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Happy & Prosperous Diwali

The word "Diwali" derives from the Sanskrit word "Deepavali" -- Deepa meaning light and Avali, meaning a row. It means a row of lights and indeed illumination forms its main attraction. Every home - lowly or mightily - the hut of the poor or the mansion of the rich - is alight with the orange glow of twinkling diyas-small earthen lamps - to welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Multi-colored Rangoli (the design of the background of this page is of rangoli, also people drawn with rice flour on the grounds into their house, rangoli)designs, floral decorations and fireworks lend picturesness and grandeur to this festival which heralds joy, mirth and happiness in the ensuring year.

This festival is celebrated on a grand scale in almost all the regions of India and is looked upon mainly as the beginning of New Year. As such the blessings of Lakshmi, the celestial consort of Lord Vishnu are invoked with prayers. This Diwali which leads us into Truth and Light is celebrated on a nation-wide scale on Naraka chathurthasi day just on the dawn of Ammavaasa during the Hindu month of Aippasi Month in Tamil Language(Aaso/Aasvayuja/Asvina Months in Hindi language)(September/October) every year. It symbolizes that age-old culture of our country which teaches us to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and to drive away darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge. 

Diwali, the festival of lights even to-day in this modern world projects the rich and glorious past of our country and teaches us to uphold the true values of life. Deepavali is very enthusiastically celebrated for five continuous days and each day has its significance with a number of myths, legends and beliefs. 

The First day is called DHANTERAS or DHANTRAYODASHI 

which falls on the thirteenth day of the month of Kartik. The word "Dhan" means wealth. As such this day of the five-day Diwali festival has a great importance for the rich mercantile community of Western India. Houses and Business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with lovely traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the nights. Believing this day to be auspicious women purchase some gold or silver or at least one or two new utensils. "Lakshmi-Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. "Bhajans"-devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. 

The SECOND day is called NARKA-CHATURDASHI or CHOTI DIWALI 

which falls on the fourteenth day of the month of Kartik. Legend is about King Bali of the nether world mighty power had become a threat to the gods. In order to curb his powers Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Batu Waman- a small boy- visited him and begged him to give him only that much land which he could cover with his three steps. Known for his philanthropy King Bali proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that small boy transformed himself into the all-powerful Lord Vishnu. With his first step Lord Vishnu covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth and asked Bali where to keep his third step. Bali offered his head. Putting his foot on his head Vishnu pushed him down to the underworld. At the same time for his generosity Lord Vishnu gave him the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. This Narakachaturdashi day therefore is dedicated to lights and prayers heralding a future full of joy and laughter. 

The THIRD day of the festival of Diwali 

is the most important day of LAKSHMI-PUJA which is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. 

The FOURTH day is PADWA or VARSHAPRATIPADA 

which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day. Govardhan-Puja is also performed in the North on this day. As per Vishnu-Puran the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honour of Lord Indira and worshiped him after the end of every monsoon season but one particular year the young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra who in terrific anger sent a deluge to submerge Gokul. But Krishna saved his Gokul by lifting up the Govardhan mountain and holding it over the people as an umbrella. Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura and on this day of Diwali people of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar build cowdung, hillocks, decorate them with flowers and then worship them. 


The FIFTH and final day of Diwali Festival 

is known by the name of "BHAYYA-DUJ." As the legend goes Yamraj, the God of Death visited his sister Yami on this particular day. She put the auspicious tilak on his forehead, garlanded him and led him with special dishes and both of them together ate the sweets, talked and enjoyed themselves to their heart's content, while parting Yamraj gave her a special gift as a token of his love and in return Yami also gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never be thrown. That is why this day of Bhayyaduj is also known by the name of "YAMA-DWITIYA" Since then this day is being observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers. It became also imperative for the brother to go to his sister's house to celebrate Bhayyaduj.
May millions of lamps illuminate your life with endless joy, prosperity, health, & wealth forever.Wishing you and your family a best Happy & Prosperous Diwali
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