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India Video

2010

India Video - Festivals Diwali

The name Diwali is itself a contraction of the word, which translates into row of lamps (din Sanskrit) . Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (divas) (or Deep in Sanskrit) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with others. Some Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali wishing for good luck the following year. In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating (the demon king) Ravana, the ruler of Lanka in the epic Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both signify the victory of good over evil. In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha by Mahavira in 527 BC. In Sikhism, Diwali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles and divas to celebrate his return, which is why Sikhs also refer to Diwali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, "the day of release of detainees". Diwali is considered a national festival in India and Nepal. Diwali is celebrated for 5 days according to the lunar Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Ashwin (September–October) and ends in early Kartika (October– November). The first day is Dhan Teras. The last day is Yama Dvitiya, which India Video


India Video

2010

signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Diwali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival.

While Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light". Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (inner joy or peace). Krishna and Satyabhama fighting Narakasura's armies -Painting from the Metropolitan Museum Hindus have several significant events associated with Diwali: * The return of Sri Ram after 14 years of Vanvas (banishment). To welcome his return, lamps were lit in rows. * The Killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi, one day before Diwali day, it commemorates the killing of the evil demon Narakasura who created havoc, by Krishna's wife Satyabhama. This happened in the Dwapara Yuga during the time of Krishna's avatar. In another version of the belief, the demon was India Video


India Video

2010

killed by Krishna or Krishna provokes his wife Satyabhama to kill Narshna, defeating Indra. Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Diwali which is the day Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain.

According to the story, Krishna saw preparations for an annual offering to Lord Indra and asked his father Nanda about it. He debated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their 'karma', to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan and held to protect the people and cattle from the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme. Although this aspect of Krishna's life is sometimes ignored [citation needed] it sets up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later detailed in the Bhagavat Gita. Watch Videos from India

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