Diwali - 13th November 2012
Diwali Among the most cherished festivals celebrated in India, Diwali is by far the most glamorous and important. Actively enjoyed by people of every religion, its magical and radiant touch creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity all around. Deepawali as the name signifies is constituted of two Sanskrit words- Deep/dip means "light of the dharma", and avali means "a continuous line". Deepawali or Diwali is celebrated on moon less night (amavasaya) of the karthik month. This year, Deepawali will be celebrated on November 13, 2012
Like most festivals, Deepwali has its mythological and historical bedrock. Deepwali is all about illumination, fireworks, joy and festivity. It is a festival of lights celebrating the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
Significance of the Day
In in many legends it has been described that on this day, Goddess Laxami manifested herself while the ocean was being churned by the deities and the demon.
It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali. Further on this day King Bali went to rule the nether-world by the order of Lord Vishnu.
In many parts of India, the day is celebrated as homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest.
Another legend states that Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. Diwali festival marks spirit of freedom.
It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.
In Jainism this day is marked by the nirvana of Lord Mahavira.
Among the Sikhs the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed from imprisonment of Mogul emperor Jahangir and were greeted at Durbar Sahib-Amritsar. In happiness the people lit candles and diyas to greet the Guru. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali.
As per Skand, Padm and Bhavish Puran, this festival started being celebrated in joy, when King Prithu had successfully exploited the means for extracting crops and wealth from the earth.
One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day. In the Indian calendar, this is the point from which we measure the "Vikram Savant", date line established by King Vikram who defeated the Huns and saved India from their potentially disastrous foreign rule.
According to another theory Deepwali may have originated as a harvest festival, marking the last harvest of the year before winter. On this very day Sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing. In an agrarian society this results in businessmen closing accounts, and beginning a new accounting year.
The deity of wealth in Hinduism, goddess Laxami is therefore thanked on this day and everyone prays for a good year ahead.