Diwali is celebrated as a symbol of victory of good overcoming evil. This festival is at least 3000 years old. The day Lord Shriram returned to Ayodhya from Lanka with Sita was celebrated by the people of Ayodhya with enthusiasm. It also became a festival of Diwali. Deep is considered to be the image of Mangalya. Dipotsav is celebrated to dispel the darkness of life with its light. The rainy season is considered a traditional celebration of prosperity, joy and gratitude. The festival is called “Deepmala” in the book “Neelmat Purana” and the word “Diwali” is used in the book “Jyotish Ratnamala”. Since Ashwin Vadya Trayodashi to Kartik Shuddha Dwitiya are celebrated every day, they celebrate this festival by lighting lamps on all the five days. That is why this festival is known as Deepawali or Diwali. The festival has religious and social significance as the rainy season ends and autumn begins. New grain is produced at this time, so it is also an agricultural festival.
Diwali is celebrated for four days on Ashwin Vadya Trayodashi (Dhantrayodashi), Ashwin Vadya Chaturdashi (Narak Chaturdashi), Amavasya (Lakshmi pujan) and Kartik Shuddha Pratipada (Bali Pratipada). Some people do not consider Trayodashi as Diwali, but Diwali as the remaining three days. Vasubaras and Bhaubij are associated with Diwali, so they are included in Diwali; But in reality those festivals are different.
Vasubaras is the day when the catastrophic waves of Lord Vishnu are working and coming into the universe! On this day, Vasadavatta from Vishnuloka, Kamadhenu, works tirelessly to carry the waves to the universe. On this day, Kamadhenu is gratefully remembered and Dhenu, i.e. cow, is worshiped in the courtyard with Tulshi Vrindavana. That is why this day is called Vasubaras. Baras means the formation of a new seed of consciousness in something. It is this divinity that the soul wants to perpetuate by seeing the form of Vishnu permanently in it and to take advantage of the consciousness waves emanating from it. On this day, fortunately, the women remain united and worship the cow in the morning or in the evening.
गोस्तु मात्रा न विद्यते । – (यजुर्वेद, अध्याय २३, कण्डिका ४८)
Meaning: The benefits of cows cannot be compared to any other animal.
रक्षामि धेनुं नित्यं पालयामि धेनुं सदा ।ध्यायामिधेनुं सम्यक् वन्दे धेनुमातरम् ।।
Meaning: We will always protect Gomate. We will always take care of Gopalan. We will also constantly think about cow protection, cow rearing and Gopalan. O Gomate, let us re-establish your venerable form in the minds of the people.
In this sense Vasubaras is celebrated.
Ashvin Vadya Trayodashi is known as Dhantrayodashi. There is a story that Yamaraja told his angels that ‘whoever lights a lamp on this day will not die’. So on this day, they take a bath and light a lamp. For Yamaraja, the lamp has to be lit on the same day facing south. At other times it is considered inauspicious to light a lamp facing south.
This day is also celebrated as National Ayurveda Day in India.
Ashwin Vadya Chaturdashi is known as Narakchaturdashi. On this day, Krishna killed Narakasura and freed sixteen thousand women in his captivity. Krishna came back before sunrise with a drop of Narakasura’s blood. At that time, he was bathed and prayed. To commemorate this, they bathe before sunrise and light the lamps and celebrate. There is also a story that Satyabhama killed Narakasura with the help of Lord Krishna.
Lakshmi Pujan is performed on the night of Ashwin Vadya Amavasya. On this occasion, Ashta Dal worships Lakshmi by establishing her on the lotus. Lakshmi is a symbol of beauty, love and glory. If we acquire wealth with restraint, then there is welfare of man. For this, Dhanalakshmi has to be worshiped on this day. The game should be planned just to realize that matter is fickle. Lakshmi is circulating everywhere these days. It is believed that it resides where cleanliness is good and light is found. In some places, it is customary to worship broom as Lakshmi, which removes all household dirt.
On this day Mahavira attained Nirvana. Therefore, Jains observe this day by lighting lamps everywhere. The aim should be to spread the light of Mahavira everywhere.
Karthik Shuddha Pratipada is known as Balipratipada. On this day, Vishnu took Vamanavatar and threw Bali raja into the abyss. He will light the lamp on this day and he will not have to suffer Yamayatana, Vamana told the victim. There is also a method of sacrificing on this day. On this day King Vikram was enthroned. Vikram Samvat starts from this day. Hence it is called Diwali Padva. This is half of the three and a half auspicious moments of Hindus.
On this day the wife has a method of praying to the husband. The practice of worshiping Govardhan is also found in some places. This is considered to be the main day of Diwali. Diwali is basically a festival of non-urban culture, agro-culture. This day is very important in the life of farmers. This day is celebrated in the memory of Bali Raja. Bali raja is considered to be the god of many. “Deen Deen Diwali Gai Mhashi Ovali”, this folk song reminds that us that Diwali is a festival for farmers. On this day, farmers decorate their houses and barns with marigold garlands. Prays the cattle. Gives them sweet. The usual cowherd and women are given leave from work. In Dhangar Samaj, this day is a festival of appreciation for their sheep. Take various competitions of sheep. Sheep-sheep weddings are held on this day. For this, sheep and goats are specially decorated. A turmeric mala is tied around the neck of a sheep, while a mala of betel nut is tied around the neck of a sheep. They get married by singing Khandoba-Biroba songs. Tribal people worship their cattle and goats by placing garlands around their necks. They cut the cactus and light the lamps in it. On the day of Balipratipada, the tribals gather their cows and take them out of the village. He has already built an arena outside the village. They light the grass in the arena and smoke it. They make the cows and goats run through the smoke in the name of Bali raja. He believes that he does not get any disease after going from this smoke.
On the day of Karthik Shuddha Dwitiya, brothers and sisters celebrate this day. This day is also known as ‘Yamadvitiya’ as Yama went to eat at his sister Yami’s house. The moon on the second day is attractive and is considered as incremental. So, the feeling behind this is that brotherly love will continue to grow like the incremental moon. This is a festival of brotherhood to remove the hatred and envy in our minds and awaken the idea of brotherhood everywhere. On this day, the brother eats sweets at the sister’s house and in the evening, after seeing the crescent of the moon, the sister first prays to the crescent and then to the brother. The brother pays respect to his sister by giving her a gift.
The festival is now taking on a global dimension. Indians around the world celebrate Diwali in their respective cities. Diwali is also celebrated in London, USA. Along with India, Diwali is celebrated in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Suriname.