|PVAF WISHES A HAPPY DIWALI AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR svNt 2066 TO ONE AND ALL....|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on October 28, 2008
HAPPY DIWAALI CELEBRATIONS
PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR svNt 2066
ALL ITS VOLUNETEERS, DONORS,
ONE AND ALL YOU
WHO HAVE BENIFITED FROM YOUR
PVAF WEB SITE VISITS AND
PARTICIPATION IN PVAF PROGRAMS
PRIMARY MANDATE IS
OF SHARING KNOWLEDGE
TO MAKE YOUR TOMORROW
HAPPIER THAN TODAY
WITH REMOVAL OF ALL LIFE POVERTIES
|Deepaavali or Diwaali, is the prime annual celebration at the
end of veDik lunar month of ASHvin among veDIk lifestyle peoples in
India and all over the world outside India. Sikhism,
Buddhism, and Jainism also celebrate Diwaali. Many legends are
associated with Diwali. Diwali celebration also ushers in on the next
day the new year according to the veDik lunar year of vikRm svNt. This
year the year will be svNt 2007.
The most prominent reason for the Diwaali celebration is the In many
parts of India, it is the coronation of of SHRee Rama as King of of
Ayodhya upon a homecoming after a 14-year exile in the forest at the end
of which by defeating killing King RaavaAN ended RaavaAN's reign
of terror through aDHARm in 3-lok of paataal-lok, pRuthvi-lok and svARg-lok.
Diwaali celebrates this through festive fireworks, lights, flowers,
sharing of sweets, and worship. While the story behind Deepavali varies
from region to region, the essence is the same - to rejoice in the
aatmaan or the underlying reality of all things which is bRHm.
Please click on the line below to read more reasons for the celebration of
Diwaali among peoples with vEDik lifestyles in different localities in and
outside India.....and also in lifestyles of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism and
Diwaali.....as extracted from
Wikipedia and other internet sources.......
Replica of Pava temple at
Pansara. Mahavira attained Nirvana at
DIWAALI AMONG JAINS
Jainism marks Diwali as the
Mahavira, which occurred on 15 October, 527 BCE.
Diwali has a very special significance in
Buddha Purnima, the date of Buddha's
is for Buddhists as
Christmas is for Christians.
Lord Mahavira, the last of the
on this day at
Pavapuri on Oct. 15, 527 BCE, on Chaturdashi of Kartika, as
Yativrashaba from the sixth century states:
Lord Mahavira is responsible for establishing the
followed by Jains even today.
According to tradition, the chief disciple of
Gautam Swami also attained complete knowledge (Kevalgyana) on this
day, thus making Diwali one of the most important Jain festivals.
Lord ahavira attained his nirvana at the dawn of the
amavasya (new moon). According to the
Bhadrabahu, 3rd century BC, many gods were present there,
illuminating the darkness[/a>.
The following night was pitch black without the light of the gods or
the moon. To symbolically keep the light of their master's knowledge
116 Gana-kings, 9 Malla and 9 Lichchhavi, of Kasi and Kosal,
illuminated their doors. They said: "Since the light of knowledge is
gone, we will make light of ordinary matter" (English
Trasliteration from sNskRUt : "gye se bhavujjoye, dvvujjoym krissmo"
Deepavali was first mentioned in
Jain/a> books as the date of the
In fact, the oldest reference to Diwali is a related word, dipalikaya
or deepalikaya, which occurs in Harivamsha-Purana, written by Acharya
and composed in the
Shaka Samvat era in the year 705. ((English transliteration of
tatastuh lokah prativarsham-aadarat
prasiddha-deepalikaya-aatra bharate l
samudyatah poojayitum jineshvaram
jinendra-nirvana vibhuti-bhaktibhak ll 20
Translation: The gods illuminated avanagari by lamps to mark the
occasion. Since that time, the people of Bharat celebrate the famous
festival of "Dipalika" to worship the Jinendra (i.e. Lord Mahavira)
on the occasion of his nirvana.
Deepalikaya roughly translates as "light leaving the body". Dipalika,
which can be roughly translated as "splenderous light of lamps", is used
interchangeably with the word "Diwali".
The way Jains celebrate Diwali is different in many respects. There
is a note of asceticism in whatever the Jains do, and the celebration of
Diwali is not an exception.
The Jains celebrate Diwali during the month of Kartik for three days.
During this period, among the Shvetambaras, devoted Jains observe
fasting and chant the Uttaradhyayan Sutra, which contain the final
pravachans of Lord Mahavira, and meditate upon him. Some Jains visit
Pavapuri in Bihar where he attained Nirvan.
In may temples special laddus are offered particularly on this day.
The Jain year starts with Pratipada following Diwali. Vira Nirvana
2534 starts with Diwali 2007.
The Jain businesspeople traditionally started their accounting year
from Diwali. The relationship between the Vir and Shaka era is given in
Titthogali Painnaya and Dhavalaa by Acharya
Virasena: : (English transliteration of sNskRUt)
pNch y maasa pNch y vaas chhchchev honti
priANi vyuass arihito to uppnno sgo raayaa ll
Thus the Nirvana occurred 605 years and 5 months before the Saka era.
On 21 October 1974 the 2500th Nirvana hotsava was celebrated by all
the Jain throughout India
Shri Darbar Sahib,
Amritsar being lit up for Diwali.
DIWAALI AMONG SIKH
The story of Diwali for the
Sikhs is a story of the Sikh struggle for freedom. From the time of
Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539), the founder of
popular seasonal or folk festivals like the harvest festival of
Baisakhi, or previously ancient Hindu festivals such as
Diwali began to take on a new significance for the Guru’s students, the
Sikhs. The Guru used these festivals and special days e.g. first day of
each lunar month, as symbols or pegs for his teaching themes. The
enlightened ideology of
Guru Nanak gave new significance to ancient festivals like Diwali
Sikhs, Diwali came to have special significance from the day the
town of Amritsar was illuminated on the return to it of Guru Hargobind
(1595-1644) who had been held captive in the Fort at Gwalior under the
orders of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir (1570-1627).
As the sixth Guru (teacher) of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed
from imprisonment - along with 53 Hindu Kings (who were held as
political prisoners) whom the Guru had arranged to be released as well.
After his release he went to the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in the
holy city of Amritsar, where he was welcomed in happiness by the people
who lit candles and diyas to greet the Guru.
BeBecause of this, Sikhs often refer to Diwali also as Bandi Chhorh
Divas - “the day of release of detainees."
Bandi Chhorh Divas
Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important because it celebrates the
release from prison of the sixth guru,
Guru Hargobind Ji, (hence also called "Bandi Chhorh Diwas" or
"the day of release of detainees") and 52 other princes with him, from
the Gwalior Fort in 1619.
The Mughal Emperor
Jahangir had imprisoned Guru Hargobind and 52 other rajas (princes).
Emperor Jahangir had imprisoned the sixth Guru because he was afraid of
the Guru's growing following and power. The Emperor was asked to release
Guru Hargobind which he agreed to do. However, Guru Hargobind asked that
the princes be released also. The Emperor agreed, but said only those
who could hold onto his cloak tail would be allowed to leave the prison.
This was in order to limit the number of prisoners who could leave.
However, Guru Hargobind had made a large cloak with 52 pieces of
string and so each prince was able to hold onto one string and leave
Sikhs celebrated the return of Guru Hargobind Ji by lighting the
Golden Temple and this tradition continues today.
of Bhai Mani Singh Ji
Another important Sikh event
associated with Diwali is the martyrdom in 1734 of the elderly Sikh
scholar and strategist
Bhai Mani Singh, the Granthi (preacher) of Harmandir Sahib (Golden
Temple). He had refused to pay a jaziya - special tax imposed by the
Muslim rulers - on a religious meeting of the
on the Diwali day. This and other Sikh martyrdoms gave further momentum
to the Khalsa struggle for freedom and eventually success in
establishing the Khalsa rule north of Delhi
Bhai Mani Singh was a great scholar and he transcribed the final
Guru Granth Sahib upon dictation from
Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1704. He took charge of Harmandir Sahib's
management on 1708. In 1737, he received permission from
Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakarya Khan for celebrating Diwali at
Golden Temple for a massive tax of Rs. 5,000 (some authors say it was Rs
10,000). Invitations were sent to the Sikhs all over India to join Bandi
Chhorh Diwas celebrations at Harmandir Sahib. Bhai Mani Singh thought he
would collect the tax-money from the Sikhs as subscriptions who would
assemble for the purpose of Diwali Celebrations. But Bhai Mani Singh Ji
later discovered the secret plan of Zakarya Khan to kill the Sikhs
during the gathering. Bhai Mani Singh Ji immediately sent message to all
the Sikhs not to turn up for celebrations. Bhai Mani Singh could not
manage to arrange the money to be paid for tax. Zakariya Khan was not
happy about the situation and he ordered Bhai Mani Singh's assassination
by ruthlessly cutting him limb-by-limb to death. Ever since, the great
sacrifice & devotion of martyr Bhai Mani Singh Ji is remembered on the
Bandi Chhorh Diwas (Diwali) celebration.
against the Mughal Empire
The festival of iwali became the second most important day after the
was formally established by the Tenth
Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
The Sikh struggle for freedom from Muslim atrocities, which
intensified in the 18th century, came to be centered around this day.
After the execution of
Banda Bahadur in 1716, who had led the agrarian uprising in
Punjab, the Sikhs started the tradition of deciding matters
concerning the community at the biennial meetings which took place at
Amritsar on the first of Baisakh and at Diwali. These assemblies
were known as the "Sarbat Khalsa" and a resolution passed by it
became a "gurmata" (decree of the Guru).
DIWAALI AMONG NEWAR
The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly
Newar practice both
Buddhism. According to the 2001 Nepal Census, 84.13% of Newars were
Hindus and 15.31% were Buddhists.
The Newa (Nepal
Bhasa:????? Newa or Newah, Old Nepal Bhasa: ?????
Newar, ????? Newal) are the
indigenous people of
Kathmandu Valley. Newars are a linguistic community with
Tibeto-Burman ethnicity/race and faith, bound together by a common
The term Newar applies roughly to the descendants of citizens of
Medieval Nepal (consisting of Kathmandu valley as the capital and the
territory ever changing with farest extent being Gandaki river to west
and Koshi river to the east, Tibet to north and Terai in south). Their
common language being
Nepal Bhasa ("Newari" according to Statistics Nepal) or the
languages progenitor of Nepal Bhasa.
According to Nepal's 2001 census, the 1,245,232 Newar in the country
are the nation's sixth largest
ethnic group, representing 5.48% of the population.
Nepal Bhasa is of
Tibeto-Burman origin (but heavily influenced by
Indo-Aryan languages like
Maithili). Nepal Bhasa also contains
Austro-Asiatic words and phrases. In 2001 the language is spoken by
825,458 Nepalese as their mother tongue
Diwali being festival of lights, across India people celebrate
it via symbolic diyas or kandils (colorful paper lanterns) as an
integral part of Diwali decorations.
MAIN BACKGROUNDERS ON DIWAALI CELEBRATIONS......
Hindus have several significant historical events associated with
- Return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya: Diwali also celebrates
the return of
Ayodhya, with his wife
Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed the
It is believed that the people of Ayodhya lit ghee lamps along the
way to light their path in the darkness. Since Lord Rama traveled
from South India to his kingdom in North India, he passed through
the south earlier. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated
a day earlier in South India.
- The Killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka
Chaturdasi, two days before Diwali day, it commemorates the killing
Narakasura, an evil demon who created havoc, by Lord
Satyabhama. This happened in the
Dwapar Yuga during this time of Lord Krishna's
In another version, the demon was killed by Lord
Krishna (Lord krishna provokes his wife Satyabhama to kill
Narakasura by pretending to be injured by the demon. Narakasura can
only be killed by a woman) himself. Before Narakasura's death, he requested
a boon from Satyabhama (believed to be an Avatar of
Bhudevi), that everyone should celebrate his death with colorful
- Austerities of
According to the
Skanda Purana, the goddess
observed 21 days of austerity starting from
ashtami of shukla paksha (eighth day of the waxing period of
moon) to get half of the body of
Lord Shiva. This
(austerity) is known as kedhara vrata. Deepavali is the completion
day of this austerity. This is the day Lord Shiva accepted Shakti
into the left half of the form and appeared as
Ardhanarishvara. The ardent devotees observe this 21 days vrata
by making a
with 21 threads on it and 21 types of offerings for 35 days. The
final day is celebrated as kedhara gauri vrata.
- Birth of Goddess
Lakshmi: According to the
Puranas, the goddess of Wealth, Prosperity and Luck
Lakshmi was born from the churning of the Milk Ocean, along with
other magical beings and objects including
Halahal aka Poison, etc. She was sought by both the Devas(Gods)
and Danavas(Demons) but she chose
as her husband.
- Krishna defeating
Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Diwali. It is the day
Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain. As per
the story, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to
Lord Indra and questions 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 then lifted Mt
Govardhan and held it up as protection to his people and cattle from
the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as
supreme. This aspect of Krishna's life is mostly glossed over - but
it actually set up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later
detailed in the
The six days
OF DIWALI .....
Diwali celebrations are spread over five days in India and all over
the world. All the days except Diwali are named according to their
designation in the
Vasu Baras (27
Baras means 12th day and vasu means cow. On this day cow and calf is
worshipped. Since it is believed that cow is symbol of God, Diwali
is begun by worshipping cow and calf.
Dhanatrayodashi or Dhan teras (28
Dhan means "wealth" and Trayodashi means "13th day". Thus, as the
name implies, this day falls on the 13th day of the second half of
the lunar month. It is an auspicious day for shopping of utensils
and gold.This day is also regarded as the Jayanti of God Dhanvantri
who came out during the churning of the great ocean by the gods and
Naraka Chaturdashi (29
Chaturdashi is the fourteenth day on which demon Narakasura
was killed. It signifies the victory of good over evil and light
over darkness (Gujarati: Kali Chaudas, Rajasthan : Roop Chaudas).
In south India, this is the actual day of festivities. Hindus wake
up way before dawn as early as 2:00 in the morning, have a fragrant
oil bath and wear new clothes. They light small lamps all around the
house and draw elaborate
outside their homes. They perform a special
with offerings to Lord Sri Krishna or Lord Sri Vishnu, as he
liberated the world from the demon Narakasura on this day. It is
believed that taking a bath before sunrise, when the stars are still
visible in the sky is equivalent to taking a bath in the holy
Hence, when people greet each other in the morning, they ask "Have
you performed your Ganga Snaanam?".
After the puja, children burst firecrackers heralding the defeat of
the demon. As this is a day of rejoicing, many will have very
elaborate breakfasts and lunches and meet family and friends. In the
evening, lamps are again lit and Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and
offered special dishes. This being a no moon day, many will offer
special tarpana (offerings of water and sesame seeds) to their
ancestors. This day is also called as
Lakshmi Puja (30
Lakshmi Puja marks the most important day of Diwali celebrations in
Hindu homes worship
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and
Ganesh, the God of auspicious beginnings, and then light lamps
all across the streets and homes to welcome prosperity and
Govardhan Puja (1
Kartika or 1
Kartika) : Also called Annakut, is celebrated as the
day Krishna defeated Indra. Lord Krishna taught people to worship
nature, as mountains bring rains to earth. That was the reason to
stop worshiping Indra. His was the message that we should take care
of our nature. For Annakut a mountain of food is decorated
symbolizing Govardhan mountain lifted by Lord Krishna. In
Maharashtra it is celebrated as Padva or BaliPratipada. The day
commemorates King Bali. Men present gifts to their wives on this
day.In Gujarat, it is celebrated as New Year, as Vikram Samvat
starts on this day.
Bhaiduj (also Bhayyaduj,
Bhaubeej or Bhayitika) (2
Kartika): on this day, brothers and sisters meet to express
their love and affection for each other (Gujarati: Bhai Bij,
Bengali: Bhai Phota). Most Indian festivals bring together families,
Bhaiduj brings together married sisters and brothers, and is a
significant festive day for them. This festival is ancient, and
Bandhan' another brother-sister festival celebrated in the
DIWAALI In other parts of the world.......
Diwali is celebrated in various parts of the world, in countries such
United Kingdom, the
Trinidad and Tobago,Jamaica,
United Arab Emirates,
Australia, much of
With more and more Indians and Sri Lankans now migrating to various
parts of the world, the number of countries where Diwali is celebrated
has been gradually increasing. While in some countries it is celebrated
mainly by Indian expatriates, in others it has become part of the
general local culture. In most of these countries Diwali is celebrated
on the same lines as described in this article with some minor
variations. Some important variations are worth mentioning.
Diwali is known as "Tihar" or "Swanti". It is celebrated during the
October/November period. It is celebrated during the
October/November period. Here the festival is celebrated for five days
and the traditions vary from those followed in India. On the first day (Kaag
tihar), crows are given offerings, considering them to be divine
messengers. On the second day (Kukur tihar), dogs are worshipped for
their honesty. On the third day, Laxmi puja and worship of cow is
performed. This is the last day according to
Nepal Sambat, so many of the businessmen clear their accounts on
this day and on finishing it, worship goddess Laxmi, the goddess of
wealth. The fourth day is celebrated as new year. Cultural processions
and other celebrations are observed in this day. The Newars celebrate it
as "Mha Puja", a special ritual in which the body is worshipped to keep
it fit and healthy for the year ahead on this day. On the fifth and
final day called "Bhai Tika", brothers and sisters meet and exchange
Trinidad and Tobago, communities all over the
islands get together and celebrate the festival. One major
celebration that stands out is the Diwali Nagar, or Village of the
Festival of Lights. It features stage performances by the east Indian
cultural practitioners, a folk theatre featuring skits and plays, an
exhibition on some aspect of Hinduism, displays by various Hindu
religious sects and social organizations, nightly worship of Goddess
Lakshmi, lighting of deeyas, performances by various schools related to
Indian culture, and a food court with Indian and non-Indian vegetarian
delicacies. The festival culminates with magnificent fireworks displays
ushering in Diwali. Thousands of people participate in an atmosphere
devoid of alcohol and in a true family environment.
Malaysia, Diwali is known as "Hari Deepavali," and is celebrated
during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar. It is a federal
public holiday throughout Malaysia. In many respects it resembles the
traditions followed in the Indian subcontinent. 'Open houses' are held
where Hindu Malaysians welcome fellow Malaysians of different races and
religions to their house for a sumptious meal. 'Open house' or 'rumah
terbuka' is a practice very much unique to Malaysia and shows the
goodwill and friendly ties practised by all Malaysians during any
In Singapore, Diwali is marked by 2 kilometres of lights
Little India area
Singapore, the festival is called "Deepavali", and is a
gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the minority Indian
community, it is typically marked by a light-up in the
Little India district. The Hindu Endowment Board of Singapore along
with Singapores' government organizes many cultural events around
Sri Lanka, this festival is also called "Deepavali" and is
celebrated by the Tamil community. On this day, it is traditional for
people to wear new clothes and exchange pleasantries.
Sikhs celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm and in most ways very
similarly to as in India. People clean and decorate their homes with
lamps and candles.A popular type of candle used to represent this
holiday is a diya. People also give each other sweets such as
and the different communities may gather from around the country for a
religious ceremony and get-together. It is also an important time to
contact family in India and perhaps exchange gifts through the post. It
is a greatly celebrated holiday and is a great way to connect with the
culture and heritage of India. Diwali is becoming a well known festival
in Britain and non-Indians also join in the festivities.
Leicester plays hosts to some of the biggest celebrations outside of
India itself. Diwali also coincides closely enough with the British
Night) traditions on November the 5th that in many areas, such as
the East End of London, a kind of joint festival has evolved where
everyone celebrates and enjoys the same fire and fireworks for their own
New Zealand,, Diwali is celebrated publicly among many of the South
Asian diaspora cultural groups. There are main public festivals in
Auckland and Wellington, with other events around the country becoming
more popular and visible. An official reception has been held at the New
Zealand Parliament since 2003./a>
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