The Death of Naragasuran is Not the Reason Why We Celebrate Deepavali?

  • 24 Oct 2019

Deepavali - known as the 'Festival of Lights' - is commonly believed to celebrate the triumph of good over evil when the demon king Naragasura was killed by Lord Vishnu. 

According to the legends, Naragasura is a ferocious demon lord who captured three worlds and tortured the people who lived there. Lord Vishnu ended his dictatorship by defeating the demon king and the victorious day was celebrated as Deepavali. 

While this story is very common, a new source has revealed that the death of demon Naragasura is not the real reason why Deepavali is celebrated. According to spiritual teacher Variyar Swamigal, the word 'deepavali' can be broken down into 'deepa oli' or 'deepa avali' which simply means arranging the lights to pray to God.

This festival of lighting lamps was initially mentioned in the Hindu religious scripture of Skanda Purana from the 'Krita Yuga', first of the 4 yugas (4 significant eras in Hinduism). It's an auspicious fasting day for Lord Shiva. 

However, over time, Deepavali was associated with the Naragasura episode that happened much later in the third yuga called 'Dvapara Yuga'. Deepavali just happens to be the day the demon king was destroyed. 

Apart from this, many other auspicious and victorious days coincidentally fall on Deepavali. Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after rescuing Devi Sita from Lord Ravana, Goddess Lakshmi's birthday, the arrival of Pandavas to their home after 12 years of banishment, the coronation of the great Hindu King Vikramaditya and many other occasions have been connected to the Deepavali day. 

What's the story you've heard from your parents and grandparents about Deepavali celebration? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Desa Mangayarkarasi
Photo Credit: Fusion, WeRIndia

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