Why is Diwali celebrated?
The question seems to be very childish but if pondered closely, then has a lot of weight.
And, unfortunately, a very few of us know the reasons why Diwali festival is celebrated, and they know is, “because it is a festival, it is celebrated.” However, it is not so and has a number of stories associated with its celebration. Out of which, 6 reasons I know, and hence, would be explaining one by one.
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Reasons of why Diwali is celebrated?
As told earlier, there are a plenty of folklore’s associated with the celebration of festival; some of them are-
- The Emergence of Goddess Lakshmi: This is the very first reason, and hence, the Goddess is worshiped on the day. This story starts from the curse of Rishi Durvasa to Devas, which let the Devas lose all of their wealth. Then, it was predicted that during the Samudramanthan, Goddess Lakshmi would again emerge and bless Devas with wealth. Therefore, according to prediction, the Samudramanthan was done, and Devi Lakshmi emerged from the bottom of the ocean.
- Killing of the demon Narkasura: Another story signifying the festival of joys is about the killing of the demon by the Bhudevi, an incarnation of Satyabhama, wife of Lord Krishna. While the demon was at his death, he realised the sins he had done, and then wished for a boon that people should celebrate this day with joy and lights. Since then, people celebrate the day by lightening the Diyas and crackers.
- Victory and return of Rama from exile: This story tells about the victory of Lord Rama, son of Dasaratha, who was sent into exile for 14 years as plotted by his stepmother Kaikeyi. The exile took the turn when Sita, wife of Rama was kidnapped by Ravana, and then, he was set on a journey to release her and end the evil. On this day, he arrived at Ayodhya after killing the Ravana and people of Ayodhya welcomed them by lighting the whole Kingdom with Diya.
- Pandavas and their return: Another story is again related to the return of Pandavas, who spent 12 years of banishment. When they returned from the banishment, the countrymen of Hastinapur celebrated the day with lighting the earthen lamps and singing the joyful songs.
- Nirvana of Vardhamana Mahavira: This is the story having a great significance in Jain Religion. According to this story, on the day of Diwali, the Last Tirthankaras of Jain, Vardhamana Mahavira had gotten his Nirvana. His soul became free from the earthly desires and reached the enlightenment.
- The Release of Guru Hargobind Ji and foundation of Harminder Sahib: Despite the significance of Diwali in Hindu and Jain religion, the festival is also commonly important for the Sikhs too as their 6th Guru, Hargobind Ji was set free from the incarceration of Mughals on this day. He was kept there in Gwalior fort along with 52 Hindu kings. Also, on the same day, the first stone of Harminder Sahib was also set in 1577.
Therefore, the answers to the question, “why Diwali is celebrated” has a lot many answers. However, what is common in all, is the win of good over the evil.