THROUGH OUT DIVERSE INDIA
Deepawali or Diwali is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word “Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas, or clay lamps. This is one of the
most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the
15th day of Kartika, according to the Hindu calendar.
This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya
after completing his 14-year exile. The myths around Rama and Ravana
are told during another holiday, known as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami.
The Goddess Lakshmi was Vishnu’s consort and she symbolizes wealth and
prosperity. She is also worshipped on Diwali.
This festival is celebrated in West Bengal as “Kali Puja”, and Kali,
Shiva’s consort, is worshipped during Diwali.
The Diwali festival in southern India often commemorates the conquering
of the Asura Naraka, a king of Assam who imprisoned many people.
It is believed that Krishna freed the prisoners.
Many Buddhists in India mark anniversary of the Emperor Ashoka’s
conversion to Buddhism around the time of Diwali. Many scholars
believe that Ashoka lived between 270 BCE and 232 BCE.
Many people who observe Jainism mark the anniversary of Lord Mahavira’s attainment of nirvana on October 15, 527 BCE. Lord Mahavira
established the central spiritual ideas of Jainism.
Many Jains celebrate the Festival of Lights
in honor of Nirvana event.
Bandi Chhorh Divas, which is the Sikh celebration of the sixth Nanak’s
(Guru Har Gobind) return from detention in the Gwalior Fort,
coincides with Diwali. This coincidence has resulted in
the similarity of celebrating the day among
many Sikhs and Hindus.
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