Why Do We Celebrate Diwali? It’s Not Just the Color of Lights
It’s not just the high time to welcome winter. Diwali is something more than that. Diwali, or Deepawali, is definitely the brightest and biggest Hindu festival. It is definitely the festival of lights celebrated for four days. Diwali falls on October 30, 2016, Sunday this year.
Diwali – Historical Significance
Diwali is known to have rich history which can be traced back to ancient India when it was a major harvest festival. Several legends have various claims to point out the origin of Diwali festival. According to some legends, it is celebrated to rejoice the marriage of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. In Bengal, Diwali is dedicated to Maa Kali. In Hindu homes, Lord Ganesha is also worshipped. Diwali is dedicated to Lord Mahavira in Jainism which involves attaining the bliss of nirvana. Diwali is also celebrated for the return of Lord Rama with Lakshman and Sita from his 14-year long exile and after killing Ravana.
Diwali – The Cultural Significance
- Lakshmi Rescued by Lord Vishnu – Lord Vishnu as Vaman Avatar, his fifth incarnation, rescued Lakshmi on this day from the King Bali’s prison and it is yet another reason to worship Goddess Lakshmi.
- Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday – She is the goddess of wealth who was incarnated on Amavashya (New Moon day) in Kartik month during Samudra Manthan (churning of ocean).
- Krishna Demolished Narkaasur – On this very day, Lord Krishna killed Narkaasur and rescued up to 16000 women from his prison. This freedom was celebrated for two days as the festival of victory.
- Return of the Pandavas – The epic Mahabharata clearly mentions that Pandavas returned from their banishment after 12 years on Kartik Amavasya due to their defeat by the Kauravas at the game of gambling. The day was celebrated by lighting the lamps.
- Victory of Lord Rama – The epic Ramayana claims that Lord Rama, Lakshman and Sita returned Ayodhya after diminishing Ravana and his Lanka. The Ayodhya citizens decorated the whole city with earthen lamps.
- Foundation of Golden Temple – Diwali is institutionalized as Red Letter Day by Guru Amar Das, third Guru Sikh when all the Sikhs gathered to seek blessings of Gurus. Golden Temple was also founded at Amritsar in 1577 on Diwali. Hargobind, sixth Guru Sikh was held by Jahengir, the Mughal ruler in 1619, who was later released with 52 kings from Gwalior fort.
- Vikramaditya’s Coronation – He was one of the legendary Hindu Kings, coroneted on this day. So, Diwali is also the historical event.
- Special Event for Arya Samaj – Maharshi Dayananda was one of the greatest Hindu reformers and Arya Samaaj founder who attained nirvana on new moon day of Diwali.
- Biggest Day for Jains – The founder of Jainism, Mahavir Tirthankar also attained nirvana on this special day.
Diwali – From Darkness to Light
In each myth, legend and story, Diwali showcases the winning of good over evil. The color of light illuminates all the goodness of wealth to our homes and hearts. The light empowers us to lead ourselves to good deeds.
On Diwali Hindus worships goddess Lakshmi, The goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. Below are the pooja shubh muhurat timings on diwali:
Fixed Lagna Lakshmi Puja Timings
Vrishchika Lagna Muhurat = 07:51 a.m to 10:07 a.m (morning)
Duration = 2 Hours 16 Mins
Kumbha Lagna Muhurat = 13:58 p.m to 15:31 p.m (afternoon)
Duration = 1 Hour 32 Mins
Vrishabha Lagna Muhurat = 18:42 p.m to 20:40 p.m (evening)
Duration = 1 Hour 58 Mins
Amavasya Tithi Timing
Amavasya Tithi Begins = 20:40 p.m. on 29th October 2016
Amavasya Tithi Ends = 23:08 p.m. on 30th October 2016