Diwali is the most celebrated festival of Bharat/India, it comes once every year and the entire Bharat starts preparing for the celebrations a week before it. It is well known to everyone that Diwali is a festival of light and it is celebrated across the globe by Hindus in the joy of the victory over evil or to be precise that Bhagwan Ram returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after killing a demon Ravan who abducted his wife while they were serving the 14-year exile by his own father. In brief, this introductory knowledge is ample as to why we celebrate Diwali but to know the layers of all these historical events we have to dive a little deeper into the follow-up events of Bhagwan Ram.
Hindu Calendar for Diwali
Those who do not know about Hindu traditions have little or no knowledge regarding how to know when to celebrate Diwali. Many Hindus don’t even know when will the Diwali be celebrated because Hindu Calendar (Hindu Panchang) runs differently than Gregorian Calendar.
Gregorian Calendar is similar to Hindu Calendar, it has 12 Months with days calculated on the basis of Moon phases. It divides a Month into two parts, first part involves the moon being faded away and on the 15th day of a Month there is no Moon, it is called the Krishna Paksha. The second part involves the reappearance of the Moon to the full moon, it roughly takes 15 days as well and is called the Shukla Paksha.
Therefore, Diwali is celebrated on the 8th Month of the Hindu Calendar which is Kartika, if we compare this to the Gregorian Calendar it somewhere lies between the last week of October and the first week of November. Since the Hindu calendar follows the Moon, it varies dates from Gregorian Calendar but all the festivals lie on the same day if we look at them in the Hindu Calendar.
Shri Ram Story behind Diwali
According to various physicists who study stars and galaxy movements, they date Ram somewhere between 11,000 -14,000 years, because at the time of Bhagwan Ram’s birth the astrologers of that time recorded the positions of various stars in the sky. So, history tells us that there was a dynasty in Bharat at that time known as Raghuvansh which ruled the city of Ayodhya. Dashratha was the father of Ram during that period and had three wives. Ram was the eldest son of the eldest Queen and the other three princes were from the other 2 Queens. When all the princes got their education and when it was time to choose a king, usually there was a practice of primogeniture. And Ram was the obvious choice of the King and the subjects of Ayodhya. But the middle Queen named “Keykayi” of King Dasharatha had some plans under the hood.
The Queen “Keykayi” reminded King of the two promises that he gave her a few years back when she saved his life, that he will fulfill any of her two wishes. The king remembered those promises and happily ask “Keykayi” to ask for the two wishes that are due on that date. Then Queen “Keykayi,” asked that Ram should be exiled for 14 years and the second one is that her son “Bharat” the brother of Ram should be made the King of Ayodhya. These two wishes of “Keykayi” broke the indomitable king right at that moment. Since “Raghukul” was a dynasty that was famous for fulfilling their promises even if it cost them their life. Now the King was bound to fulfill his promises since it was a mandatory practice of that dynasty.
The King ordered his eldest son Ram with wet eyes that he should spend the next 14 years in exile and tomorrow Bharat would be the King of Ayodhya. Ram graciously followed the commandments of his father and left for wild along with his wife and the most lovable cousin Laxman. They spent 13 years and some 4 odd months in peace until the demon Ravan abducted “Sita” the wife of Bhagwan Ram during the last phase of their exile. Then Bhagwan Ram arranged an army from the local kingdoms and attacked the Ravan in Sri Lanka which was known by the name Lanka only at that time. He made a bridge over the ocean which is still present today between Sri Lanka and India popularly known as Adam’s Bridge (colonialists changed its name). Then Ram killed Ravan in the ensuing battle.
When Ravan was killed it was also the time when the period of their exile was over and Ram started his journey back to his city Ayodhya. It was the 15th Day of the month Karthik of the Hindu Calendar that Shri Ram reached Ayodhya. Since it is the darkest day of the month, the people of Ayodhya celebrated their king’s comeback by lighting up Diya in the entire city and since then every year Diwali is celebrated in a similar fashion by lighting up the darkest night of the entire month in Kartik. There are many other stories that are associated with this day but majorly Diwali is only dedicated to Bhagwan Ram and his comeback to Ayodhya.
Hindus across the globe start preparing for this festival night weeks before, they start cleaning their houses, decorating, and especially lighting up their homes and offices with different light sources i.e., led, bulbs, lamps, etc. cities light up, this festival is celebrated in an almost similar fashion across the globe. Relatives visit each other and bring sweets, and families, and friends get together and celebrate with fire-crackers and sky-shots.
The most fascinating celebration that Bhartiya people love is to see their Prime Minister spend Diwali nights with their soldiers at the borders. This reassures the citizens that just like Ram killed the enemy of humanity and states similarly our soldiers would be protecting us from external aggressions and their Prime Minister honoring them is the best feeling the Bhartiya people feel.
Different areas across the country dressed up in different colors of lights. The most wonderful celebrations occur in the city of Bhagwan Ram, Ayodhya—–
People in Ayodhya lighting up earthen lamps by the banks of the Saryu River
Ayodhya Celebration of Diwali
Events associated with Diwali
In Dwapara yuga, Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, killed demon Narakasura, the evil king of Pragjyotishapura, near present-day Assam, who had held 16,000 girls in captivity. In the Braj region in northern India, parts of Assam, as well as southern Tamil and Telugu communities, Narak Chaturdashi is viewed as the day on which Krishna killed Narakasura
The five Pandava brothers had been tricked into losing a bet in gambling after which their Kaurava cousins banished them for 12 years. The Pandavas returned to Hastinapur on Kartik Amavasya, as per the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
As per the Kalikula sect of Shaktism, the day of incarnation of Kamalatmika, the last manifestation of goddess Mahakali, is celebrated as Kamalatmika Jayanti. It falls on the day of Deepawali. Kali Puja is celebrated in regions of Bengal, Mithila, Odisha, Assam, Sylhet, Chittagong, and the town of Titwala in Maharashtra.