) History

One famous story behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the demon king Narakasur, who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. During a war, he defeated Lord Indra and snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi, who was not only the ruler of Suraloka, but also a relative of Lord Krishna's wife - Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his harem. A day before Diwali, Lord Krishna killed Narakasur, released the jailed daughters and restored the precious earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.

Diwali And Shri Ram of Ayodhyaa

The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri - Lord Shri Ram. According to the legend, the king of Lanka, Ravan, kidnapped Lord Ram's wife (Sita) from the jungle, where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dashratha, father of Lord Ram. Then Ram attacked Lanka, killed Ravan and released Sita from the custody. He returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshamana after fourteen years.

Therefore, the people of Ayodhyaa decorated their homes as well as Ayodhyaa, by lighting tiny diyas, in order to welcome their beloved prince Shri Ram and Devi Sita. It was the day of 'Kartik Amavasyaa' when they also celebrated the victory of Shri Ram over the King of Lanka, Ravan. Ram is considered the symbol of good and the positive things and Ravan represents the evils. Therefore, Diwali is considered the festival, which establishes the victory of good over the evil. On the night of Diwali, people light diyas, which is again an icon of positive energy to conquer darkness, the is symbol of negative energy.


Govardhan Puja History

'Govardhan' is a small hillock situated at 'Braj', near Mathura. The legends in 'Vishnu Puraan' have it that the people of Gokul used to worship and offer prayers to Lord Indra for the rains, because they believed that it were He, who was responsible for rainfall for their welfare. However, Lord Krishna told them that it was Mount Govardhan (Govardhan Paevat) and not Lord Indra, who caused rains. Therefore, they should worship the former and not the latter.

People did the same, which made Lord Indra so furious that the people of Gokul had to face heavy rainfall because of his anger. Lord Krishna came forward to ensure their security and after performing worship and offering prayers to Mount Govardhan, he lifted it as an umbrella, on the little finger of his right hand, so that everyone could take shelter under it. After this event, Lord Krishna was also known as Giridhari or Govardhandhari.


Bhai Dooj History

According to the legends, Lord Yamraj, the God of Death, visited his sister Yamuna on the 'Shukla Paksha Dwitiya' day in the Hindi month of 'Kartik'. When Yamraj reached Yamuna's home, she welcomed him by performing his aarti, applying 'Tilak' on his forehead and by putting a garland around his neck. Yamuna also cooked varieties of dishes, prepared many sweets for her brother and offered all those to Him.

Lord Yamraj ate all those delicious dishes and when he was finished, he showered blessings on Yamuna and gave her a boon that if a brother visits his sister on this day, he would be blessed with health and wealth. This is why this day of Bhayya Duj is also known by the name of 'Yam-Dwitiya'. Thus, it has become a tradition that on the day of Bhai-Dooj for the brothers to visit their sisters' home and offer them gifts. Sisters also make various dishes for their brothers and give gifts to them.


History Of Sikh Community's Diwali

In the Sikh community, Diwali celebrations have special importance as for them it, is popular as the day when their sixth Guru, Guru Har Govind ji came back from the captivity of the fort of Gwalior city. The people illuminated lamps in the way to Shri Harmandhir Sahib, which is known by the name of 'the Golden Temple', to honor and welcome their beloved Guru.

History of Jain Community's Diwali

For the Jain community, the festival of Diwali has special significance. It is the day when the famous Jain prophet Bhagvaan Mahaveer, the founder of Jainism, attained 'Nirvana'. Therefore, the people of Jain community celebrate the festival of Diwali in remembrance of Lord Mahavira.



 

Customs of Diwali

Customs of Diwali

Many interesting rituals and traditions have been attached to the celebrations of Diwali. It is a five-day long festival, which is celebrated with fun and fervor. The blissful festival calls for the exchange of gifts, sweets and heartfelt wishes. Fire crackers are burst and people enjoy wearing new clothes, on the auspicious day. Although the way of merrymaking is different and the customs are different, the feel among the people across the length and breadth of the country remains the same - to spread good cheer. It is the time to celebrate brotherhood. In the following lines, we have provided complete information on the customs of Diwali.

Rituals of Dipavali


First Day of Diwali

The first day of Diwali is known as 'Dhanteras'. People renovate, decorate their houses and workplaces on this day and make traditional 'Rangoli' motifs on the entrance, to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Lamps and candles are lit throughout the night. It is considered auspicious to buy gold and silver on this day. Many people opt for buying new utensils on this day. In Maharashtra, offerings of lightly pounded dry coriander seeds with jaggery are made to the Goddess. Rural people revere their cattle on this day and cows are considered especially auspicious.

Second Day of Diwali

On second day, people take bath before sunrise, anoint themselves with oil and 'Ubtan' (scrub made up of gram flour and fragrant powders). Bengalis believe that Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktavija on this day. A general customs followed during the second day of Diwali is to burst crackers. People illuminate their homes with diya, as to welcome the set the mood for celebrations in the following day.

Third Day of Diwali

The third day is the main day of the Diwali festival. Jains have their own religious significance of the day, because they believe that Lord Mahavir attained 'Nirvana' (or Eternal Bliss) on the day. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the great saint who gave rise to Hindu Renaissance, also left the mortal world on this day. On this day, people wear new clothes and share gifts and sweets with their friends and relatives. Women prepare delicacies and whole house is illuminated with 'diyas' and candles. Fireworks and crackers are the kids' favorites on this day.

Fourth Day of Diwali

On the 4th day is the 'Govardhan-Puja' or 'Annakoot'. In the temples of Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are bathed with milk and adorned with precious clothes and ornaments. Then offerings of a large variety of delicacies are made to them.

Fifth Day of Diwali

The 5th day or the last day of this festival is called ' Bhai Duj '. On this day, sisters invite their brothers and their family to their homes and treat them with delicacies. In turn, brothers offer them with gifts and sweets.


 

 

Story of Diwali

Story of Diwali

India, the land of rich cultural heritage, has one or the other festival for every month. It is the spiritual and religious richness in India that each festival is related to some or other deity. One of such festival is the 'festival of lights' - Deepawali. It is the glorious occasion that is not restricted to one day, but extended to a five-day celebration. All through these five days, people are in a festive mood. Adding to the festivity is the colorful display of lights. Like every other Hindu festival, stories from Mythology are associated with Diwali too. Given below is information on the celebrations of Diwali.

Stories & Legends of Deepavali


Return of Shri Ram To Ayodhyaa

The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri - Lord Shri Ram. The king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Ram's wife - Sita from the jungle, where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dashratha, father of Lord Ram. In order to freed Sita from Ravana's custody, Ram attacked him. This was followed by a war, in which, Ram defeated Ravan and released Sita from his custody. On the arrival of Lord Ram along with his wife Sita, people of Ayodhya decorated their homes as well as the city of Ayodhyaa by lighting tiny diyas all over, in order to welcome their beloved prince Shri Ram and Devi Sita.

Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi

On the auspicious new moon day, which is 'Amavasyaa' of the Hindi month of Kartik, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity - Lakshmi was incarnated. She appeared during the churning of the ocean, which is known as 'Samudra Manthan', by the demons on one side and 'Devataas' (Gods) on the other side. Therefore, the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Lakshmi Pujan, on the day of Diwali, became a tradition.

Lord Krishna Destroyed Demon Narakasur

One famous story behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the demon king Narakasur, who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. After acquiring victory over Lord Indra during a war, Narakasur snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi, who was not only the ruler of Suraloka, but also a relative of Lord Krishna's wife - Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his harem. With the support of Lord Krishna, Satyabhama defeated Narakasur, released all the women from his harem and restored the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.

The Return of The Pandavas

The great Hindu epic 'Mahabharata' has another interesting story related to the 'Kartik Amavasyaa'. According to the story, 'the Pandavas', the five brothers Yudhishthhira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahdeva, were sentenced to thirteen years exile as a result of their defeat against 'the Kauravas' - Duryodhana and his ninety nine brothers, at the game of dice. Therefore, the Pandavas spent thirteen years in the jungles and returned to their kingdom on the day of 'Kartik Amavasyaa'. On their return, the people of their kingdom welcomed the Pandavas by celebrating the event by lighting the earthen lamps all over in their city.

Coronation of King Vikramaditya

Another legend or story about Diwali celebrations relates to one of the greatest Hindu King - Vikramaditya. It was the day when he was coroneted and the people celebrated this event by lighting tiny earthen 'diyas'.

 

Diwali Celebration

Diwali Celebration