New Delhi: The festival of lights Diwali is a much awaited one in India. As it kicked off today with Dhanteras being celebrated in the entire nation, we all are in jovial mood. There are a many legends that surround this auspicious day.
Deepawali marks the win of good over evil. It is believed that on Diwali, Lord Rama returned from a 14 year long exile with his wife Sita and younger brother Laxman. The residents of his kingdom Ayodhya were so pleased with his return that they lit diyas to brighten up the atmosphere. It is said that the night was a no moon night and it was Ayodhya's lighted earthen lamps and diyas which illuminated the sky.
Even though everything about Diwali is related to Lord Rama, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped in the evening. Ever wondered why?
Well, we have the answer.
According to Hindu mythology, there was once a poor Brahmin who was advised by a priest to worship Lakshmi to gain wealth. This era in which we live being the Kaliyuga in which Rajo Guna is more dominant people seek wealth and prosperity more than anything else, hence worshipping the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi makes more sense.
There is also a legend that says Diwali falls during the quarter of the year when Lord Vishnu, her husband is sleeping. Vishnu sleeps from the 11th lunar day of Ashadh (i.e. Shayani Ekadashi) to the 11th lunar day of Kartik (i.e. Prabodhini Ekadashi). Diwali marks the death of many demons like Narkasur by Lord Krishna, arrival of lord Rama to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and Lord Vamana defeating the arrogant Bali. As the win over good over evil is said to bring prosperity, Lakshmi is worshipped.
However, some also believe that Lakshmi would be rather pleased if devotes prayed to Lord Vishnu and not her directly. But Shashtras recommend pleasing her.
Also, on Diwali Lakshmi is worhsipped along the elephant headed god Ganesha. A story from Hindu mythology says that Lakshmi adopted Ganesha from his mother Parvati because the former was childless. Out of her love for Ganesha, Lakshmi declared that all her luxury, prosperity and accomplishments is Ganesh's as well. She also said that in all the three worlds, (tree lok) anyone who doesn't worship Ganesh with her will never see prosperity in his life.
Another explanation which surrounds the worship of both of them is that Ganesh is the most righteous God. What is wealth without prosperity? What is money without the wisdom to use it properly? Will all the material gains in the world be permanent without intelligence? So, Ganesha is worshipped to restore the balance between these two forces.