Let’s Bring to Light Some Unknown Legends of Diwali

BlogdDiwali or Deepavali is undoubtedly one of the most loved and celebrated festivals across India. We all know that this festival marks the return of Lord Shri Rama to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile. But do you know some other mythological legends associated with this grand old festival?
Let’s take a closer look:
When Krishna Destroyed Narakasur
Narakasur, the evil king, ruled the kingdom of Pragjyotisha with a reign of terror and was dreaded by his subjects and Gods alike. He abducted 16000 daughters of the gods and stole earrings belonging to Aditi, mother of all Gods. That’s when they turned to Lord Krishna for help. Lord Krishna with the help of Satyabhama (believed to be the reincarnation of Narakasur’s mother), killed the demon liberating everyone from fear. According to legends, Narakasur repented in his last moments and requested Mother Earth that his death be celebrated as a festival across the land every year. In many southern regions of the country including, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Narak Chaturdashi is therefore celebrated with grandeur on the eve of Diwali.
When Kali’s Wrath was Contained
In West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and some other eastern parts of the country, Kali Puja is the norm at the time of Diwali. Goddess Kali is believed to have been born from Durga’s forehead to destroy an army of demons who had caused havoc in heaven and on earth. After destroying all demons, she slayed their heads and wore them as a garland around her neck. However, in her wrath, she lost control and started destroying everything that came in her way. And guess who could be the best person to calm her down? Lord Shiva himself. Lord Shiva lay down in the path of Kali and on unknowingly stepping upon the lord, she recovered her senses.
When Lord Mahavira Attained Enlightenment
According to Jain texts, Diwali is the day on which Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, who taught and preached the principles of Jainism, attained enlightenment. On this day, it is said that Lord Mahavira’s soul became ‘siddha’ – the purest form for any soul.
When Guru Hargobind was Released from Prison
For Sikhs, Diwali holds special importance as it celebrates the release of Guru Hargobind and 52 other princes who were imprisoned by emperor Jehangir. When the emperor agreed to release Guru Hargobind, he said that he would allow only those princes to be released who could hold onto his cloak tail. Guru Hargobind had a cloak made with 52 pieces of string and so each prisoner was released.
India is a land of numerous cultures and traditions. Whatever be the reason for celebrating Diwali, this festival binds the country together and gives us a reason to understand more about the diversity within our own land.