The birth of the goddess Lakshmi
On the eve of Diwali, Hindus worship Mahalakshmi with great devotion, as it is believed to be the source of wealth and prosperity. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that on the day of the new moon, when Diwali is celebrated, the goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean, during the process of agitation of demons and deities.
This effort was made by them to obtain amrit (the elixir of immortality). That is why Diwali is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, since the day is considered her birth anniversary.
The legend also says that on this day the divine Goddess visits the earth and blesses her devotees with unsurpassed riches. The lamps are lit in all the houses, so that the Goddess can easily find her way and fireworks are lit to ward off evil spirits.
The return of Rama
The most important legend of Diwali is that of Lord Rama. Based on the sacred epic of the Ramayana, the Hindus believe that the first Diwali was celebrated by the people of Ayodhya to welcome his beloved prince into his kingdom.
Legend has it that shortly before the coronation, Ram was sentenced to a 14-year exile for fulfilling a promise his father had made to his stepmother. Being a model son, Rama left the kingdom, accompanied by his devoted wife Sita and his faithful brother Laxman.
During these 14 years, Ram faced many difficulties and defeated the powerful demon, King Ravana, and when he returned to Ayodhya on the night of Ashwin’s new moon, his subjects illuminated diyas in every corner of the kingdom to express their joy. The same tradition continues on the same day until today.
The victory of Lord Krishna
This legend linked to the origin of the Diwali festival usually prevails in southern Nepal. The mythology states that a powerful demon, named Narakasura, was defeated at the hands of Lord Krishna and to commemorate this occasion, Diwali is celebrated.
It is said that after obtaining the blessings from the gods, Narakasura got drunk on power and caused chaos on earth. He made life miserable for innocent girls, kidnapped them and enslaved them.
Lord Krishna, accompanied by his wife, fought a bloody battle with the demon and killed him. The 16,000 enslaved women were released and to save their honour, Lord Krishna accepted them as wives. To commemorate this pious occasion, Diwali is celebrated.
The victory of King Bali
This is another fascinating myth that explains the origin of the festival of lights. This legend tells the story of King Bali, who although he was a gentle king but too ambitious. There came a time when he ruled the entire earth, but, dissatisfied with him, he even looked at the dominant sky.
The gods became insecure of their growing influence and turned to Lord Vishnu for protection. Therefore, Vishnu took the form of a dwarf priest and visited the court of Bali and asked for the gift of the land he could cover with his three steps.
Once Bali promised, Lord began to increase in size and became so large that, with his two steps, he covered the earth and the sky and, therefore, in the third step, there was no more space.
Therefore, to keep his word, Bali offered his head and when Lord put his foot on Bali’s head, he was pushed into the darkness of the subway. However, touched by Bali’s commitment to his promise, Lord Vishnu gave him a gift from the eternal lamp of knowledge and that once a year he could come to the surface of the earth and illuminate it with diyas.
The return of Pandava
Another interesting legend of Diwali is found in the greatest Hindu epic of ‘Mahabharata’. The five Pandavas – Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva lost all their worldly possessions in a dice game at the hands of the intelligent Kauravas.
When they had nothing else to bet on, they were punished with a 13-year exile. During this time, the brothers experienced innumerable difficulties and returned to their kingdom on the day of “Kartik Amavasya”. His faithful subjects were delighted with his return and lit numerous earth lamps throughout the kingdom to welcome his beloved kings.
Coronation of King Vikramaditya Some people believe that the first Diwali was not celebrated in ancient times, but was celebrated during the reign of one of the greatest Hindu kings, Vikramaditya. It is said that on the eve of his coronation, the subjects of his vast kingdom would light earth lamps to welcome the new king on the throne and show his sincere happiness.
Since then, the tradition of lighting diya in “Kartik Amavasya” has continued.
Diwali traditions on various days
The Diwali Festival reminds us of the festive season of joy, splendour, enthusiasm and happiness. It is the festival of lights and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by all Nepalese around the world.
The uniqueness of the festival is that it is celebrated for five days and each of them has a special meaning and importance. Each of the five days is based on five different philosophies, with a special or ideal thought every day.
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanteras, Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhantryaodashi, which falls on the thirteenth day of the month of Ashwin. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari left the ocean with Ayurveda for humanity. This day marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations.
On this day at sunset, sweets are offered during the time of worship to Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) to protect himself from premature death. It is made mainly near a Tulsi tree (basil) or any other sacred tree.
The second day is called Narak Chaturdasi. It is the celebration of Choti Diwali. On this day, Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasur and freed the world from the power of evil.
The third and most important day of Diwali is marked with Lakshmi Puja. It is the main day of the celebration. On this day the goddess Laxmi is worshiped.
The entire Hindu family cleans their home and themselves and joins their families and relatives with the offering of the divine goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity.
Diwali marks the last day of the financial year in traditional Hindu affairs and businessmen interpret Chopda Pujan on this day in the new account books. Any new business or company begins with the Diwali offer.
The fourth day of Diwali is called Padwa or VarshaPratipada and Govardhan Puja, which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat started from this day Padwa.
On this day, Govardhan Pooja is performed. Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna had Govardhan Pooja perform the people of Vraja. From that moment on, every year the Hindus worship Govardhan. This day is also seen as Annakoot and prayers are offered in the temples.
The fifth day of Diwali is celebrated as Bhai Duj or Bhratri Dooj. This is the day after the execution of Goverdhan Pooja and normally two days after Diwali. The rituals are more or less like Raksha Bandhan, where the sisters pray for the welfare of their brothers.
Diwali is, in fact, one of the most anticipated and celebrated Hindu festivals among the nth festivals that fill the festive calendar of the multicultural country of Nepal.
Nepal is part of one of the oldest civilizations in the world and Hinduism is announced as one of the oldest religions in the world; Therefore, their customs, rituals and traditions are quite unique. Similarly, festivals held in Nepal are part of its rich cultural heritage and each festival has a deeply rooted meaning.
The Diwali festival, which celebrates the triumph of the light of knowledge over the darkness of ignorance, is such an important festival, celebrated throughout Nepal. The origins of this fabulous festival date back to several interesting Hindu mythological legends.
The most important legends related to Diwali are listed in the following lines.
Therefore, to obtain a correct understanding of the tradition and customs of this festival, a pandit is duly consulted who informs devotees about the times and rituals that should be considered.
The general things that are necessary for a diwali puja are silver and gold coins, suparis, raw rice, paan leaves, kumkum for the application of tilak, mithaai (Nepali sweets), camphor, agarbattis (incense sticks). ), nuts (almonds, cashews), flower petals and the Lakshmi-Ganesh icon.
The ritual of the bidding is performed at night when small clay diyas are lit to ward off the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans are sung in praise of the goddess and sweets are offered.
How is Diwali celebrated?
The festival is characterized by great fireworks, to commemorate the celebrations that, according to legend, took place on the return of Rama when the locals launched their version of fireworks. Those who celebrate the festival also light traditional clay diyas (candles) and decorate their homes with colourful rangoli artworks, motifs created on the floor with rice or coloured powder.
During Diwali, families and friends share sweets and gifts, and there is also a strong conviction in giving food and goods to those in need. It is also traditional for houses to be cleaned and for new clothes to be worn at the time of the festival.
What do you eat during Diwali?
The food most associated with the festival is Nepali sweets, available in various colours and flavours. However, the celebration presents many mouth watering, tasty and sweet dishes.
Unlike the traditional roast turkey at Christmas, every family that celebrates Diwali will probably have its favourite food for the festival, and the food will often have a central theme during the celebrations.
In this way one of the greatest festivals of hindus ( in some other religions as well) is celebrated with blast of prosperity, peace and joy. The various traditional ways followed by us during diwali shows our traditional civilization and concern towards various festivals according to our various cultures and traditions.
By Abhishek Jha