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The Great Mythological History of Diwali Festival

Updated on October 25, 2010

Diwali is one of the main festivals of India. It is generally celebrated in the month of either October or November. Dewali is the festival of lights. From an aged person to a child, everyone participates to celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm to dispel darkness and light up their lives with, wealth, hope and success. These festivals points out the unity and diversity as every region celebrates it in their own way. People decorate their house by designing floor with colours which is known as Rangoli, and also with artificial lights, candles, lamps and flowers. They celebrate that evening by colourful firecrackers and also enjoy with various sweets. Diwali involves lighting small clay lamps which are known as diya marks the triumph of good over evil. But there are so many stories behind the origin of Diwali festival which have been picked up from the religious scriptures of Hindus.

The Story Of Sri Ram – Sri Ram was a famous Hindu king of Ayodhya according to the famous epic Ramayana. The story is that Sri Rama was asked to leave Yodhya by his father Dasarath, the king of Ayodhya along with his younger brother Lakshman. There the demon king abducted Sita (wife of Ram).To emancipate Sita, Ram worshiped Devi Durga (goddess of power) to demolish the demon king or rular of Lanka, Ravana and to conquer the battle with him. And from there the celebration of Durga Puja has started. And after getting victory he came back to Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman. The people Ayodhya gave them a warm welcome and decorate the whole city with the light of clay lamps (diya) in joy to signify the triumph of good over evil. That is known as Diwali and from there the celebration of Diwali was started.

The Story Of Pandavas – This story has picked from the famous Indian epic Mahabharata. Five brothers were called as Pandavas as being the sons of king Pandu. They were asked to leave their home place along with mother Kunti and wife Draupadi for 13 years in exile as per the rule imposed on them as they were defeated in a game of dice (gambling) by Kauravas (their cousin brothers). After completion of 13 years they returned to their birthplace on the new full moon day which is known as “Kartik Amabashya”. They all were honest, kind, gentle and caring in all ways and were loved by all their subjects. On this very occasion people celebrate their return to their place Hastinapur and illuminated their state by lighting lamps everywhere with great joy and love. To remember this homecoming of Pandavas the festival of Diwalsi is also celebrated.

The Story Of Narakasura And Lord Vishnu – This legend has been picked up from Bhagabata Purana. According to it there was an evil demon king named Narakasura was very cruel and a terrible ruler. He somehow became very powerful and got victory over both heavens and earth. He had locked many women in his palace. It is said that Lord Vishnu defeated Narakasura on the prior day of Diwali and rescued those women. The people of heaven and earth get relived after getting their freedom from the hand of Narakasura. And they celebrated their freedom by lighting the whole place with great joy and happiness and with much grandeur. So this also believed as the annual observation of Diwali.

The Story Of Bali And Lord Krishna – The story belongs from the Bhagabata Purana, (the great and most sacred Hindu text). It is said that Lord Vishnu took the form of dwarf (Bamana- avatar) to defeat the king Bali. Bali or Mahabali was very powerful and ruled over earth. Once he got a boon from Lord Bramha and became undefeatable. No God was been able to defeat him in battles. In spite of being wise and good king otherwise, he was cruel to the Gods. Being failure of demolishing him, all gods went to the Lord Vishnu for finding a way to stop him. Lord Vishnu made a plan. He took disguise of a short bramhin and went to king Bali for charity. Being a big-hearted king, Mahabali came forward to help him out. But the total was a tricked made by Lord Vishnu and King Bali lost his everything as he had to give up all his wealth and kingship. So people stared celebrating Diwali since then.

The Story Of Goddess MahaLakshmi- According to the Hindu scriptures, on this very day Goddess Lakshmi rose up from the ocean. She is the goddess of wealth. Long Long tome ago, both demons and gods were mortal, they had to die once. But they both wanted to live forever. So they started churning the ocean to get amrita, the nectar of immorality, this is known as “Samudra Manthana”. During this time many things came out from the ocean and the most prime thing that was come out was Devi Lakshmi. The daughter of the king of the milky ocean, Maha Lakshmi arose on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik. Lord Vishnu married her on that day. Brilliant lamps were illuminated in rows to mark the occasion with great joy. So since then the festival of Diwali had been stared.

The Story Of Devi Kali – According to the scriptures, Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of goddess Durga (the goddess of Power) to rescue this earth and heaven from the cruel demons. After killing all devils, Devi Kali lost her control and was killing anyone whoever was coming her way which could only be stopped by Lord Shiva. So Lord Shiva came on her way and she wrongfully stepped on him and the hangs out her tongue in horror and repentance. Since then Devi Kali is worshiped on the same day of Diwali.

The Story Of King Vikramaditya – This legendary king was famous for his wisdom, kindness and bravery. It is said that on 56 BC he was crowned and declared as king. People of his kingdom enjoyed and celebrated this occasion with enthusiasm. They lighted up the whole city with small earthen lamp and this tradition still remains. Many people and even some historians also believe that this occasion has given rise of this festival.

The Story Of Dayananda Saraswati – The story is that on kartik amabashya (the new fool moon day), one of the greatest reformer of Hinduism, Dayananda Saraswati attained his Nirvana and became Maharshi Dayananda which means the great sage Dayananda. He founded “Arya Samaj”, “Society of Nobles” to purify Hinduism from the association of evils at that era. On the Diwali festival it is also celebrated with great joy.

The Story Of Jainism – In Jain community, Diwali has a great significance. On this very day the Mahabira, the last Thirthankara, attended Nirvana or Moksha. And on this day the chief disciple of Mahabira, Ghanadhara Gautam Swami also attained complete knowledge (kevalagyana). So as a memorable day Diwali is celebrated.

The Story Of Sikhism – According to Sikhism, their sixth guru, guru Hargovind ji returned from the captivity of the city Gwalior. So to make this day remarkable sikh community celebrates Diwaly with gret enthusiasm.

So these are the stories from where the origin of Diwali comes and here all show the victory of good over bad if it is seen deeply. Now enjoy this festival with your friends by wishing them with beautiful Diwali Greetings, Diwali Scraps and with Beautiful Diwali SMS.


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    • profile image

      Prabhuling 3 years ago

      Hi madam, thanks for your valuable and brief articles. Wish many more articles to come from you. Best of luck to all your endeavors.

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      aditi 3 years ago

      this is very good and helped in my project and i did not knew about these !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      sumeda 7 years ago


    • Manasidas profile image

      Manasidas 7 years ago from Kolkata

      thank you for your correction and comment.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 7 years ago from Tumkur

      Good.The myths attached to diwali are properly stated.

      But one simple correction-In diwali according to Jains-it is not 'Gadhaara Gautam'.It is -Ganadhara Gautam.One N is missing in spelling!

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      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Beautiful stories concerning Diwali. Thanks for commenting on my hub, too. It just happened that my Indian friend Shailesh told me about it while chatting @ Facebook. Rated it up!

    • blessedmom profile image

      blessedmom 7 years ago from USA

      Fantastic compilation.