Significance of Diwali
Significance of Diwali Festival in India for Sikhs, Jains, Buddhism
Diwali is the festival of cultural, religious and spiritual significance (means the awareness and celebration of the inner light) for Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology it is believed that there is something which is pure, never-ending, unchanging and eternal beyond our physical body as well as mind called Atman. People celebrate Diwali to enjoy the triumph of truth over the sin.
- Diwali is celebrated by the people to welcome the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, after defeating the Ravana. People welcome Lord Rama by lighting lots of ghee diyas in the rows.
- It is celebrated by the Jain religion regarding the achievement of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in the 527 BCE and by the Arya Samajists regarding the Death Anniversary of the Swami Dayanand Saraswati or day as Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti.
- It is also celebrated as the Naraka Chaturdashi (one day before Diwali) means the day to commemorate the victory over the evil demon Narakasura. The demon was killed by the Krishna or his wife Satyabhama during the Dwapara yuga.
- It is also celebrated as the homecoming of the Pandavas after 12 years of exile as well as one year of agyatavas (means living secretly).
- According to the Hindu calendar the Marwari New Year is also celebrated on Diwali (last day of Krishna Paksha of Ashvin).
- Gujarati also celebrated their new year a day after the festival of Diwali according to the Lunar calendar (1st day of Shukla paksha of the month of Kartik).
Using firecrackers and lights by the people at the festival of Diwali has another significance and story. People use firecrackers in the myth attaining good health, wealth, wisdom, peace, prosperity for the whole year. Another ritual of using firecrackers is, the high range sound of the firecrackers indicate the real joy of people on the earth. The smokes from the crackers can kill a lot of insects after the rainy season as well.
The custom of gambling at Diwali has other significance. People believe that at this day Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva had played dice. People play this game as well at Diwali night in the myth of getting prospers throughout the year.
Significance of Diwali Festival in India
Diwali is most celebrated festival of India. The festival of Diwali has variety of significance according to the Indian regions and religions. Indian people who live in different regions celebrate Diwali according to their own culture, ritual and significance. It is the main festival of India as Indian people are very religious, cultural, spiritual and traditional. According to the Hindu Mythology, variety of cultural and religious beliefs of Indian people has created a lot of fairs and festivals.
Diwali is of great significance festival in India as all the stories of Hindu God and legends related o this festival are only associated with India. All the legends of Diwali festival, such as the story of Rama and Sita, story of Mahavira, story of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, story of demon Narakasura, story of Lord Krishna, story of Pandavas, story of Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesh, Story of Lord Vishnu, Story of Vikramaditya, story of Sikh Guru Hargobind Ji and many more, are associated only with India. That’s why the festival of Diwali is significantly celebrated in India.
As Indian people are very religious and spiritual, they consider that lighting lamps at all places on Diwali would remove bad energy and attract good energy. They make great sound by firing crackers in order to remove away the evil from the society. They make rangolis, use door hangings, worship Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesh to welcome the blessings, wisdom and wealth to their home and mind. The origin and history of the festival of Diwali is related to the India. They clean up and whitewash their homes, offices and other working places to welcome the pure spirit, prosperity and blessings of Goddess for the whole year.
Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil. It is the Hindu ritual that lighting clay diyas with mustard oil on Diwali. Sweets and gifts are distributed at this day in order to remove the enmity and increase the love and friendliness among people. It is celebrated all over India as well as outside India by the people of different religions such as Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.
Significance of Diwali for Hindus
The significance of celebrating Diwali in India by Hindus are spiritual, religious and cultural. The celebration of the festival of Diwali by the Hindus every year is associated with the home-coming of Rama, Sita and Lakshman to their kingdom, Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile. People of Ayodhya welcomed their King by lighting the clay diyas and firing crackers. Lord Rama had defeated the demon king Ravana that’s why Hindu people celebrate it as the indication of victory of goodness over the badness.
Five days celebrations of Diwali remarks different significance according to the legends of Diwali. The first day of Diwlai, Dhanteras indicates the beginning of new financial year for Hindus. The second day of Diwali is known as Chhoti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi which is celebrated to remember the triumph of the Lord Krishna over the devil king Naraka. Third day of Diwali is known as the main Diwali which is celebrated by the Hindus by worshiping Goddess Lakshmi to commemorate the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi from the churning of ocean by the demons and Gods a long years ago. They consider that worshiping Goddess Lakshmi at this day showers wealth, wisdom and prosperity. Fourth day of Diwali is known as Bali Pratipada or Govardhan Puja which is celebrated by Hindus to commemorate the triumph of Lord Vishnu over the demon king Bali as well as the triumph of Lord Krishna over the arrogant God Indra. The fifth and last day of Diwali is known as the Yama Dvitiya or Bhai Dooj which is celebrated in Hindus by brothers and sisters to strengthen the relationship and responsibilities to each other.
Lighting lamps and burning firecrackers at the festival of Diwali has another significance of attaining wisdom, health, wealth, peace, prosperity as well as eliminating the evil from their houses and pathways. It also indicates the real joy and happiness of the people on earth. Fumes arose from crackers kill the variety of harmful insects and mosquitoes after the rainy season.
Playing games and gambling at Diwali has another significance as Goddess Parvati had played dice with the Lord Shiva at the same day. Goddess Parvati had declared that the one who would play game on Diwali night would grow for whole year. Farmer celebrate Diwali for getting their new harvest at home and the starting of new harvest season.
Significance of Diwali for Jains
Diwali is also celebrated by the Jainism according to their own culture, tradition and significance. It is considered that on the day of Diwali, Lord Mahavira (last Jain Tirthankar of the era) had achieved Nirvana at Chaturdashi in the month of Kartika (during dawn of the amavasya) at Pavapuri on15th of October 527 BCE. According to the Kalpasutra (by Acharya Bhadrabahu), in the 3rd century BC there were many gods in order to illuminate the darkness. That’s why Diwali is celebrated in Jainism to commemorate Mahavira.
They also celebrate Diwali as the start of new year from the 4th day of Diwali (Pratipada). They start their new accounting year for business from Diwali. They generally avoid firing crackers on because of noise pollution. They decorate temples, offices, homes, shops with the lights and diyas which is the symbol of knowledge or removal of ignorance. They chant mantras and other religious songs in the temples. There is a ritual in Jainism to visit the Pava-puri at Diwali in order to offer prayer to God.
Businessmen celebrate Dhanteras by doing Puja of Dhan as well as the books of accounts. At Kali Chaudash they prefer to have fast for two days, most preferably women. At the day of Amavasya they go to derasar in order to worship God and meet their friends and relatives. They read mantras like “MAHAVIRSWAMI PARGATAY NAMAH”. On the day of Diwali means new year they meet each other and give best wishes. On 2nd day of New Year they celebrate Bhai Beej means the procession of Mahavir idol. They do not burst crackers, avoid colossal fury but make contributions to charity, observe fast and read mantras and decorate temples.
Significance of Diwali for Sikhs
Sikhs has their own significance of celebrating the festival of Diwali. They celebrate it to commemorate the homecoming of their Guru Har Gobind ji from the prison of Emperor Jahangir along with numerous Hindu gurus. After getting free from the prison Har Gobind ji went to the golden temple of Amritsar. People had celebrated the freedom of their Guru with great zeal and courage by lighting the lamps and decorating their entire city. From that day the Guru Hargobind Ji started to be known as Bandi-Chhor means the liberator. People go to the Gurdwara and offer prayer to their God and have langar. They lit the candles at Gurdwaras and use some fireworks. They celebrate Diwali as the liberation day of their Guru that’s why it is also known as the Bandi Chor Divas.
Another significance of celebrating Diwali by Sikhs is the Martyrdom of the Bhai Mani Singh Ji in the year 1737 who was the elder Sikh scholar and strategist. At the day of Diwali he refused to pay the tax which was imposed by the Mughal Emperor over the people who were not Muslims in spiritual meeting of Khalsa. That’s why they also celebrate Diwali as the Bandi Chor Diwas to remember the Martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh Ji.
Significance of Diwali in Buddhism
Diwali is celebrated by the Buddhist community as it is considered that at this day the Emperor Ashoka was converted to the Buddhism. That’s why they celebrate Diwali as the Ashok Vijayadashami. They celebrate it by chanting the mantras as well as remembering Emperor Ashoka.
Significance of Diwali for Kids
Diwali festival is most celebrated festival in Indian communities which falls every year after 18 days of Dussehra. Indian people want to give their culture and tradition to their new generations in the form of ritual or festival. Diwali is one of the most important festival of which the culture and traditions is as continue as a long years ago. We have learnt from our older generations and give the same to our newer generations. Diwali is a festival of social observance including a lot of religious and spiritual beliefs.
Kids are very curious and decisive to know and celebrate all the coming festivals. They want to know the history and stories and significance of festival. Diwali brings a lot of opportunity to tell our kids about the religious, spiritual significance, history and story of Diwali. They can be easily known about each and every aspects of Diwali through many symbols that are identical with the Diwali. Involve them in each and every activities of Diwali such as shopping, making crafts, making and painting diyas and decorations to increase their curiosity. Let them help you shop and make some decorations and lights.
Involve them in cleaning and lighting activities of home at Diwali. Explain them the history and importance of Diwali truly for different religions. They can be described about why lighting, cleaning, decorating and distributing sweets at this day is necessary. In this way they can improve their social observance and responsibility towards the Indian culture and tradition. Encouraging them making colorful Diwali cards, envelops and rangoli is the good start. They should be encouraged to buy the traditional clothes other than fashionable for the day of Diwali. Teach them to make Diwali safe and secure, varieties of Indian foods and sweets, how to worship, how to use firecrackers and meet each other.
Significance of Diwali Lights
There is main ritual of lighting lamps all around the houses and pathways at the great festival of Diwali. Illuminating homes with candle lights and diyas has the ritual of getting health, wealth, wisdom, peace and prosperity to home for the whole year. One more ritual is to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi to the home by removing even the single bit of darkness from the home. Burning lights everywhere indicates the removal of darkness from home as well as the removal of badness from our soul. People take blessings of prosperity and wealth by doing puja and lighting lamps.
Lighting lamps indicates the triumph of goodness over evil. There are variety of lamps such as handi lamps, clay diyas, candles, electric lamps, brass, copper or metal lamps and etc used for lighting at Diwali.
Significance of Diwali Padwa
The fourth day of Diwali is known as the Varshapratipada or Pratipad Padwa which has its own significance of celebration. It falls at 1st day in the month of Karthik according to the Hindu calendar. The significance of celebrating VarshaPratipada or Pratipad Padwa is the coronation of great King Vikramaditya as well as starting of the Vikaram-Samvat at Padwa day. On the same day businessmen start their new account books.
According to one of the Hindu custom it is believed that wives put red color tilak on the husband forehead, put garland in the neck and do aarti with prayer for their long life. In the return wives got gift from their husband. This is known as the Gudi Padwa which indicates the love, affection and devotion between the husbands and wives. At this day parents invite their newly married daughters including husbands for the special meals.
At the day of Padwa King Bali was defeated by the Lord Vishnu that’s why it is also known as Bali Padyami. The day is celebrated to remember the success of God over the demon.
Significance of Diwali days
Diwali is five days festival; each day celebration has different significance according to the religions and customs. In Hinduism, Diwali days are celebrated accordingly:
First day of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanteras by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh. People buy new things and bring home which means Lakshmi came home. Dhanteras is celebrated to remember the Jayanti or Birthday Anniversary of the God Dhanvantari, also known as the Physician of Gods. It is considered that he was arisen during the churning of ocean.
Second day of Diwali is celebrated as the Naraka Chaturdashi to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over demon Narakasura. It is the custom of taking oil bath in the early morning and wear new clothes. Then the lighting and puja ceremony held for God Krishna or Vishnu.
Third day of Diwali is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh to get blessings for prosperity and knowledge. Significance of lighting lamps at this day is to remove the darkness and welcome the Goddess to home.
Fourth day is celebrated as Govardhan Puja (means Annakoot). The significance of this day is to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over proud Indra by saving the life of Gokulvashi from the critical rain. The same day is also celebrated as Bali-Pratipada to memorialize the conquest of Lord Vishnu over evil spirit king Bali.
Fifth day is celebrated by the brothers and sisters as Bhai Dooj to signify the bond of love between them. The main significance of the day is the story of Lord of death, Yama and his Yami (means the river Yamuna).