Indian Festivals

Diwali in English on 24 Oct 2022 (Monday)

Legend of Diwali 

Diwali is celebrated mainly for Rama's homecoming to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana and his coronation as king. The festival marks his victorious return to his kingdom along with his wife Sita, brother Laxman and great devotee Hanuman.

The legend claimed that it took 20 days for Rama to return to his kingdom after defeating Ravana. The people of Ayodhya lit up their homes with oil lamps and turned the night with a light festival. From that time onwards Diwali is being celebrated to mark the Victory of Lord Ram over the evil Ravana.
Another legend said that once upon a time King Bali of the nether world mighty power had become a threat to the gods. In order to give him a lesson Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Batu Waman- a small boy- visited his kingdom. In that time King Bali was much more famous for his philanthropist cause.
Keeping this in mind Lord Vishnu begged King Bali to give him only that much land which he could cover with his three steps. King Bali proudly granted Lord Vishnu’s wish. With his first step Lord Vishnu covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth and asked Bali where to keep his third step. Bali offered his head. Putting his foot on his head Vishnu pushed him down to the underworld. In that time Lord Vishnu gave him the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance of humanity and spread the radiance of eternity and love. On this day people also worshipped Goddess Lakshmi as she was freed by Vishnu from the clutches of King Bali. Therefore, it is believed that the festival is celebrated in honour of Mother Laxmi.
Another legend said that, in this day of Diwali, a small boy called Nachiketa who always believed that Yam, the god of Death was as black as the dark night of amavasya. But when he met Yamraj, he was quite astonished with Yamraj's calm and stature.

Yam explained to Nachiketa on this Diwali day of amavasya that by only passing through the darkness of death, man sees the light of highest wisdom and then only his soul can escape from the bondage of his mortal frame to mingle with the Supreme Power. And then Nachiketa realized the importance of worldly life and significance of death. Then he whole-heartedly participated in Diwali celebrations.
Another story is with Narakasura (a trouble-maker to the gods) who ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. He always disturbed the sages’ community in their Ashram & created havoc during the rituals. He even grabbed some territory of Aditi, (the king of Suraloka and a relative of Satyabhama, Lord Krishna's wife).

Continuously harassed with this precarious approach of Narakasura along with Indra other gods pleaded Lord Krishna to protect them from the mighty Narakasura. In that time queen Satyabhama appealed to Krishna to give her chance to destroy Narakasura. Lord Krishna granted her a boon to fight with Narakasura. With Krishna as the charioteer, Satyabhama entered the battlefield and killed the Narakasura. After the death of the demon his mother Bhudevi declared to celebrate this occasion with joy and rejoice. Since then Diwali was celebrated by people every year with ardent zeal, fun and fire. 
Another legend said that, on this day Mother Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk (Kheer Sagar). She brought with her wealth and prosperity for mankind. On that day, Lakshmi Pooja was performed to honour Goddess Lakshmi. So from that day in every year on Diwali, Hindus perform prayer and worship to Goddess Lakshmi. Many people believe that Goddess Lakshmi visit the homes of devotees on this day. Bhajans"-devotional songs in praise of Goddess Laxmi are sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess.