- Religion and Philosophy
How the festival Deepavali came to be celebrated all over India?
Dewali celebrations; slaying of Narakasura.
The grand festival, its origin and the colors!
Today, the festival Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated all over India as well as in foreign countries where the Indian population is considerable. The beauty of the festival is fireworks and crackers illumining the sky with colors of various hues. The manufacture of fireworks itself takes place some five or six months prior to the celebrations. Apart from this festival, fireworks finds a place in any celebrations or even in funeral processions.
Well. What is Diwali and how it has originated is an interesting story that took place around 5000 years ago during the era of Krishna. Krishna himself is considered as the eighth incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu. Krishna manifested love everywhere wherever he went. It is sheer ecstasy and only those who had merits accumulated in several births could experience this great love.
There lived a fearful demon called "Narakasura, before Krishna's advent.He obtained many boons to ensure his longevity and prowess. Full of ego, he fought with the demigods in heaven and committed many atrocities. He imprisoned 16000 young girls, descendants of demigods. None could equal in strength to him. Hence he freely terrorized the earth and heaven. Finding no respite in the evil deeds, the group of demigods went to Lord Mahavishnu and requested him to protect them from the highhandedness of the wicked demon. The Lord assuaged their grief by foretelling that he will take birth as Krishna and during that incarnation, he will slay the demon. The people of earth and heaven awaited for the birth of the Divine baby.
The demon was living in a region called "Pragjodhishapura", the present day Assam state of India. As promised to the demigods, Lord Krishna was born and he was growing in a small village called Gokulam. He has performed many feats and miracles even while he was a baby. He has slayed many demons when he was a toddler. Hence the people of entire village venerated Krishna though he was only a child. The demon Narakasura is considered as the son of the earth god called "Bhudevi". Hence none offended the demon since it will invite the irk of mother of earth. Emboldened by the absence of any foes, Narakasura was doing more and more atrocities. He dared to pluck the ear rings of Adhiti, the mother of demi gods. Afterwards he imprisoned around 16000 young girls, daughters of the demigods. Hence, the advent of Krishna gave them the much needed consolation.
Krishna waited for an appropriate time to fight the demon. Along with his consort Sathyabama, Krishna ascended a chariot and headed on to Pragjodhishapura, the fort of the demon. He engaged the demon in war. The demon had a formidable army. Undeterred, Krishna eliminated many of the warriors and generals in the war. Finally, he entered into direct war with the demon. The fight lasted for ten days. At one stage, a missile hit Krishna and wounded him. He pretended swooning and his consort Sathyabama fought the demon with added vigor. During those periods, women were highly competent. Finally Sathyabama was able to kill the demon and before dying, he prayed to Krishna to grant one boon. Every year on the Naraka chathurdasi day (the fourteenth day after full moon day) during the month October-November, people should celebrate the day with sweets and new cloths. In every house, the members rise up early, took oil bath with hot water, wore new cloths, ate sweets and other delicious dishes, The children used to enjoy fire works by colorful fire crackers, rockets which emit color rays and small bombs which burst with sound. This is to enjoy relief from the evil demon which plundered the earth and heaven.
In Northern parts of India, people perform rituals and worship god of wealth known as Kubera and Lakshmi. The traders and business community commence new account books and they worship the same by putting the books in the altar. Throughout India people celebrate nicely wearing colorful cloths, feasting and dancing. Another feature is to lit oil lamps and keep them outside their homes all round the periphery. The very scene evokes fine memory.
The traders who deal in textiles, ready made shirts and pants, saris reap a rich harvest. Within two or three days, they will be able to sell majority of the cloths. Likewise, the sweet stalls and bakeries witness huge profits. Milk and ghee sweets are favorites during this occasion. Savories with various shapes and color are displayed in nice way as to attract the passersby. The fire cracker shops do a brisk business in two or three days and sell firecrackers briskly and earn a profit which will last for few months. On this grand occasion, i greet the hub members with a very happy Diwali celebrations!