The Festival of Lights, Deepawali is just round the corner and many parts of the globe seem to have put on the festive shoes to dive headfirst into the aplomb, gaiety and frolics of this joyous occasion. Dazzling fireworks, brightly lit earthen lamps, awe-stunning rangolis, loads of delicious sweets and gifts galore, it’s the undying festive mood during Deepawali that brings a smile even on the most discerning lips. And in case, you are still wondering what the origin of this beautiful festival was, we give you 5 significant legends, unfolding the mythology beliefs and history of Deepawali.
1.To appease Goddess Lakshmi on her birthday and marriage: Deepawali is the day when the great Goddess of Wealth and fortune – Maa Lakshmi incarnated from the churning of the Milky Ocean (Samudra Manthan) by the demons and gods. She subsequently married Lord Vishnu on the same day. Earthen lamps were illuminated and placed in rows to mark this holy union of two of the greatest Indian deities. It is said that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on the day of Deepawali makes for the best way to tap the eternal source of great fortune, immense wealth and eternal happiness.
2. To celebrate the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakaasur: Hindu Mythology has it that on the day prior to Deepawali, Lord Krishna killed the fearsome demon king – Narkasur in a fierce battle and rescued 16,000 women who the demon king had held as captives. As lord Krishna killed Narakasur and vanquished the evil from the earth people celebrated by illuminating lamps and burning firecrackers for two days including the Deepawali day to mark the victory of good over evil. It is believed that those who worship lord Krishna with true devotion on the day of Deepawali are freed of all distress and misery. In fact, it is the day when true devotes can soak in the divine blessings of the Lord and get relief from all miseries of life.
3. To offer homage to Lord Vishnu for rescuing Goddess Lakshmi: On the very day of Deepawali, Lord Vishnu rescued Goddess Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara. Since then, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped together on the auspicious day of Deepawali. In fact, worshipping Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi together on the opportune day of Deepawali remains a golden opportunity for all to invoke the divine blessings to gain happiness, knowledge, peace, wealth & all round prosperity for self and family.
4. To celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana: Another popular legend says that on the auspicious day of Deepawali, Lord Rama along with Lakshman and Sita returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana and conquering Lanka. The denizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the brightly lit lamps and celebrated the home-coming of their great price by burning fire crackers. Since, on the opportune day of Deepawali, people worship lord Rama and pray to him for success, sincerity and devotion in life.
5. To appease Lord Ganesha for auspiciousness and purity: Lord Ganesha is upheld as ‘Sidhi data’ or giver of success. One performs a spiritual Ceremony in order to connect to the power that governs the universe; the access cannot be denied once the power of Ganesha is invoked through prayers. Lord Ganesha is always worshiped before any Hindu spiritual ceremony. He is associated with ‘Sidhi’ or success in all forms, be it effort, devotion, or any new venture. The worship of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, along with Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, symbolizes the light of prosperity in each home while success enriches each of our efforts. This is the time for prayer, for blessings, bounties of fortune and excellence of effort.