STORY OF DIWALI
Return of Shri Ram Chandra to Ayodhyaa
The most famous legend behind the celebrations of diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri, Lord Shri Ram Chandra. The story goes like the king of Lanka, Ravan kidnapped Ram Chandra’s wife, Sita from the jungle where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dashratha, father of Ram Chandra. Then Ram Chandra attacked Lanka and killed Ravan and released Sita from imprisonment. He returned to Ayodhyaa with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshamana after fourteen years. Therefore the people of Ayodhyaa decorated their homes as well as the city of Ayodhyaa by lighting tiny diyas all over in order to welcome their beloved prince Shri Ram Chandra and Devi Sita.
Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi
On the auspicious new moon day, which is ‘Amavasyaa’ of the Hindi month of Kartik the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi was incarnated. She appeared during the churning of the ocean, which is known as ‘Samudra Manthan’, by the demons on one side and ‘Devataas’ on the other side. Therefore the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Lakshmi Pujan, on the day of Divali became a tradition.
Lord Krishna Destroyed Demon Narakasur
One famous story behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the demon king Narakasur who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. During a war he defeated Lord Indra and snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi who was not only the ruler of Suraloka but also a relative of Lord Krishna’s wife, Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his harem. With the support of Lord Krishna Satyabhama defeated Narakasur and released all the women from his harem and also restored the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.
The Return of the Pandavas
The great Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’ has another interesting story related to the ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’. The story reads that ‘the Pandavas’, the five brothers Yudhishthhira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahdeva, were sentenced thirteen years banishment as a result of their defeat against ‘the Kauravas’, Duryodhana and his ninety nine brothers, at the game of dice. Therefore they spent thirteen years in the jungles and returned to their kingdom on the day of ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’. On their return the people of their kingdom welcomed the Pandavas by celebrating the event by lighting the earthen lamps all over in their city.
Coronation of King Vikramaditya
Another legend or story about diwali celebrations relates to one of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya. It was the day when he was coroneted and the people celebrated this event by lighting tiny earthen ‘diyas’.