Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on November 14, 2001

diwali has been celebrated by vedik peoples for at least 2057 years now...but the genesis of diwali goes back into creation history to at least part of the current kalpa which is about 2.2 billion years old out of its total duration of 4.32 billion years of brhmah's day.....

....diwali is celebrated.... for the end of summer harvest season which brings in wealth...or ...for preparing the fields for the next crop in autumn season or the next summer...or.... for the sun reaching Libra and starting its southern journey....or...

...for remembering the coronation day of shree raam after the 14 year exile in forest and saving the universe from the pain of raavan's kingship....or..

....for remembering the coronation day raajaa vikram of ujjain who was the last of guptaa dynasty and whose coronation day was the start of the vikram savant calendar which is used by current day bharat-desh for 2057 years now.....or.....

...for the killing of narkaasur by vishnu-dev for the theft of ear-rings of adiiti, the mother of the first living beings and abduction of 16,000 women who were ultimately freed and became wives of shree krishna....or...worship for the regain of the empire lost by raajaa baali who was made by vishnu-dev in His vaaman-avataar to abdicate his entire kingdom of the universe ....or....

...for the worship of cows instead of the worship of indra-dev proclaimed by shree krishna in gokul as cows are the descendents of kaam-dhenu who is the milch cow who grants all desires of all creatures in the universe.....or......

....for worship of laxmi-devi as the sustainer of the creation and especially the wealth giver...or...for celebrations of vaishya varna of the 4-varna vedik system....or...

 ....for just having a family and societal celebration honoring the family elders, ancestors and devo in general and asking blessing for another prosperous year to come....

...but behind all this there is a clear message of upholding dharma and living life by dharma by all mankind...dharma which forms the foundation of existence...without which creation perishes.....     

The genesis of diwali as indicated in the preceding write-up is as old as creation itself. In the current times the meanings and purposes of diwali celebrations among vedik peoples of varying faiths, traditions and customs are described below. The write-up is what has been observed across the whole spectrum of how to celebrate diwali...some parts will definitely be practiced in your family, your gotra (lineage), your community....One can start gleaming the dharma behind the activities....


diwali celebrations starts with celebrations of dhaan-teras, kali-chaudas and diwali on the respective three day prior to the end of aaso maas. The last day of the month is diwali day. The celebration continues on the first day of the new year. On dhan-teras day laxmi-devi is worshipped. On kali-chaudas day kaali-maataa is worshipped. On diwali day business men offer puujaa to their current year's accounting books and the new books for the coming year.

On the first day of the new year, the entire family getting up at about 4.00 am. Every member in the family takes a both in oil before sunrise to purify oneself. If the oil bath is not taken before sunrise the punya of the oil bath is not gained. This oil bath is the equivalent of the bath one takes after the death of a relative or a friend. narkaasur was killed by shree krishna on narak-chaudash, 14th day of aaso vad and hence the bath is for this death. This oil bath is considered equivalent to taking the bath in the waters of river gangaa. After the bath, one eats a small portion of special medicinal potion prepared of ginger powder. Then males females dress up in brand new clothes suitable for showing off the festivity environment and especially bought for diwali. Then praathnaa and puujaa is performed by the entire family in their mandir in the household. After the puujaa, the younger ones in the family get blessings from their elders through the performance of "paage laagvu". The elders also give cash as gift along with the blessing to younger ones. Then a light breakfast of vaanagi prepared for diwali and fruits is eaten together by the family. Children then go and enjoy fireworks.

The elders in the family take another bath after the sunrise and then the entire family go to a temple to worship and perform puujaa to their ishta-dev. After the temple visit, relatives and friends are visited in their homes to get blessing from elders and to exchange the greetings of the festivities and also prosperity for the coming year. paan-supaari, specially made for diwali is offered to visitors at home at the end of the visit. At noon the family has a dinner feast with food specially made for diwali.

The above festivities is not observed by a vedik family in which a death had occurred within a year of any diwali as a sign of mourning, respect and reverence for the departed. However, the children in such a family in mourning are allowed to enjoy fireworks.

  • Groups of musicians with pipe instruments and drums visit houses in a community around 3.00 am to wake people up. They play music for a few minutes at each house. Later in the day they would re-visit the house in expectation of bakshish or gifts.
  • Workers, employees, people in service business expect bakshish or gifts on this day from the people they serve.
  • Married couples who are celebrating first diwali together are treated by the parents from bride and bridegroom sides to lavish presents befitting the wealth status of the families. The treat would include gold jewellery, clothes, personal and communal utility items, dry food, and whatever fancies the giver and sometimes to meet the expectations of the couple.
  • During the entire diwali celebrations of 4 days, earthen divaa (lamps) are lighted every morning and evening at the doors and windows of each house. The divaa are also arranged in artistic manner. This is done as a symbol of welcome to all devo and guests to the house just as a divaa is a must in every puujaa. As this lights up the entire community, the festival has the name diwali or dipaawali in which dip means a divaa and awail means a row - a row of lamps.
  • rangoli is made in front of every main door of a house and also in the yard of house where a small mandir may be located. A new rangoli may be made in the morning of each of the 4 days of diwali period or only one rangoli is preserved for the 4 day period. A rangoli is tapestry like drawing made on a floor using rice-flour and various colours. A rangoli could display a face of a dev or devi or some scene from puranic itihaas or have intricate vedic art work of flowers, and nature or any other notion that conveys festivities, prayers or acknowledgement of beauty of life itself. rangoli style and colour differs from peoples to peoples and locales to locales and usually follow age old traditions and styles of local art.
  • Fish is served on the new year day as part of the noon feast as eating fish is considered to be auspicious.
  • Among vedik peoples of bhaarat there is saying that " thousand year old toddy will be drained on diwali day". toddy is fermented sap tapped from the top of a coconut tree and has a alcohol content as it ferments after tapping. On the new year day, toddy is drunk to the maximum one can drink or till one gets drunk. In current times toddy is substituted by current alcoholic drinks. Drinking on this day is an acceptable activity for who ever wishes for all persons except those who are in brhamacharya-ashram.
  • Gambling is another activity which is accepted without its evil connotations on this day for all persons except those who are in brhamacharya-ashram. Gambling on this day was blessed by paarvati-devi as a test indication that if one wins at gambling on the first day of the year then the person has potential for a very successful year.

(The above compilation has been made from gnan-bhakto such as b. a . gupte and s. m. natesha shastri to whom we are all indebted forever for the knowledge of diwali they left for us their progeny. This knowledge has been compiled and presented on this web site of Prajapati Vishva Ashram in the same hope that the knowledge will be preserved by generations to come.....and with the prayers that the foundation of this knowledge which is dharma will be the foundations of the lives of all existing mankind and mankind to exists in future....)

There are 2 additional comments.

#1 Posted by Bharat R Mistry on 11/15/2001
We wish you all a very happy Diwali and a properous New Year.

#2 Posted by Parshottambhai Kakadia on 8/4/2004
I was born on 25th April 1953, I wonna know what was the vikram savant date and year that day?
Please email me at pg@kakadia.com

P G Kakadia


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