Monday, October 31, 2005

HAPPY DEEPAVALI


Blog ss, originally uploaded by Jeevan_.

The festival of Deepavali is a time for lamps, gifts, sweets, new clothes and families to get together. But how did it all begin?

Lamps are lit to remember Rama's return to Ayodhya and hence the name of the festival — Deepavali, or line of lamps.

At the very mention of Deepavali, many beautiful images crowd the mind; the firecrackers, lamps, gifts, sweets, new clothes, Lakshmi and so on. Interestingly, the many facets of the festival have evolved with the various regional customs getting assimilated.

Dhanteras is celebrated two days before the amavasya. The son of King Hima was doomed to die on the fourth day of his marriage by snakebite. To defeat this prediction, his wife lit lamps all over the palace and laid the ornaments in a big heap at the entrance. When the god of death arrived there in the guise of a serpent, the dazzle of those brilliant lights blinds his eyes and he could not enter the prince's chamber. This victory is remembered and people buy some item of jewellery for dhanteras and keep a lamp lit nearby all night.

Bursting crackers for Deepavali is a South Indian custom and is connected with the killing of the demon Narakasuran by Krishna. After the killing, Krishna freed all the women who had been held captive by Naraka. Hence the custom of waking up before dawn, bursting at least one symbolic cracker and having oil bath of purification.

In North India, Deepavali marks the return of Rama to Ayodhya. On this dark amavasya night, the people of Ayodhya light up the route with rows of oil lamps to welcome the princes. In remembrance of this wonderful event, lamps are lit and the festival bears the name of Deepavali or line of lamps. In the Jaina custom the day marks the passing into Nirvana of Mahavira. The lighting of the lamps is a symbolic, material substitute for the light that was extinguished with Mahavira's passing.

The fourth day of the festival also marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya in 56 B.C. Vikram Era, the calendar followed in North India, starts with this date and the day is hence the first day of the New Year. New account books are opened with the prayer that the business makes profit during the year ahead.

Another legend is that on this day, during the churning of the seas for amruth, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, emerged from the ocean. Hence on the evening of Deepavali, an aarti to the goddess is considered auspicious.

Deepavali ends with Balipadyami or honouring of Bali. Narayana gave the boon to the king of the Underworld that on this one day of the year, he would be Devendra and rule the universe. On Balipadyami day people remember Bali Chakravarthy and pray for the kind of prosperity that existed during his reign. Exchanging gifts on this day is said to please the generous king.

Happy Diwali Enjoy it :)

11 comments:

Sumonk said...

Dear Jeevan
Wish u a happy Diwali too Jeevan., May Lord bring more and more light in your life. Have a wonderful time.

with best wishes and love,
Suman

ada-paavi!!!! said...

happy diwali jeevan, patassu vedicha safea vedi

Arjuna_Speaks said...

Deepavali valthukal - nanmba :)

Aatma said...

Happy Diwali - Jeevan

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Jeevan,
CAn I call you the living 'Encyclopedia'.!!

I don't know anything about Deepavali other than the 'Narakasura' story.!!!

Wow..amazing, to know about Ramayana/vikramaditya etc.!!

HAPPY DEEPAVALI MY FRIEND.

Prasanna said...

Hi Jeevan,

Wish you and your family happy diwali. Nice talking to you on chat.

visithra said...

Nice roundup of all the different reasons ;) hope you had a wonderful time ;)

awakeningcoma said...

jeevan happy deepavali i tried to call u it was engaged, deepavali pathi neraiya therinju vachiruka, sari joke enna aachu

Jeevan said...

Suman – Thanks and same to you.

Vatsan _ thank you, same to u. Safea vedichi mudichachu. J

Arjuna – Nandri nanba, wish u the same.

Jeevan said...

Aatma – same to u my Friend.

Venkitu – Same to you My Friend. Me Encyclopedia! Thanks.

Prasanna – Same to you. Me too feel happy talking through Chat.

Jeevan said...

Visithra – Thanks friend. Happy Diwali.

Awakening – Same to you my Friend. Its ok. I will put joke in next