India is a land of diversity. Here everything has a story to tell. The same celebrations have one hundred stories related to it. It is also a land of myth and legends. India being the home to ancient religions of the world has a very different idea about festivals and celebrations as compared to the western world.
Diwali is a festival celebrated by millions of Indians by lighting small lamps and by bursting firecrackers. Homes and streets are decorated with lamps and small diyas. Several rituals are followed, this day is considered as most auspicious. This festival celebrated annually conveys the message of the triumph of good over bad.
Diwali brings in joy and it is a time of togetherness for the families and friends. Diwali is celebrated not only in India, but also in other countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius ,Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago, Malaysia, and Singapore.
There are many myths related to Diwali :
Narakasura was the demon who was the ruler of Pragjyotishpur, who got intoxicated with power and he began to harm Gods and abducted their 16000 daughters and he stole the earring of Aditi, the mother of Gods. He also abducted beautiful young women and forced them to live with him. Krishna , the 8th avatar of Vishnu restored peace and order , by uprooting evil. This myth is popular only in south and western India. On this occasion of Diwali , especially in Tamil Nadu people take a luxury bath by applying oil and get refreshed. New clothes are worn and delicious foods are cooked. Crackers are burst which is done to ward off evil. The significance of Diwali lies in the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Coronation of the Legendary king.
Diwali is also considered as the day of the coronation of the legendary king Vikramaditya who was very popular and was the beloved of his subjects. This day was celebrated by the people by lighting small lamps called diyas, throughout his kingdom.
Return of Rama:
Rama along with his wife and brother was exiled from his kingdom of Ayodhya , as part of exile for 14 years. The journey through the forest made Rama confront Ravana for abducting his wife Sita, which consequently led to the killing of Ravana. Ravana was the King of Lanka and he was scholarly but evil-thought dominated his mind. The victory of Rama over Ravana is the victory of truth and goodness over evil.
Diwali is a festival which spreads happiness and joy. As mentioned above it has several reasons to be celebrated across the country. The spirit of the festival is the vibrancy it creates around and the inner message it conveys. Festivals unite people and culture. It is the way of connecting people. Let the spirit of Diwali lit our hearts too.