Thursday, November 08, 2007
Kirti che Abhyangasnan!
Manache Lakshmi Pujan!
ashya ya Diwali chya Hardik Shubhecha!
The most lightening festival of the year began yesterday with its first day of Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi. Dhana as the name suggests means wealth. On this day either a utensil, gold or silver or any metal is purchased. This day has a symbolic story regarding how a wife saved her husband whose horoscope read that he would die on the 4th day of their marriage. She lit the whole house with lamps, placed all the gold and silver she had in a heap in front of their bedroom and sang melodiously all night long. The Yamadeva, God of Death took the form of a serpent and came to kill the husband but after hearing the melodious voice and the heap of metals he sat their listening the whole night and went away the next morning. Thus the wife saved her husbands life. So on this day the female of the house places a lamp in the front door to please Yamadeva and protect her husband from him.
The Second day of Narakchaturdashi has many stories attached to it. In the North it is the home coming of Lord Rama from Ayodhya. One story is how Lord Krishna killed Narkasura demon and rescued the sixteen thousand daughters of the Gods and married them to save them from embarrassment. The other story reads of Lord Vishnu taking the incarnation of Vamana and destroying King Bali who proved to be a threat due to his increasing greed for wealth. In this form, the Lord requested the philanthropic Bali to give him the area of land he could cover in three foot steps. The King seeing the petite size of Vamana agreed and then Vamana took his real form of Lord Vishnu and placed his first step on heaven, the second on the earth and to place his third step the King Bali himself offered his head. This day is commemorated with the celebrations of Chotti Diwali.
The Third day is the Lakshmi Pujan where 5 Gods are worshiped. Ganesha, Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, Lakshmi, and Kuber. The story of Lakshmi goes something like this. During the amrut manthan she emerged out from the ocean of milk called the Ksheer Sagar bringing along with her wealth and prosperity to mankind. She chose Vishnu to be her consort. As the moon also came out from the same ocean he is considered to be Lakshmi's brother.
The Fourth day is celebrated as Padwa or Varshpratipada. This day is synonymous to when Lord Krishna had lift the Govardhan Mountain with his little figure to save his folks and cattle from the angered Lord Indra. The Govardhan puja is celebrated with zeal and vigour in the north.
The Fifth day is the Bhaubeej or Bhaidooj which is observed as an affection between the brothers and sisters. Bhaubeej marks the end of the five day festivities of the lively and auspicious occasion of Deepavali.