A TO Z INDIA

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: LIGHTS AND LEGENDS OF DIWALI - THE MANY STORIES BEHIND THE GRAND OLD FESTIVAL

- Srivatsa Indira Editor | A TO Z INDIA editor.indira@gmail.com +91-7550160116

The festival of Diwali in India is celebrated over a period of five days. The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantar­i Triyodashi or Dhanteras. On this day, Lord Dhanwantar­i, the god of medicine, came out of the ocean with the science of Ayurveda for mankind. The second day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdash­i. The third day is for Lakshmi Puja.

Lights and Legends of Diwali -

The Many Stories Behind The Grand Old Festival

Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita. There was also a terrible demon king, Ravana. He had twenty arms and ten heads, and was feared throughout the land. He wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day he kidnapped her and took her away in his chariot. Clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow. Rama followed the trail of glittering jewellery until he met the monkey king and Hanuman who became his friend and agreed to help find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys throughout India, and through them to the entire Vanara Kingdom, who set out to find Sita. After a very long search, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama's army of the Vanaras couldn't reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon the entire Vanara Kingdom throughout India, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle. When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and everybody lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back. Ever since, people light lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.

The festival of Diwali in India is celebrated over a period of five days. The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantar­i Triyodashi or Dhanteras. On this day, Lord Dhanwantar­i, the god of medicine, came out of the ocean with the science of Ayurveda for mankind. The second day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdash­i. The third day is for Lakshmi Puja. The fourth day is Govardhan Puja, the day when Lord Krishna asked the people of Vrindavan to pray to Giri Govardhan, the hill, instead of Indra. The fifth day is dedicated to brothers and sisters and is celebrated as Bhai Dooj. It is based on the belief that in the Vedic Era, Lord of Death, Yama, once visited his sister Yamuna. He gave her a boon that whoever would visit her sister on this day, would be liberated of all his sins and will achieve moksha.

Whether you’re a believer of these legends and stories or not, there is one thing you’re sure to do on Diwali, and that is to celebrate it with lights and happiness.

Happy Diwali!

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