Legends about Diwali

Krishna killing Narakasura :- According to Hindu mythology, there was a demon Narakaasura, the evil king of Pragjyotishapura, near present-day Assam. Power attained due to sincere meditation made the demon king arrogant and he became dangerous to his subjects and even to the Devas. He ruled with a reign of terror, abducted 16,000 daughters of the gods, and stole the earrings of Aditi, mother of the Gods. Narkasura was believed to be a demon of filth, covered in dirt. He was giant who was often good but at times, behaved very badly. He used to kidnap beautiful young women and force them to live with him. The Devas asked Lord Krishna for help, and after a mighty battle he killed the demon, freed the girls and recovered the earrings First, Krishna had to fight with a five-headed monster that guarded the demon's home. Krishna granted Narakasur one last request, because of the good deeds he had done. Narkasura hoped that his death might bring joy to others. So, before being killed, he cried, " Let this day be celebrated as a day of feasting in the World!" Krishna granted his request and the women were freed. After his victory Krishna returned very early in the morning and was bathed and massaged with scented oils. Taking an early morning bath with oil is still a Deepavali tradition.For Hindus, this Diwali story is a reminder that good can defeat evil.

Lakshmi Puja :- It is also believed that Goddess Lakshmi manifested herself on the day when the demons and deities were churning the ocean together to find out the 'drink of immortality' - the divine honey. 
Goddess Lakshmi
 Thus Diwali festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Goddess of Wealth and thus doing Lakshmi puja came into existence.

Vamana avathar :- One more interesting Diwali legend is of King Bali. He was a generous ruler but also very ambitious. He performed a Yagna (fire sacrifice). His Yagna was a grand success. So Vishnu came to earth in the form of a dwarf ( incarnated as Vamana) dressed as priest to check King Bali's power.


Vamana avatar and King Bali

When the priest reached King Bali's court, he asked him to ask for anything he wanted. The priest said "You are the ruler of the three worlds: the Earth, the world above the skies and the underworld. Would you give me the space that I could cover with three strides?" King Bali laughed. This request seemed strange to all the courtiers, but king Bali granted it. Surely a dwarf could not cover much ground, thought the King, who agreed to dwarf's request. Once the request was granted to him, the priest, who was none but Visnu in disguise, submerged the entire world (Mrityu-loka) with one step, with the second he submerged heaven (Swarga-loka) and for the third step; there was no respectable place to put his foot down and so he asked the bewildered Bali for some respectable place to this foot so that the boon could be fulfilled. Left with no alternative, the noble but exasperated King Bali offered his head for the purpose. To his surprise, the priest not only lost no time in placing his foot over King Bali's head, but also thrust Bali into the nether worlds (Patala-loka) which as per Hindu cosmogony is hell and lies below the surface of the earth.

Victory of King Rama :- The other legend is the celebration to comemorate the return of King Rama, the ancient idol of the heroic ages, the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king to Ayodhya after killing Ravana in Srilanka. Rama, . After ten days of fierce war with Ravana, the victorious Rama, Laxmana and Sita preapared to return to Ayodhya. There was joyous shouts of Victory to Rama, Veer Hanuman ki Jai - Victory to Hanuman. Gods from the Heaven poured flowers and garlands to celebrate and show their pleasure.

Govardhan Puja :- This festival is aso acommemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Lord Krishna. As per Vishnu-Puran the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honor of Lord Indra 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. People were afraid that the downpour was a result of their neglect of Indra. But Krishna assured them that no harm would befall them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger and sheltered men and beasts from the rain. This gave him the epithet Govardhandhari. After this, Indra ( Devendra) accepted the supremacy of Krishna.

Krishna lifting Govardhan mountain

Kali killing Demons :- It is a myth that on this day Kali Ma gave darshan along with 64 yoginees (saints) after killing  Shambhu and Nishambhu  - the demons. After slaughtering the demons her krodh or anger was not still extinguished. So she did a very fierceful dance that the earth faced a severe shake. To stop her from dancing, her pathi (husband) Lord shiva, himself laid under her feet. Once her feet fell on Him, she realised her and calmed down. This day also marks this legend.
Kali matha on Lord Shiva
Though the myths are different all end with the moral : "Victory of Good over Evil" .

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