|Maha Shiva Raatri|
|Phagwah or Holi|
|Why Hindus Wear
The origins of Diwali.....
The celebration was first started in India by farmers after they reaped their harvests. They celebrated with joy and offered praises to God for granting them a good crop.
During the reign of Emperor Prithu, there was a worldwide famine.He ordered that all available cultivatable lands be ploughed.When the rains came, the land became very fertile and grains were planted.The harvest provided food not only to feed all of India, but for all civilisation.This harvest was close to Diwali time and was a good reason to celebrate Diwali with great joy and merriment by a wider community.
Diwali celebrated after the return of Lord Rama from exile was universal in nature.It is said that Lord Rama returned home on Diwali night after fourteen years of exile in the forest.The city of Ayodhya appeared to be a garden of light during that night as everyone went out to meet and greet Him in the traditionally ceremonial manner.As the inhabitants came out of their homes with their lighted deeyas to greet Lord Rama,it created a spectacle with rows of lights as far as the eyes could see.This gave birth to the word Deepawali,meaning rows of lights.(Deepawali is the combination of two Sanskrit words. Deep meaning light and Awali meaning rows. When they merge we get one word Deepawali meaning rows of lights.)It was from then on that the words Diwali and Deepawali became synonymous.
This aspect of Diwali is the most common and acceptable account with regards to the origins of Diwali.
When Lord Krishna destroyed Narakasur on the day before Diwali, the news of it travelled very rapidly throught the land.It gave people who were already in a joyful mood, another reason for celebrating Diwali with greater pride and elaboration.
In the Adi Parva of the Mahabarat(one of the great Hindu epics), the Pandavas(a class of noble men) returned from the forest during Diwali time.Once more, the celebrations extended beyond the boundaries of India to wherever Hindus lived.
All of these reasons contribute to the universal celebration of Diwali as it is today, be it in India, Trinidad or any other country where Hindus reside.
On this day Mother Lakshme emerged from the ocean of milk called the Ksheer Sagar. She brought with Her wealth and prosperity for mankind.On that day, Lakshme Pooja was performed to honour Her and as such, every year on Diwali day, Hindus perform Her prayer and worship.In Trinidad, on Diwali day, Hindus invite the Pandit (a Hindu priest) to their home and they perform Lakshme Pooja in grand style.The making and distribution of various sweets and total vegetarian foods are the order of the day.They give charity to the poor and gifts to the Brahmins (the priestly class of people).This practice is alive and well to this very day.
. The fourth day of Diwali.....
On this day, Goverdhan Pooja is performed.Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vraja to perform Goverdhan Pooja.From then on, every year Hindus worship Goverdhan to honour that first Pooja done by the people of Vraja.
It is written in the Ramayan(a text recording the exploits of Lord Rama), that when the bridge was being built by the Vanar army,Hanuman (a divine loyal servant of Lord Rama possesing enormous strength) was bringing a mountain as material to help with the construction of the bridge. The call was given that enough materials was already obtained.Hanuman placed the mountain down before He could have reached the construction site.Due to lack of time,He could not have returned the mountain to its original place.
The diety presiding over this mountain spoke to Hanuman asking of His reason for leaving the mountain there.Hanuman replied that the mountain should remain there until the age of Dwapar when Shree Rama (Lord Rama) incarnates as Lord Krishna in the form of man. He, Lord Krishna will shower His grace on the mountain and will instruct that the mountain be worshiped not only in that age but but in ages to come.This diety whom Hanuman spoke to was none other than Goverdhan (an incarnation of Lord Krishna),who manifested Himself in the form of the mountain.
To fulfill this decree, Goverdhan Pooja was performed and is continued to be performed today.
The fifth day of Diwali.....
The second day of the bright forthnight (Shukla Paksh) of Kartik is called Bhratri Dooj. This is the day after Goverdhan Pooja is performed and normally two days after Diwali day.
It is a day dedicated to sisters. We have heard about Raksha Bandhan (brothers day). Well this is sisters day.
Many moons ago,in the Vedic era,Yama(Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited His sister Yamuna on this day.He gave his sister a Vardhan(a boon) that whosoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins. They will achieve Moksha or final emancipation.
From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to enquire of their welfare.
This day marks the end of the five days of Diwali celebrations.
Contrary to the belief of some people, Diwali is NOT the start of the Hindu year.It is not the new years' day in the Hindu calendar.
It is a time for reawakenings. Mantras are reawakened on Diwali day,certain Yantras (incantations) are made and also reawakened on this day.However, despite the many auspicious things that can be done on this day, the principles of the Shastras (laws of Dharma) should be observed at all times.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org