Pics: Spoorthi Ullal
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (SP)
Mangalore, Oct 20: Time to celebrate! The annual festival of ‘Deepavali’, which is widely known as ‘Diwali’ in north Indian states, apart from other names like ‘Kaumudi Dipam’, ‘Dipalika’ etc elsewhere, is here. Deepavali falls on the 26th of October this year. It is celebrated in different periods in different regions. In Karnataka, normally, a three day festival beginning with Naraka Chaturdashi and ending with Gao Puja is celebrated, while in north India, a five day festival beginning on the 13th day of the dark half of Ashvija month (Dhanteras) and ending with second day of the bright half of Kartika month (Bhaidooj) is celebrated.
All the communities including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains etc celebrate Deepavali. The festival is celebrated by people of all the states of India, and in some other countries. There are some beliefs associated with Deepavali.
Naraka Chaturdashi is the day on which demon Naraka was annihilated by Lord Krishna in association with Satyabhama. Before dying, Narakasura sought from Lord Krishna the boon of celebrating the day of his death as a festival, which was readily granted. The next day falls of Amavasya, when Laxmi Puja is held. The third day is Bali Padyami (known as Govardhan Puja in north India). In Karnataka coast, Bali Padyami is celebrated in honour of King Bali, who was reverred for his excellent qualities. However, as his virtues were threatening to unseat Indra, who ruled heaven, Indra sought the help of Lord Vishnu to blunt competition. Lord Vishnu, who appeared in the form of ‘Vamana’, pushed Bali to the nether world. Bali was granted permission to visit his subjects once a year, and the people of Karnataka coast spread out food, flowers and lighted pieces of cloth tied to small sticks etc in their fields, as a mark of extending hearty welcome to King Bali and celebrating his visit.
Colourful earthen and other lamps are set out during Deepavali festival to invite Goddess Laxmi to earth and to seek her grace for the people living here. Merchants decorate their shops and perform puja to their wares. Cows are also worshipped during this festival. Goodudeepas and crackers are an integral part of this festival. Dealers of crackers have already piled up stocks of different crackers and announced schemes of prizes and other incentives to lure customers.
In north India, people believe that on the second day of Kartika month, which is known as Bhaidooj, Lord Yama was invited by his sister, Goddess Yamuna, to have food. Pleased at the food and services offered by his sister, Yama gave the boon of longevity to brothers who visit their sisters on this day and accept their services. It is also believed that Lord Rama, who killed demon Ravana on Vijayadashami day, reached Ayodhya, his kingdom, on Deepavali.
It is important that this festival is celebrated with a free mind, and with the purpose of spreading love and respect among the mankind like kindling of other lamps with the help of a single lamp. People visit their friends and relatives, distribute sweets and crackers, and enjoy the festival in various ways. It is hoped that Goddess Laxmi, who is in charge of wealth, prosperity and produce, will come to earth on Deepavali day, and shower on people the boon of happiness, affluence, and good health.