“Let the Light Shine out of your Darkness“
The Myths And Stories of Deepavali, the Festival of Lights 2020
“It was a dark, moonless night. All the people were waiting outside their houses. Streets lit up with Diyas or lamps. Happiness and Hope spread throughout the city. Their King was coming back. Lord Ram, was coming back.”
Lord Ram returned back to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 long years of exile with his brother Laxman and dearly wife, Sita. That day Ayodhya was lit up like a magical town made up of lights. With smiles and hope spread all across. That day depicted victory of good over evil. That day, Deepavali was celebrated for the first time ever. The day we know today as the festival of lights in India.
But we all know this story whole-heartedly. Our parents and grandparents have told us many variations of the tale of Lord Ram’s return and the celebrations that took place after that, every year when Diwali arrived.
Being a versatile country with so many different regions, cultures, languages and beliefs, India has many different myths and stories associated with this great grand festival of lights.
As Diwali is almost at your doorsteps, and as you put those shimmering lights on your walls, we are discussing about the various legends related with Deepavali festival of lights on this auspicious occasion.
The Day Lord Krishna Killed Narakasura | Narakasura Vadh
But it didn’t turn out so well. Narakasura grew powerful enough to let the power take control of his mind.
He conquered heaven as well as the earth, killing many innocent humans and even a few devas in the heaven.According to many beliefs, Goddess Earth (Bhudevi) and Lord Varaha (third avatar of Vishnu) had a son called Narakasura.
As all mother’s want everything good for their son, when she had a chance Bhudevi asked for a boon from Lord Vishnu that her son must be all powerful and have a long life. The boon was granted.
All the gods quickly approached Vishnu and demanded a solution from him. Vishnu calmed them down, and told them that he will defeat the all powerful demon, Narakasura.
Later on, during his time on earth as Lord Krishna, Vishnu came across Narakasura who had took 16,000 women captive. Krishna killed the demon and saved the women’s dignity by marrying all of them.
But just as the light from the demon’s eyes was getting dimmer and dimmer, he asked the Almighty for one last wish. Krishna agreed to it and his wish that his death be celebrated as massive event with lights and pomp and glimmer till eternity. That day, some believe, is the origin for the festival of lights called Deepavali. Fun fact #1 – During the Battle in the Narakasura Fortress, Krishna also killed Mura (the Demon’s general) which earned him the name of Murari, enemy of Mura.
The Day Goddess Laxmi was Rescued By Lord Vishnu | Legend of Vamana
As per the legend goes, there was an extremely powerful demon king named King Mahabali or King Bali who ruled earth. He had defeated most of the deities and had Goddess Laxmi enslaved.
To save Goddess Laxmi, Vishnu took his fifth avatar as a dwarf brahman called Vaman. Bali was considered to be a very generous king who offered mostly anything a person would ask him for.
So, Vaman came to King Bali and asked for three paces of land. Thinking to himself that Vaman was only a dwarf and would not be able to cover much ground, Bali agreed to the demand.
Just as Bali gave his word, Vaman transformed into the massive Lord Vishnu and just in two paces, he covered the heaven, the earth and even the netherworld or hell.
Looking towards Lord Vishnu, Bali realized all the dark deeds that he did and offered his own head as the third pace of land. Lord Vishnu stepped on it, immediately sending King Bali towards the netherworld. By the defeat of Bali, all the other Gods and Goddess Laxmi were rescued. True believers celebrate Deepavali with lot of pomp and show to celebrate this divine rescue of Goddess Laxmi.
The Chaos of Goddess Kaali | How Lord Shiva Recovered Her Senses | Rakta Beej Story
Goddess Kali, the Goddess of Destruction, Chaos, and Power. In West Bengal, on the occasion of Diwali, people worship Goddess Kali. They believe it to be the birth date of Kali Mata.
The Legend goes that there was once a very powerful demon called Rakta Beej. He had a boon to duplicate himself as soon as his blood drops on the surface of Earth. Due to this, he was almost immortal as no God could defeat him.
Goddess Shakti was summoned to defeat him and was sent to earth to do so. But every time she cut his face with her divine weapons and the demon’s blood touched the Earth, he’d multiply. This ended up creating a large army of Rakta Beej fighting against Goddess Shakti.
Enraged due to loss, Goddess Shakti’s rage triggered her to change into Goddess Kali. As Kali, she started killing each of the duplicates and sucked their blood before it could fall on the Earth. Soon, only the real Rakta Beej was left standing. Kali easily defeated him by sucking his blood too.
But the sucking of so much blood, drove the Goddess into a state of destruction and chaos. She started the dance of destruction and even killed many innocent people just to satisfy her blood lust.
Everyone amongst the Gods knew only Shiva had the power to stop her. Lord Shiva immediately went and lied down among the corpses where the Goddess of Destruction danced. Suddenly, the Goddess realized that her feet is above Lord Shiva’s body. She realized her mistake and her tongue came out in embarrassment.
This calmed down the Goddess and the universe was saved from destruction.
This day, Diwali, is celebrated with great enthusiasm among the Bengali community as a tribute to this legend and they worship the Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva.
Celebration of Return of Pandavas from Exile | Mahabharata Scriptures
The Festival of Lights doesn’t only mean the celebration of the returning of Lord Ram as depicted in the Ramayana. But it actually also relates to the next Hindu epic called the Mahabharata.
According to popular belief, the five Pandava brothers returned from their exile of thirteen long years to Hastinapur on this day.
The Legend goes that after losing everything in a game of dice to the Kauravas, the Pandavas were said to leave town and live in exile for 13 years, away from Hatinapur and the neighborhood. After completing their due time while travelling different places across the country, the Pandavas finally returned home.
The citizens of Hastinapur welcomed all five brothers along with their mother Kunti and wife Draupadi by decorating the whole town with diyas or earthen lamps made up of clay and lighting up the streets. Thus, celebrating the grand festival of Diwali.
There are so many different variations according to the legends people believe in for celebrating Deepavali or Diwali. What you’ll notice in all these stories is that the common thing among all is the triumph of good over evil. Deepavali is a celebration of victory of the Good and defeat of the Bad.
This Diwali, I wish upon the stars and the Almighty Gods watching over us, that all the modern time demons – like anxiety, depression, over thinking, and all other negative thoughts you might have – be washed away and destroyed.
All these thoughts are like a speeding train, taking you far away from home. Far away from our very soul.
I wish that This Diwali, we conquer our own demons, and let loose of our negatives. This Diwali, I wish we come back home..!!
HAPPY DIWALI, LOVELY PEOPLE !!