5 Diwali Tales You Didn’t Know
With Diwali just around the corner, shops are glittering with shining sweet boxes and bright crackers. Diwali is that time of the year when families and friends come together to celebrate the Festival of Lights amidst heaps of mithai, nights of card games, parading in fine ethnic wear. We pick out 5 grandma’s stories about Diwali that every generation ought to know….
That Diwali is the celebration of Ram’s homecoming to Ayodhya at the end of his 14 year exile and after he destroyed Raavan, is common knowledge. But it also marks the return of the Pandavas’ from their 13-year exile, following their loss in the famous dice match against the Kauravas, which saw them devoid of all assets, privileges and even their kingdom.
Diwali is also considered to be the day when Mahavir attained Nirvana (salvation) and hence the Jains celebrate it with great fervour.
Mughal emperor Jehangir had imprisoned the sixth guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Ji along with 52 local kings for rebelling against him. A day before Diwali, they were released from the Gwalior prison, and the next day i.e. the day of Diwali, Guru ji met his followers at Amritsar. As a result even the Sikhs celebrate this day with great joy and cheer.
On this day, Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama, a form of Mother Earth, killed Narakasura, a demon who could only be killed by Mother Earth herself.
It is believed that, on the third day of Diwali, i.e. Balipratipada, Lord Vishnu’s fifth avatar Vamana had banished Mahabali to the Netherworld when his evil henchmen posed danger to the gods. But after witnessing Mahabali’s generous nature, Vamana also granted him a boon that he could visit earth every year on that day. So Diwali is also a commemoration of Mahabali’s return to earth and is celebrated by lighting lamps in his honour.