There is an ancient Sanatan festival celebrated every year in autumn. It is celebrated on the new moon day of Kartik month and is one of India’s biggest and most important festivals. Deepawali is the festival of lights. Spiritually it represents the ‘victory of light over darkness’. Among all the festivals celebrated in India, Deepawali has great importance both from a social and religious point of view. It is also called Deepotsav.
Celebrated In These Religions As Well!
The command of the Upanishads ‘Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya’ means leads me from darkness to light. It is also celebrated by the people of the Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain religions. The people of Jainism celebrate it as Mahavir’s salvation day, and the Sikh community celebrates it as Bandi Chhor Diwas.
Origin Of The Word ‘Deepawali’
The word Deepawali is derived from a mixture of two Sanskrit words ‘Deep’ meaning ‘Diya’ and ‘Avali’ meaning ‘Line’ or ‘Series’. Some people “Deepawali” and some “Deepavali”; While some people use “Diwali” and some people use “Divali”. It is important to know here that the use of each pure word depends on its meaning. The pure word is “Deepavali”, which is made up of ‘deep’ (lamp) and ‘Avali’. Which means ‘row of lamps’. The word ‘Deepak’ is derived from ‘Deep’. The use of the word ‘Divali’ is also wrong as the appropriate word is ‘Diwali’. The meaning of ‘Diwali’ is different. ‘Diwali’ is a spoiled form of Deepawali, not Diwali; But the pure and appropriate word is Deepawali. In its celebration lakhs of luminaries are lit at the gates of houses, and temples. Deepawali is called by different names in other languages such as: ‘Deepawali’ (Oriya), ‘Deepaboli’ (Bengali), ‘Deepawali’ (Marathi), and ‘Diwali’ (Konkani). ‘Diyari’ (Sindhi), and ‘Tihar’ (Nepali), also Diyari in Marwari.
History Of Deepawali!
It is believed that on the day of Deepawali, Rama, the King of Ayodhya returned after his fourteen years of exile. The people of Ayodhya lit lamps of ghee to welcome Shri Rama. With the light of diyas, that night of the black new moon of Kartik month was lit up with lights and happiness. Since then, Indians celebrate this festival of lights every year with joy and gaiety.
Indians believe that truth always wins, and lies are destroyed. This is what Deepawali means – Asto Ma Sadgamaya, Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya. Diwali is a festival of cleanliness and light. People start cleaning their houses, shops, mandir, etc. The work of painting, repairing, whitening, etc. starts in the houses. People also decorate and clean the shops. The streets in the markets are also decorated with lots of lights. Even before Deepawali, all the houses, localities, and markets look decorated and clean.
In India, since ancient times, Deepawali is depicted as a festival after the summer harvest in the month of Kartik in Vikram Samvat. In some regions, Hindus also associate Deepawali with the story of Yama and Nachiketa. The story of Nachiketa talks about knowledge versus ignorance, right versus wrong, true wealth versus momentary wealth, etc. It is written in the Upanishads in the first millennium BC.
The history of Diwali is also associated with Ramayana, it is believed that Shri Ram Ji rescued Mata Sita Ji from the captivity of Ravana and after her ordeal, returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years of exile. The people of Ayodhya illuminated the entire Ayodhya by lighting a lamp to welcome Shri Ram Ji, Mata Sita Ji, and Anuj Lakshman, since then Deepawali i.e., the festival of lights is celebrated. it is said that only 2 years of Deepawali were celebrated in Ayodhya. In the 7th-century Sanskrit play Nagananda, King Harsha called it Deeppratipadutsavah in which lamps were lit and gifts were given to the newlyweds. In the 9th century, Rajasekhara referred to it as Deepmalika in poetry, in which houses were painted, and streets and markets were decorated at night with oil lamps.