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Diwali - 3rd Day - DEEPAWALI!!! YAAYY!!

Wishing every one a very sweet, fun-tastic, happy & prosperous Diwali. May you receive a lot of wealth, both currency wise and heart wise. And may you be generous enough to share them with all around you (esp. the currency on me). And may you forget old fights & hug your enemy who was once your friend. And may your life be illuminated with the light of Guruji's Knowledge. And may your radiance be a beacon of light for others.

If you haven't read Diwali 1st day & 2nd day post, skip to the post below before reading read post...


3rd Day:
This is the day when most people celebrate Deepawali by praying to Ganesh ji & Lakshmi ji, bursting crackers, offering gifts, devouring sweets, forgiving old fights and generally being merry & prosperous. All the rituals are done with much aplomb & fervor.

And this is the most famous legend of all. Ram ji, Sita ma. Lakshman and Hanuman ji returned to Ayodhya on this day after defeating Ravana. The villagers welcomed them by decorating all Ayodhya with Diyas. Since then every year we honor his greatness by lighting Diyas in his remembrance. Well, not much to say about Ramayana. Everyone has seen Arun Govil as Ram ji & Dara Singh as Hanuman ji on Doordarshan!

It is traditional to do Ganesh - Lakshmi puja in the evening. Only after that one can burst crackers, light diyas, have special yummy Diwali dinner & visit other houses to wish happy Diwali with sweets. I used to think that Ganesh & Lakhsmi ji are married and that's why we pray to them as a couple! Wondering at the same time, "isn't she married to Vishnu ji also?"

Ganesh ji is the god of wisdom & remover of obstacles. He is to be worshiped before other gods and before starting anything new for smooth sailing.

Lakshmi ji is the goddess of wealth & prosperity. She also denotes beauty & charm. It is believed that Laskhmi ji visits every house and brings peace & prosperity to all on the night of Diwali. That's why no corner of the house is to be left dark and doors are left open late into the night on this day, to welcome her in the home. As a kid, I actually used to wait for her to glide in to my home, as I also waited for Santa clause to slide into the house, until I fell asleep!

In Hindu mythology they are unrelated, but on the ev
e of Diwali they are placed together on the altar. Ganesh ji on right side and Lakshmi ji on left side. Together they hold a promise of a obstacle free year of fulfillment of wants, wealth & wisdom.

In Bengal Diwali is celebrated with Kali puja. Goddess Kali is 1st of the 10 incarnations of Goddess Durga. Legend goes that 2 demons shambhu & nishambhu grew so powerful that after endless battles all the gods had to go in exile in himalayas to Shiv & Parvati ji. They prayed to goddess Durga and Kali ma was born out of her forehead to save heaven and earth from demons.

Kali ma slaughtered the demons and chopped their heads off and made a garland for her out of it. There was so much energy that she started slaying everything that came into her sight. The terrified gods requested Shiva, Durga ma's consort to intervene. Shiv ji threw himself on her path and Kali ma in her rage stepped on his chest. She was so shocked with this act of Lord Shiva that she stuck her tongue out in disbelief and repentance. Thus, shiv ji succeeded in stopping the carnage. And thus the popular image of Kali ma with garland of demon heads, foot on Shiv ji's chest & her tongue hanging out.

Kali Puja is a very intense tantric invocation to the fearsome goddess. It symbolizes diminishing ego and negative tendencies that hinders spiritual progress & material prosperity. It begins midnight & goes on till dawn amidst bursting of crackers. I have actually witnessed little bit of the puja and I was petrified out of my wits!

P.S: Tomorrow I shall write about 4th and 5th day of festivities and more importantly about the spiritual significance of Diwali and the rituals behind them, as I understand it.

1 Hitch Hikers:

aparnata said...

oo.. this is the first time i am hearing about such kinda puja's. by seeing the pic i am scared!!

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