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Story of Diwali

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Diwali Diyas

India, the land of rich cultural heritage, has one or the other festival for every month. It is the spiritual and religious richness in India that each festival is related to some or other deity. One of such festival is the 'festival of lights' - Deepawali. It is the glorious occasion that is not restricted to one day, but extended to a five-day celebration. All through these five days, people are in a festive mood. Adding to the festivity is the colorful display of lights.

Significance of Diwali in Sikhism

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Diwali at Golden Temple

Sikhs celebrate Diwali after celebration of Bandi Chhorh Divas.

Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhorh Divas to mark the return of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 Hindu Kings (political prisoners) at the same time from the famous fort of Gwalior by making clever use of Emperor Jahangir's orders to allow any who could hold on to the Gurus coat tails to leave the fort with the Guru (October, 1619).And so the Kings/rajahs were freed and the Guru became known popularly as the "Bandi Chhor" (Deliverer from prison). He arrived at Amritsar on the Diwali day and the HarMandar (also known as the "Golden Temple") was lit with hundreds of lamps to celebrate his return and hence the day came to be known as the "Bandi Chhor Divas" (the day of freedom).

Significance of Diwali in Hinduism

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Lord Shri Ram

Diwali is the day when King Rama`s coronation was celebrated in Ayodhya after his epic war with Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Lord Rama was a great warrior King who was exiled by his father Dashratha, the King of Ayodhya, along with his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshman, on his wife's insistence. Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, in which he put an end to the demon Ravana of Lanka, who was a great Pundit, highly learned but still evil dominated his mind. After this victory of Good over Evil, Rama returned to Ayodhya. In Ayodhya, the people welcomed them by lighting rows of clay lamps. So, it is an occasion in honor of Rama's victory over Ravana; of Truth's victory over Evil. 

Significance of Diwali in Jainism

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Diwali Swastika

Diwali is celebrated by Jains with devotion, on this day Lord Mahavira the 24th Thirthankara achieved Nirvana on Amavasya of Ashvina masa in 527 B.C.  The Lord left the body and achieved Mukti/liberation in Pavapuri, Bihar.  Lighting of lamps on this day acknowledges Lord Mahavira’s preaching and knowledge.Jains fast on these three days and recite sacred hymns and meditate.They also listen to Uttaradhyavan Sutra, which is the final preaching of Lord Mahavira.

Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains also celebrate Diwali.


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