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Diwali – Festival of Lights

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Deepavali or Diwali is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.  The word “Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas, or clay lamps. This is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar. Hence the Diwali Festival is also called the ‘Festival of Lights”.

It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika, according to the Hindu calendar. This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. The myths around Rama and Ravana are told during another holiday, known as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami.

2012, In Diwali starts with Dhanteras on November 11. Each day of the festival has a different meaning. The main festivities take place on the third day (this year, on November 13), while the the fourth day is celebrated as new year’s day. Merchants open fresh accounts for the new year, and offer prayers. On the fifth and last day, brothers and sisters get together and share food, to honor the bond between them.
The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and atmospheric festival, and it’s observed with much joy and happiness.
Diwali celebrations may last for up to five days. Many people decorate their home and workplaces with tiny electric lights or small clay oil lamps. Bowls of water with candles and flowers floating on the surface are also popular decorations.
Many people make a special effort to clean their homes and yards before Diwali. They may also wash themselves with water and fragrant oils, wear new clothes and give gifts of sweets to family members, close friends and business associates. Fireworks are set off in the evening in some areas. Melas (fairs) are held in many towns and villages. However, be prepared for lots of loud noise from the fireworks and firecrackers going off. The air also becomes filled with smoke from the firecrackers, which can add to breathing difficulties.

Diwali is a festival over five days, Called also Panch Parav. Diwali celebrations may last for up to five days. Many people decorate their home and workplaces with tiny electric lights or small clay oil lamps. Bowls of water with candles and flowers floating on the surface are also popular decorations.
First day is Dhanteras—-people pray to Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and wealth. People buy gold articles and new goods and the Symbols of Lakshmi on this day
Second day is choti Diwali—also known as Naraka Chaturdashi or kali Chaudas in some states legend, that The Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killed the evil daemon Narakasura on this day.
Third day is Diwali— Many people go to their Temples for worshiping Laksmi, Goddess of wealth and also pray to Ganesha and Offered to the deities, praising the deity by sinning Arty songs. At Night people light up little oil lamps called diyas, dipak, and placed them around their houses. And enjoying fire work or blasting firecrackers.
The Fourth Day is Padwa— kartika first in Hindu calendar and also known as Govardhan pooja or Annakoot.It is said that Krishna defeated the God of rain and heaven Indra on that day. He lifted Mount Goverdhana to save people’s life from the floods and heavy Rain .According to another legend, Vishnu defeated the demon-king Bali on this day. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom.
Fifth Day is Bhai Duj—-Last Day of Diwali is called Bhai Dooj also Known as Yuma Dwitiya .This is the day for brothers and sisters to strengthen their relationships. Yamuna
Prayed for her brother Yam (God of Death), on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes. Sisters are praying for their Brothers well-being and Tilak them with roli (sin door) or akshat on this day, and brothers give gifts to their sisters in return on this day
The Origin of Diwali
Why do we celebrate Diwali? It’s not just the festive mood in the air that makes you happy, or just that it’s a good time to enjoy before the advent of winter. There are mythical and historical reasons why Diwali is a great time to celebrate. And there are good reasons not just for Hindus but also for all others to celebrate this great Festival of Lights.

1.Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.
The Goddess Lakshmi , she symbolizes wealth and prosperity. She is also worshipped on Diwali. This festival is celebrated in West Bengal as “Kali Puja”, and Kali, Shiva’s consort, is worshipped during Diwali.

2. Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi: On this very day (Diwali day), Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.
3. Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.
4. The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was ‘Kartik Amavashya’ when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.
5. The Victory of Rama: According to the epic ‘Ramayana’, it was the new moon day of Kartik when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.
6. Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well.
7. Special Day for the Arya Samaj: It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.
8. Special Day for the Jains: Many people who observe Jainism mark the anniversary of Mahavira’s (or Lord Mahavir) attainment of nirvana on October 15, 527 BCE. Mahavira established the central spiritual ideas of Jainism. Mahavir Tirthankar, considered to be the founder of modern Jainism Many Jains celebrate the Festival of Lights in his honor.
9. Special Day for the Sikhs: The third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalized Diwali as a Red-Letter Day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali .Bandi Chhorh Divas, which is the Sikh celebration of the sixth Nanak’s (Guru Har Gobind) return from detention in the Gwalior Fort, coincides with Diwali. . In 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir, was released from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings.  This coincidence has resulted in the similarity of celebrating the day among many Sikhs and Hindus.
10. The Pope’s Diwali Speech: In 1999, Pope John Paul II performed a special Eucharist in an Indian church where the altar was decorated with Diwali lamps, the Pope had a ‘tilak’ marked on his forehead and his speech was bristled with references to the festival of light.
11.Special Day for the Buddhists: Many Buddhists in India mark anniversary of the Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism around the time of Diwali. Many scholars believe that Ashoka lived between 270BCE and 232 BCE.
12.Special Day for assamis:
The Diwali festival in southern India often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a king of Assam who imprisoned many people. It is believed that Krishna freed the prisoners.
Electric lights, small oil lamps made of clay and flames are important Diwali symbols. They represent both physical and spiritual aspects of light The Origin of Diwali

Public life
Government offices, post offices and banks are closed in India on Diwali. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for religious celebrations. People in different regions in India may celebrate Diwali on various dates. This is because traditional lunar calendars can be interpreted in different ways. For example, Deepavali in Tamil Nadu is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aipasi. Deepavali celebrations take place in many countries in world. There is a large population of Indians living outside of India in overseas countries due to migration or as guest workers and students. Those Non resident Indians and persons of Indian Origin play an important role in many societies and enriching the cultural diversity of whole nations. It also common to send Diwali greeting cards to family members, relatives and friends. Recently however it is becoming more popular to send Diwali cards or Diwali SMS.Diwali mela take place not only in India, but in many countries in the world.
Diwali Pujan Muhurat 13 November 2012
Maha Lakshmi Pooja and festival of Diwali is celebrated in Pradosh Kaal of Karitik Krishna Paksha, fixed Lagan time. In order to get the blessings of Goddess of wealth, i.e. Maha Lakshmi Mata, performing Lakshmi Poojan is considered auspicious.
In the 2012, Diwali will be on 13 November, Tuesday. This day is in Chitra Nakshatra but, after Pradosh Kaal, it will be Swati Nakshatra. Priti Yoga and moon will move in Taurus Sign, on this day. Amavasya date, Pradosh kal, auspicious Lagna and Chaughadia Muhurat have special significance in Diwali. The Diwali of Wednesday is considered auspicious for business man and people involved with dealings.

1. Pradosh Kal Muhurat for Diwali Pujan

On 13 November, 2012 Tuesday, Delhi or Punjab and nearby areas will have sunset around 17:42. From this moment to the next 2 hours 24 minutes will be the Pradosh Kal. The time of Pradosh kal is considered auspicious Muhurat for the Diwali Pujan. The fixed Lagna time is the best in Pradosh Kal. On this day, Pradosh Kal and fixed Lagna will be from 18:46 to 20:41. After this, Shub Chaughadia Muhurat will be from 19:20 to 20:58 which increases the auspiciousness of the Muhurat.
All preparations of temple related to Puja, Rangoli, Deepdan etc should be done during Pradosh Kal. Additionally, it is considered auspicious to complete the work of sweets distribution during this time.
Also, the work of drawing of Swastika and writing Shub Labh on the doors should be done in this Muhurat time. Besides this, giving gift to the elders of the family and taking their blessings increases the auspiciousness in a person’s life. Giving donations etc. at religious places during this period is considered favorable.
2. Nishit Kaal for Diwali Pujan

On 13 November, 2012 Tuesday, Nishit Kaal will be from 20:15 to 22:54. According to the local state, there may be a difference of few minutes in this time. The Amrit Chaugadia will be in the Nishit kaal from 20:58 to 022:36. Labh Chaughadia will also be present in Nishit Kaal. This time will be best for businessman to perform Lakshmi Pujan. Calling and worshipping Dhan Lakshmi, Havan etc should be completed during this time. Apart from this, Maha Lakshmi Pujan, Maha Kali Pujan, writing, Kuber Pujan and chanting of mantra should be done during this time.

3. Maha Nishit Kal for Diwali Pujan
On 13 November, 2012 Tuesday, Maha Nishit Kaal will be from 22:54 to 01:30 minutes. Cancer Lagna during Maha Nishit Kal is considered very auspicious. Maha Nishit Kal and Cancer Lagna will be from 22:55 to 01:18 minuted of the next day. This time period is specifically auspicious because of the two. A person who wants to perform worship of Diwali according to the scriptures, he used make use of this time period.
During this time basically, Tantric work, astrological knowledge, rituals, worshiping of powers is performed and calling other powers is considered auspicious. After Diwali Pujan, a lamp with four wick is lighted the whole night in the house. This lamp is considered as the symbol of Lakshmi and increase in luck

Diwali Chaughadia Muhurat