It is the biggest and the most important festival for Hindus. Diwali is celebrated on a grand scale in Bharat as well as by Hindus all across the world. It is a festival of grandeur and pomp and is celebrated mainly with the help and use of lights in various forms.
According to Hindu tradition and customs Diwali is anciently celebrated by lighting of earthen lamps in a line or in large quantity called as Deep Maala or line of lights (Deeyas or lamps). In Hindu Dharma this festival has been celebrated for various reasons and various stories have been depicted which signify the importance of this festival in Hindu religion. Diwali is the source of enlightenment, energy, positivity, brotherhood and everything best all at once.
This festival goes back to different eras and has different stories for each day starting from Vasubaras to Bhai dooj or Bhau bij. The Festival of Diwali is celebrated for 4-5 days every year each day having its own relevance and importance.
Let us understand the days of Diwali and need for us to celebrate the same even today.
Day 1 – Vasubaras
The first day of Diwali is called Vasubaras. Vasubaras is celebrated by worshiping the Cow and its Calf. Vasubaras is also known as Govatsa Dwadashi. On this day it is said that the first Ratna Kamdhenu arrived from the great churning of ocean of milk by God's and Demons i.e. Samudra Manthan.
This day is dedicated to the cow and the calf who are considered holy in Hindu tradition.
Day 2 - Dhanatrayodashi
The second day of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanatrayodashi or Dhanteras. Dhanteras is celebrated by worshiping Goddess Laxmi and Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda or medical science. It is believed that during Samudra Manthan after Kamdhenu the second day is the arrival of Goddess Laxmi and Dhanvantari from the ocean.
Hence this day is celebrated and is considered to be important for Health, wealth and accountability of both. On this day it is considered quite auspicious to purchase new household equipment, utensils etc.
Many businessmen and shops open new books of accounts on this day and celebrate start of a new business year. This day of Diwali even though the second day is the beginning of Diwali. Dhanteras as the word suggests is the Pooja of Dhan (wealth) and Dhanya (grains or whatever is cultivated by the time of Diwali) it is celebrated by distribution of puffed rice (lahya) and sweet hollow sugar cakes (Battasa) amongst family after offering it to Goddess Laxmi and Dhanvantari during pooja as prasad.
Day 3 -
After Dhanteras comes Narak Chaturdashi, Chaturdashi is the 14th day of lunar month and Narak means hell. The word Narak is derived from the name of demon Narakasur. This day is hence celebrated for Lord Krishna’s win over the demon Narkasur as per mythology. Narkasur as we all know was a cruel demon who had captured and captivated 16000 princess. Lord Krishna with the purpose to rescue those princesses fought with him and succeeded by destroying the demon. He later even married the princess.
Narak Chaturdashi is followed by Laxmi Poojan. Laxmi Poojan is the most important day of Diwali. This is the day when it is believed that Goddess Laxmi comes to bless everyone. This day is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and it is said that it is necessary to keep the environment lit to maximum. On this day it is believed that goddess Laxmi visits the house of those who have light and brightness. She blesses all those who worship her on this day and gives them everything in abundance. It is also said that this day is the darkest day of lunar month and hence in order to win over darkness the world has to be lightened up with brightness of lamps, fireworks and lightings.
Day 4 - Balipratipada
Next day in Diwali festival is Bali pratipada or Padwa. It is the half muhurta out of 3 & ½ muhurta according to Hindu religion. This day is celebrated in memory of Raja Bali whose arrogance was defeated by lord Vishnu in his Vaman Avatar.
Bali was a king who ruled on earth. He was a grandson of great devotee of Lord Vishnu i.e. Bhakta Pralhad. Bali was a very generous king and his generosity knew no bounds. His subjects were very happy and prosperous. But, King Bali had a lot of pride in him. He was proud about his generosity and thought it to be impossible to defeat it. According to him there was nothing that he wouldn’t be able to offer or give to others.
This was the reason why lord Vishnu appeared in Vaman Avatar.
The last day of Diwali is Bhai dooj or Bhau Bij. On this day unlike Raksha Bandhan it is sister’s duty to wish for good health and prosperity of brother. It is considered that on this day every sister prays to God and asks everything good for her brother’s. She also wishes for brother’s protection from evil. It is a very different expression of love and care for brother and his family.
All of these days have so significant reasons so as to why and how we should celebrate the festival of Diwali. It also tells us the reason why it is celebrated on a grand scale by Hindus.
May this Diwali bring light, prosperity, health and wealth to all the The Bharatiyans!
Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!!