History always deals with a lot of stories and sure it is an interesting subject. Now, what has Diwali to do with history? Well, as you guess, every festival that we celebrate today has some reason. Why do we celebrate Diwali? Who started it? We should not focus only on the celebration of the light festival, but also we should know, how Diwali came into existence. Parents can use the following anecdote as a bedtime story for their children too. Come on! Let’s know something about Diwali.
Diwali is the festival which was originated by Hindus and eventually learned persons from other religions like Jainism, Sikkism etc found their own historical event to celebrate Diwali. On that account, folks from every religion have a reason to celebrate Diwali. Not only that, Diwali usually falls on a new moon day of a Hindu month ‘Kartik’. Many Hindu historical events are commemorated on this auspicious day of which I am about to explain the top 3 reasons. The course for the celebration of Diwali also changes with the geographical location.
According to Ramayana (an Indian epic), Lord Ram was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Sita Maa was an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Ram was the prince of Ayodhya and Sita Maa was the princess of Mithila. They were married to each other but, they were sent to live in the jungle for an exile of 14 years. On the 14 the year of exile, a demon called Ravana from Lanka abducted Sita Maa with his supernatural powers. Soon, Lord Ram learned the whereabouts of Sita Maa with the help of the monkey king Sugreeva, and his well know army chief Hanumaan.
Finally, Lord Ram went to Lanka through a bridge called Ram Setu which was built by monkeys. He waged war against Ravana and killed him after killing his mighty sons and generals. On the other hand, the people of Ayodhya were eagerly waiting for the arrival of their beloved Prince Ram with his wife Sita Maa. At last, Lord Ram came to Ayodhya on the new moon day of the Hindu month ‘Kartik’. That day, people expressed their joy by lighting clay lamps at all the houses of Ayodhya and turned the dark night into day. As you guess, the commemoration of that day is called ‘Diwali’ which we celebrate by lighting clay lamps.
There is another reason for the celebration of ‘Diwali’ in southern India. The story again begins with another incarnation of Lord Vishnu called Lord Krishna. In his period there was a mighty demon called Narakasura who abducted all beautiful women and locked them up in a huge palace. Soon, Lord Krishna learned this and with the intention to release all women, Lord Krishna confronted Narakasura and killed him.
After the bloodbath, Lord Krishna returned to this country ‘Dwaraka’ were people invited him happily with numerous clay lamps lit in their houses. The demise of Narakasura in the hands of Lord Krishna has been commemorated as ‘Diwali’ till date and we celebrate it with firecrackers, sweets, dresses and so on.
The third reason is related to the story of Mahabharata (another Indian epic) in which the 5 dynamic and honest royal brothers suffered humiliation in the conspiracy of their paternal uncle ‘Sakuni’. They were sent to exile for a period of 13 years and they were asked to come back on the new moon day of the Hindu month ‘Kartik’. In spite of the further conspiracies by their uncle, they overcame many hurdles and difficulties they came back to Hastinapur on the new moon day of ‘Kartik’ and that day has been celebrated as ‘Diwali’ till date.
Apart from these primary reasons, people also say that Goddess Lakshmi who gives immense wealth arose from the milk ocean on this day. Moreover, there are also anecdotes about Mahakali, Mahavira, Amar Das etc. relating to Diwali.