The festival of lights is here. It is the divine time of Shri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman returning back from the exile after spending fourteen years of exile in the forest. It is just not only the celebration of Shri Ram’s return, but a celebration of triumph of good over evil, the victory of Dharma. Reasons are many, so are the celebrations.
India known for its varied culture celebrates this beautiful festival with great fervour and festivities. Many regional legends and tales are also associated with this festival of lights. It is the return of Shri Ram at one place, killing of the demon Narakasur by Bhagwan Krishna one place, the birthday of Bhagawathi Lakshmi in one region or the worship of Goddess Kali in another. All auspicious occasions signify the victory of good over evil and the lights remove the ignorance in us and welcome enlightenment into ourselves and our homes.
This year’s festive celebrations were highlighted in the birth place of Shri Ram. Even though life has come to a standstill with the pandemic, yet nothing could stop the devotion for Shri Ram. In Ayodhya, the festival of lights was celebrated as the homecoming of Shri Ram. The return of Shri Ram was celebrated with great pomp and splendour with an illumination of more than 5.5 lakh lights which beautified the land of Ayodhya and making it a beautiful celebration to linger on for long time in our memories.
The festival is not only celebrated for the return of Shri Ram from the forest, but also for the end of the terrible demon Narakasur in the hands of Bhagwan Krishna. Narakasur, the son of Mother Earth tormented the worlds with his reckless power and arrogance. When all the Devas took refugee of Bhagwan Krishna, He set out to his invincible city of Pragyotishyapur along with the incarnation of Mother Earth and his consort, Satyabhama. In the battle, when Bhagwan Krishna was tired, Satyabhama fought the war with the demon, proving that a woman is delicate and powerful too. After a great battle Bhagwan Krishna slayed him and bought light into the lives of the three worlds. The three worlds celebrated this momentous occasion by lighting diyas in every household. For this reason, Diwali is also known as Narak Chaturdasi.
Diwali is also celebrated welcoming Bhagwathi Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth into our homes and also the commencement of the New Year. Bhagwathi Lakshmi comes to our homes lit with diyas and blesses us with wealth, health, happiness and prosperity. The festival is also celebrated in the honour of Goddess Kali, the fierce form of Bhagwathi Parvathi.
Diwali is also celebrated as marking the commencement of winters and slowly marking the time of last round of harvest for the year in the fields. Diwali also marks the worship of ancestors and offering them oblations. Jute sticks are burnt on this day to receive luck and their blessings on this festival.
All in all, the festival of lights illuminates not only our great culture, but also the variety in it. The means of worship are different, but the motto remains the same wherein this festival shows light to peace and prosperity, but also to remove the darkness within us and enlighten us with knowledge and happiness.