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Diwali – Day Four

The Five Days of Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is the Indian festival that brings a series of festivals with it. One after another, we get a chance to celebrate five ceremonious occasions.

Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin days or weeks in advance. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter.

Diwali – Day One

Diwali – Day Two

Diwali – Day Three

Day Four

The fourth day of the festival is devoted to Govardhan Pooja i.e. worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat,

‘Govardhan’ is a small hillock situated at ‘Braj’, near Mathura. The legends in ‘Vishnu Puraan’ have it that the people of Gokul used to worship and offer prayers to Lord Indra for the rains, because they believed that it were He, who was responsible for rainfall for their welfare. However, Lord Krishna told them that it was Mount Govardhan and not Lord Indra, who caused rains. Therefore, they should worship the former and not the latter.

People did the same, which made Lord Indra so furious that the people of Gokul had to face heavy rainfall because of his anger. Lord Krishna came forward to ensure their security and after performing worship and offering prayers to Mount Govardhan, he lifted it as an umbrella, on the little finger of his right hand, so that everyone could take shelter under it. After this event, Lord Krishna was also known as Giridhari or Govardhandhari.

On the 4th day is the ‘Govardhan-Puja’ or ‘Annakoot’. In the temples of Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are bathed with milk and adorned with precious clothes and ornaments. Then offerings of a large variety of delicacies are made to them.

Diwali Day Five Story follows….

Posted in: Diwali, Festival, Festivals, India

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Diwali – Day Three

The Five Days of Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is the Indian festival that brings a series of festivals with it. One after another, we get a chance to celebrate five ceremonious occasions.

Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin days or weeks in advance. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter.

Diwali –  Day One

Diwali – Day Two

Day Three

The day after Naraka Chaturdashi comes Lakshmi-pooja. It occurs on Amavasya i.e. no moon day which is also called ‘Badi Diwali’.

This is the main day of celebrations of the festival of Diwali. The dark night is illuminated by lamps and at dusk firecrackers are burst. New account books are opened after a pooja. Generally the traders do not make any payments on that day to preserve Lakshmi in home. In every household, cash, jewellery and an idol of the goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. Friends, neighbours and relatives are invited over and celebrations are in full swing.

The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya – Lord Shri Ram. According to the legend, the king of Lanka, Ravan, kidnapped Lord Ram’s wife, Sita from the jungle, where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dashratha, father of Lord Ram. Then Ram attacked Lanka, killed Ravan and released Sita from the custody. He returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshamana after fourteen years.

Therefore, the people of Ayodhyaa decorated their homes as well as Ayodhyaa, by lighting tiny diyas, in order to welcome their beloved prince Shri Ram and Devi Sita. Ram is considered the symbol of good and the positive things and Ravan represents the evils. Therefore, Diwali is considered the festival, which establishes the victory of good over the evil. On the night of Diwali, people light diyas, which is again an icon of positive energy to conquer darkness, the symbol of negative energy.

On this day, people wear new clothes and share gifts and sweets with their friends and relatives. Women prepare delicacies and whole house is illuminated with ‘diyas’ and candles. Fireworks and crackers are the kids’ favourites on this day.

Diwali Day Four Story follows….

Posted in: Diwali, Festival, Festivals, India

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Tale Ten – Takeaway

The Navratri festival is probably the most vibrant festival of India. Spreading across the expanse of India it is celebrated in different hues in different parts of the country each imparting its own flavour.

This is the only festival that lasts nine days and culminates with Dushera. A celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

There are enough tales, plots and sub plots to keep an inquisitive reader engaged for months. Here is a selection of short stories. One story for each of these ten days, to learn more about what made this such an absorbing contest.

Tales of one who had ten heads, yet not a sound mind.

Tale One – Inspiration

Tale Two – Sita

Tale Three – Curse

Tale Four – Flamboyance

Tale Five – Lust

Tale Six – Antithesis

Tale Seven – Nostril

Tale Eight – Karma

Tale Nine – Guru

Tale Ten – Takeaway

Ravan was at the last stage of his life. Sri Rama asked King Ravan, “O Great King, you have been ruling all the three worlds with full powers. Tell me; what is the art and craft of efficient and effective state administration? I am a prince inexperienced. I am eager to learn from you.” King Ravan was gasping for breath – he was dying.

He explained: “O Sri Rama, you know everything about everything. Yet you ask me with humility, as a person who does not know! I had all the powers and wealth and also the blessings of Lord but still; I did not try to transcend my ego (ahamkara). On the other hand, I did everything that boosted my ego”.

“I had many plans to develop myself, and also my people to attain liberation (moksha), but I postponed those excellent plans and desired to have your wife, what a wretched thought it was. I made it my first priority and acted on it with full speed. O Sri Rama, you know what sufferings I went through and I am now paying for my mistake with everything I have, including my life.” “I learnt the lessons from you; it was too late though, I would answer your question about efficient and effective state administration”.

“Act today on your good thoughts, plans and projects. Do not delay for a moment. Postpone your evil thoughts for tomorrow. Both good and evil thoughts come everyday – such is the mind.”

This is why the leadership and management of mind is essential.

It is not the number of heads but the appropriate use of one that makes or breaks a person.

Posted in: Celebrations, Dussehra, Festival, Festivals, India, Motivational, Navratri

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Tale Nine – Guru

The Navratri festival is probably the most vibrant festival of India. Spreading across the expanse of India it is celebrated in different hues in different parts of the country each imparting its own flavour.

This is the only festival that lasts nine days and culminates with Dushera. A celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

There are enough tales, plots and sub plots to keep an inquisitive reader engaged for months. Here is a selection of short stories. One story for each of these ten days, to learn more about what made this such an absorbing contest.

Tales of one who had ten heads, yet not a sound mind.

Tale One – Inspiration

Tale Two – Sita

Tale Three – Curse

Tale Four – Flamboyance

Tale Five – Lust

Tale Six – Antithesis

Tale Seven – Nostril

Tale Eight – Karma

Tale Nine – Guru

The story goes that after firing the fatal arrow on the battlefield of Lanka, Ram told his brother, Lakshman, “Go to Ravan quickly before he dies and request him to share whatever knowledge he can. A brute he may be, but he is also a great scholar.”  The obedient Lakshman rushed across the battlefield to Ravan’s side and whispered in his ears, “Demon-king, do not let your knowledge die with you. Share it with us and wash away your sins.”  Ravan responded by simply turning away.

An angry Lakshman went back to Ram, “He is as arrogant as he always was, too proud to share anything.” Ram comforted his brother and asked him softly, “Where did you stand while asking Ravan for knowledge?” “Next to his head so that I hear what he had to say clearly.” Ram smiled, placed his bow on the ground and walked to where Ravan lay. Lakshman watched in astonishment as his divine brother knelt at Ravan’s feet. With palms joined, with extreme humility, Ram said, “Lord of Lanka, you abducted my wife, a terrible crime for which I have been forced to punish you. Now, you are no more my enemy. I bow to you and request you to share your wisdom with me. Please do that for if you die without doing so, all your wisdom will be lost forever to the world.”

To Lakshman’s surprise, Ravan opened his eyes and raised his arms to salute Ram, “If only I had more time as your teacher than as your enemy. Standing at my feet as a student should, unlike your rude younger brother, you are a worthy recipient of my knowledge. I have very little time so I cannot share much but let me tell you one important lesson I have learnt in my life. Things that are bad for you seduce you easily; you run towards them impatiently. But things that are actually good for you fail to attract you; you shun them creatively, finding powerful excuses to justify your procrastination. That is why I was impatient to abduct Sita but avoided meeting you. This is the wisdom of my life, Ram. My last words. I give it to you.”

With these words, Ravan died.

Read Takeaway shortly

Posted in: Celebrations, Dussehra, Festival, Festivals, India, Motivational, Navratri

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Tale Eight – Karma

The Navratri festival is probably the most vibrant festival of India. Spreading across the expanse of India it is celebrated in different hues in different parts of the country each imparting its own flavour.

This is the only festival that lasts nine days and culminates with Dushera. A celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

There are enough tales, plots and sub plots to keep an inquisitive reader engaged for months. Here is a selection of short stories. One story for each of these ten days, to learn more about what made this such an absorbing contest.

Tales of one who had ten heads, yet not a sound mind.

Tale One – Inspiration

Tale Two – Sita

Tale Three – Curse

Tale Four – Flamboyance

Tale Five – Lust

Tale Six – Antithesis

Tale Seven – Nostril

Tale Eight – Karma

Ravan abducted Ram’s wife, a crime for which he was killed by Ram himself. So says the Ramayan. The epic makes Ravan the archetypical villain. And since Ram is God for most Hindus, Ravan’s actions make him the Devil incarnate. This justifies the annual burning of his effigy on the Gangetic plains during the festival of Dushera.

But on the hills of Rishikesh or in the temple of Rameshwaram, one hears the tale of how Ram atoned for the sin of killing Ravan. Why should God atone for killing a villain? One realizes that, like most things Hindu, the Ramayan is not as simplistic and pedestrian an epic as some are eager to believe.

After slaying Ravan, Ram was informed by Rishi Agastya that Ravan was only half-demon: his father Vaishrava, was a Brahmin whose father was Pulatsya, one of the seven mind-born primal sons of Brahma himself. Ram, though God incarnate, was born in the family of Kshatriyas. In the caste hierarchy, Ram was of lower rank. As Brahmin, he was custodian of Brahma-gyan (the knowledge of God). Killing him meant Brahma-hatya-paap, the sin of Brahminicide.

So after killing Ravan, before returning to Ayodhya, Ram went to the Himalayas to perform penance and purify himself of the sin of Brahma-hatya or killing of a Brahmin.

Read Tale Nine tomorrow

Posted in: Celebrations, Dussehra, Festival, Festivals, India, Motivational, Navratri

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Tale Three – Curse

The Navratri festival is probably the most vibrant festival of India. Spreading across the expanse of India it is celebrated in different hues in different parts of the country each imparting its own flavour.

This is the only festival that lasts nine days and culminates with Dushera. A celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

There are enough tales, plots and sub plots to keep an inquisitive reader engaged for months. Here is a selection of short stories. One story for each of these ten days, to learn more about what made this such an absorbing contest.

Tales of one who had ten heads, yet not a sound mind.

Tale One – Inspiration

Tale Two – Sita

Tale Three – Curse

Ravan was no doubt a learned Brahmin – devotee of Lord Shiva. During one of his visits to Mt. Kailash, he was asked to wait as Lord Shiva was in deep meditation. While waiting, Ravan met Nandi who had the face of a monkey. During their conversation, Ravan made fun of Nandi and naughtily chided Nandi as to why he asked for a monkey face as a boon from Shiva while he could have asked anything. He also added that when Shiva had asked him, he had asked for ten heads (double that of Shiva who has five), twenty hands (double that of Shiva who has ten).

This infuriated Nandi who cursed him that monkey-faced persons would be responsible for his downfall and death.

Read Tale Four tomorrow

Posted in: Celebrations, Dussehra, Festival, Festivals, India, Motivational, Navratri

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