Why do we celebrate Deepavali ?

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Deepavali or the Festival of Lights is an important and popular festival celebrated throughout the country. In North India it is celebrated five day long.
    Deepavali is associated with many legends.

    One is that, on that day Lord Rama returned triumphant to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.

    The second legend goes thus. Narakasura, a monster, ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. He was a trouble-maker to the gods and the pious sages and would disturb their penance or create havoc during the rituals. To prove his power, Narakasura usurped some territory of Aditi, (the king of Suraloka and a relative of Satyabhama, Lord Krishna's wife). Vexed with this harassment, Indra and other gods approached Lord Krishna and pleaded with him to protect them from the demon Narakasura. Satyabhama appealed to Krishna to give her the golden chance to destroy Narakasura, as Narakasura was given a curse that he would be killed by a woman. Krishna granted her a boon to fight with Narakasura. With Krishna as the charioteer, Satyabhama entered the battle field and killed the demon, Narakasura. The killing of Narakasura was a victory of good over evil. It is interesting to note that Bhudevi, mother of the slain Narakasura, declared that his death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. Since then, Deepavali is being observed by people every year with joyous celebrations and lot of fun and frolic, and fire works.

    The third myth says that on this auspicious day, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and good fortune visits the houses of people. In the evening Lakshmi Puja is performed with great devotion.

    The making of various sweets is the order of the day. Homes are decorated, sweets are distributed and lamps are lit, giving a magical and radiant touch. There is an atmosphere of joy and festivity.

    Normally according to dharma shastram, one is not supposed to take an oil bath before sunrise on any day. But on Deepavali, there is an exemption. People get up early in the morning and have an oil bath in hot water specially before sunrise. This is equated to having a bath in the Ganges.


    Thailae lakshmeeh jalae gangaa deepaavaLyaas(h) chathurdas(h)eem


    On Deepavali chathurdashi day, Mahalakshmi resides in gingelly oil and Ganges resides in water until sunrise. So we get the blessings of Mahalakshmi as well by doing this.
    The traditional exchange of Gretings in South India is “ Ganga snanam acha?” Sweets are exchanged with best wishes.

    Deepavali is a time for fun and revelry as well as pooja and tradition.
    The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to God for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, valour and fame. Fireworks are brought out and the children enjoy the fun and frolic. Hundreds of fire crackers can be seen glowing and then bursting as though it was a battle of glows and sparks in the skies. Thus there is universal enjoyment. And all this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness.

    Thus this great festival of light symbolises man’s urge to move towards light of truth from darkness of ignorance and happiness.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.

    For deepavali, in Benares (Kasi), Goddess Annapurani is adorned with gold kavacham and carried in a chariot made of laddus. The photo of Annapurani, glittering in gold is poted below.

    My affectionate Deepavali Greetings to all I L ites.
     

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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Am Feeling Homesick Now!

    Dear Ms C,

    After reading this post, i am feeling so homesick. Having grown up hearing the Narakasura story and going through the rituals every deepavali. We do not get the same feel for the festival here even though we try to perform all the rituals as thoroughly as possible ( the biggest part is we miss the fireworks). Nothing can replace celebrating deepavali back home.

    Wishing all the IL ites a very Happy Deepavali and a Prosperous year ahead.

    Love
    Vandhana
     
  3. Priya Amarnath

    Priya Amarnath Bronze IL'ite

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    dear dear Chithra

    My dear Chithra

    Please accept my sinceire thanks for sharing yet another wonderful article. It was so nice reading the story about celebrating Deepavali.

    Wishing you and all Ilites a Happy Diwali.

    Love and regards
    Priya
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Vandhana !

    Thankyou very much for the "suda suda" F B ! Feeling home sick at a festive time is a price one pays for being a N R I, perhaps !
    Happy deepavali to you & yours.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Priya !

    As usual, you are very prompt !
    Thankyou for the F B .
    Happy deepavali to you & yours.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  6. Preethi

    Preethi Gold IL'ite

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    Good Enlightenment !

    Dear Chitra,

    Thanks for the Enlightenment about the legend(s) behind Deepavali. I know all these days that Deepavali is associated with Narakasura, but didn't know that Satyabhama killed him, that was a good learning about the history associated with deepavali! Also, the legend about Rama and Lakshmi, I learnt through you only...This year I am going to celebrate diwali with complete understanding of its background !

    Wishing you and your family a very happy diwali from me and my husband !

    Have a great time with you loved one's on this special occassion.

    Love,
    Preethi
     
  7. Ushakrishnan64

    Ushakrishnan64 Silver IL'ite

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    Happy Deepavali

    Choicest Deepavali wishes to all ILites and their families. Though geographically apart, IL has brought us all to-gether in this forum to share our wishes.
    For those of you who have the channel called DAN TAMILOLI alias SANGAMAM TV (through HOTBIRD Satellite), please watch the special Deepavali programme called "Dubai-il Deepavalikk Kannottam"(How we celebrate Deepavali in Dubai). The timing is 4PM to 5PM Dubai time (5:30PM to 6:30PM IST). This programme has been co-hosted by my daughter and some of the clips have been shot at our residence.
    Happy Deepavali
    Regards
    USHA
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2006
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  8. honeybee

    honeybee Gold IL'ite

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    Deepavali wishes

    Dear ILites

    Wish you all a happy,radiant (courtesy:lit lamps) Deepavali.

    I am sure all of us will light lots of lamps and celebrate this Deepavali now that Chitra am'am has beautifully explained the significance.

    Dear Chitra ma'am
    The Photo of glittering Annapoorni is amazing..Is it a Tanjore painting?

    Regards
    Sowmya
     
  9. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    Very nice

    Dear chith,
    As usual this thread also brings facts unknown to me. THe explanation of oilbath was new to me Also yama deepam and laksmipuja. This year onwards we are going to have a pakka diwali. Everywhere there is chitvish around my home.
    regards,
    Meenu
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Preethi !

    Thankyou for the feedback.
    Narakasura vadam is the more popular legend in south, the other 2 in the north. But it is nice to know all the legends, is'nt it ?
    Thanks for your wishes.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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