Dipavali

Dipavali has a special place among all the festivals of India. The enthusiasm with which this festival is celebrated is not visible in other festivals. Although Dipavali is our most ancient festival, but it’s greatest characteristic is, that it is not related with any specific caste, class or province, rather it is an universal festival. Indian’s celebrate this festival in all types of circumstances – during peace time, during war time, in their joyous times in their sorrowful time etc. Though the festival of Dipavali has undergone some changes, in due course of time, yet it has continued to be celebrated since the time immemorial. Even the ‘storms’ of the aggressors could not extinguish the lamp of Dipavali.

People make preparation for Dipavali, weeks ahead by cleaning their households. On the last day of the dark half of a lunar month, and in the Hindu month of Kartik innumerable lamps illuminate the dark night. Women, children, youth, old people worship goddess Laxmi with devotion. They request goddess Laxmi to visit their homes. People put on new clothes. They also purchase new utensils. The business community commences their new year on this day by worshipping Ganesh an Laxmi and maintaining new account books. It is difficult to state that, since when the festival of Dipavali has been celebrating in its present form. In our Country whose economy is based on agriculture, this festival was believed to be started as the celebration of ‘rituparva’ thousands of years ago. By this time the harvest of crops were complete. As a result the people had not to worry about food for the rest of year. This joys of their reflected ion the illumination of countless lamps. In due course of time, numerous historical incidents got connected with this festival. There are many tales in the Puranas related with this festival. There are difference of opinions in the Skand, Padm and Bhavish Puran, regarding the origin of Dipavali. Somewhere it is described, that this festival started being celebrated in joy, become King Prithu had successfully exploited the means for extracting crops and wealth from the earth. At other places it has been described that on this day, goddess Laxmi manifested herself while the ocean was being churned by the deities and the demon. Some are of the opinion that Lord Krishna has killed the demon Narakasura on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the lunar month, and liberated 16000 princesses kept under his captive. So the next day which was the last day of the dark half of a lunar month (Amavasya), people which was the last day of the dark half of a lunar month (Amavasya), people celebrated diwali to show their joy and happiness.

According to the Mahabharat when the Pandavas returned from exile, people decorated their houses and made celebrations. According to some hearsay’s, people celebrated by illuminating their houses on the occasion of Vikramaditya becoming an emperor. So it becomes clear, that people generally worshipped Laxmi-Narayan to show their indebtedness, for being blessed with prosperity. In due of time, many historical events too got connected with it. There is an interesting reason behind the worship of goddess Laxmi on Dipavali. According to Sanatkumar-Sanhita, once Bali – the king of demon had the whole world under his control. He put all the deities including goddess Laxmi, in the prison. In the absence of Laxmi, all the activities related with oblation came to a halt. On the request of the deities, lord Vishnu in his incarnation of Vaman, free Laxmi from Bali’s captive. People expressed their joys by illuminating their houses with burning lamps. Laxmi was especially worshipped as she had been freed after a long period of captivity. This way the worship of goddess Laxmi became a tradition which is sill being continued.

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