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The Undiscovered Tales Of Diwali

Year by year we celebrate Diwali all over India with the spirit of joy, devotion, hope and peace. Ever thought why? The first thing that comes to mind is because Lord Ram, came home after the trials of his exile, right? There are many stories and folklore that the majority haven’t heard of, let’s see what went on behind the scenes of the first Diwali ever! 

Lord Ram wasn’t the only one who came home on Diwali, The Pandavas From Mahabharata also came back to Hastinapur after their tribulations of Exile. We surely were big on exile in the old days. 

The celebration of Diwali goes on for five days namely  Dhanteras, Narka Chaturdashi, Lakshmi Puja, Govardhan Puja and Bhai dooj. Each has a unique story and adds to the message Diwali gives, each tale gives a life lesson that is upon you to make sense. 

Let’s start with Dhanteras:- ever wonder what is more to the day than husbands buying their wives new wares and shiny jewels? 

The shiny stuff actually comes from the legend that goes,

Once there was a King Hima, he ruled with love and justice as his ministers. He had a son, it was prophesied that the boy would die of a snake bite on the eve of his sixteenth birthday. Distraught, the king married his son to a girl having a favourable horoscope. As the day neared, he became more worried, seeing as his boy lived a blissful life. The wife was clever and devised a plan to distract the snake who was actually Lord Yama (Who takes everyone to the afterlife) with all the jewellery she had and her melodious voice. This kept the snake at bay, thus the boy was saved. 

Narka Chaturdashi:-  This day marked the end of Narkasur, son of goddess Bhudevi (Earth). His mother with her great devotion granted Narka, a boon that he could only be killed by his mother. Shortly after he became full-grown, his mother died rendering him a kind of immortal. He turned dark and captured 16,000 women, Lord Krishna liberated the woman after killing him, some believe he was killed by his wife (who was the reincarnation of Bhudevi). Lord Krishna also married the 16,000 women, thus known for his wives. 

Lakshmi Puja:- The goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the third day. There Lived a King Mahabali, the unchallenged conqueror. He turned dark too, conquered the realms of heaven and earth and captured Goddess Lakshmi. Vishnu appeared on Earth as his fifth avatar Vaman. He asked Mahabali for three paces of land, playing his ego Vaman made him see his twisted ways as no land could sustain Vaman, he covered all the world with only two steps. Bali offered his head as an apology and hence Lakshmi was rescued. 

 Govardhan Pooja is done to remember the day when Lord Krishna urged his fellow villagers to pray to Govardhan rather than the egomaniac Lord Indra, who didn’t grant the rain for many seasons and as a result, people were perishing. Seeing he was not worshipped, he brought down mighty rain and storms on Vrindavan, Distraught villagers came to Lord Krishna who offered them shelter under Govardhan as he lifted it up with his little finger. 

Bhai Dooj:- This legend is based on the bond between siblings, brothers and sisters. Lord Yama is fabled to have visited his sister on this day Goddess Yamuna. He granted her a boon feeling love, whoever will enter the waters of Yamuna on this day would be cleansed of sins and will attain eternal peace (Moksha). 

Some other tales are less prevalent, particularly one highlighting Lord Mahavira attained peace on the day of Diwali. The Legendary King Vikramaditya is said to be Crowned the day of Diwali.

After this five-day affair ends, the grand event of Diwali is celebrated where the elements of these tales are woven into one night as everyone comes together with a spirit of hope, love, joy, peace, benevolence and a strong desire for lasting happiness. Believe these tales or not, they all speak to different parts of life at different stages. These stories give us the insight to not give in to our dark instincts and never wish harm to anyone. Draw your own conclusions from these legends and revel in the festive spirit this Diwali!

(By- Jatin Tanwar)

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