Diwali… everywhere around us is buzzing with the Diwali spirit- be it in India or other countries. But behind this festival of lights, sweets and gifts, and colours lies an equally vibrant and colourful story. So what lies behind this much loved festival? Take a look behind the story or rather stories behind it.
Diwali is mainly known as a festival celebrating the triumphs of good over evil. Deeper into the Diwali significance lies the beautiful tale of Ram and Sita. For those of us who don’t know Ram and Sita are believed to be incarnations of God. Ram is exiled for 14 years by his stepmother to ensure that his stepbrother gets the throne. Ram readily leaves. Diwali signifies the killing of the demon Ravan and their return. The people lit earthen lamps(diyas)and brightened the streets to rejoice and lead them back home.
It is also believed that on this very Diwali day, the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi rose up from the ocean. The stories tell us that long ago both Gods and Demons were mortal. They had to die sometime or other, like us. But they wanted to live forever. So they churned the ocean to seek Amrit, the nectar of immortality during which many divine objects came up. Among these was the Goddess Lakshmi. That very night, Lord Vishnu married her. Brilliant lamps were illuminated and placed in rows to mark this holy occasion. Even today, Hindus celebrate this occasion and seek blessings. It’s believed that the goddess comes into the houses of the people on this day and bestows luck and fortune.
According to another legend, long ago after the gods lost in a battle with the demons, Goddess Kali took birth from the forehead of Goddess Durga to save heaven and earth from the growing cruelty of the demons. After killing all the devils, Kali lost her control and started killing anyone who came her way which stopped only when Lord Shiva intervened. Her iconic picture is of her in a stance with one leg on Shiva and her tongue sticking out. That actually depicts the moment when she steps on Lord Shiva and stops in horror and repentance.
These are just some faces of this beautiful festival. Alongside all of this, Diwali will always remain a festival of joy,hope and positivity which it continues to spread in lives of the people.