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Devon ke Dev Mahadev

***Happy Diwali***

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Posted: 09 November 2012 at 11:54pm | IP Logged

 

beautiful diwali hindu festival background stock photography

 

Diwali is a five day festival, starting from Dhanteras upto Bahi dooj, with each day having its own significance, customs, rituals and legends associated with it. Celebrating Diwali includes wearing new clothes, preparation of delicacies, offering prayers, exchange of gifts, decorating houses and localities, organizing get-together and many attractions that brings the entire family together. The five days, with their respective rituals are:  

    1st day- Dhanteras
The first day of Diwali is called the Dhanteras or Dhantryaodashi. According to the Hindu calendar it falls on the thirteenth of Krishna Paksh in the month of Ashwin. On this day obeisance is paid to Dhanvantari, the doctor of Devas. Another name is Yamadeepdan. A 16 year old son of King Hima was destined to die on this day. However, the devotion
of his wife impressed Yama so much that he returned back without taking the Prince's life.
"Dhan" refers to wealth, hence, this day is celebrated to worship, Lakshmi Goddess of wealth. There is a special significance of Dhanteras for the business community. Markets are flooded with buyers as it is considered very auspicious to buy new clothes and jewellery on this day.
 
 Second Day- Narak Chaturdashi

The second day is Narka-Chaturdashi, on the Krishna paksh, Chaturdashi, is celebrated for the death of demon Naraksura by Lord Krishna's wife Satyabhama, who are harassing people, had abducted 16000 women. As narakasura was killed on that day, all the people were very happy, in that happiest occasion people started celebrating by lighting lamps, since then this day is known as Narakachathurthi. The festival is signifies us that all the evil and negative thoughts will leave with darkness and your life will be bright like a lighting lamp. This day is also known as Roop Chaturdasi. Also know as Kali Chaudash Goddess Mahakali  is prayed to remove all evils of life.
 
Third Day- Diwali

Lakshmi Wallpaper

The 3rd day Amavasya is celebrated as  Diwali , and there is a tradition to worship Goddess Lakshmi after sunset on this day. When the Devas and demons were churning in the milk ocean for amruth with the help of a snake and mountain. Then many things came out, in those things Goddess Lakshmi is also one. She came out on the Diwali day.  On this day, 5 people enter into universe. They are Lord Indra, Lord Kubera, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Gajendra, and Lord Vishnu. These 5 people are known as Lakshmi Panchayatan. Goddess Lakshmi signifies for energy, Lord Indra- wealth satisfaction, Lord Kubera- wealth, Lord Gajendra- carry wealth, Lord Sri MahaVishnu- happiness.

People decorate their houses and offer prayers in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi to their houses.It is known as the "festivals of light" as on this day Lord Rama had returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile after rescuing  his wife Sita from the clutches of demon king Ravana. People of Ayodhya lighted lamps every where. It is believed that Diwali is also the occasion of Lord Maha Vishnu & Goddess Maha Lakshmi.
Oil lamps are lighted throughout the house and streets. the festival is on "Amavasya" (or "moonless night"), the final day of the Vikram calendar. The following day marks the beginning of the New Year.
 
Fourth Day- Bali Pratipada
It is known as Padwa or Govardhan puja is beginning of new Vikram Samvatsar or new year. In Gokul, people used to pray to Indra for good rain and well gron crop. Lord Krishna told them to worship Govardhan mountain instead. Indra didn't like this,he sent thinders and heavy rain due to that Gokul was full of water. People of Gokul requested Lord Krishna to save them. He lifted the Govardhana mountain on his single finger, giving shelter to all the people & animals.This day is also celebrated as Bali Pratipada. Asura king Bali descends to Earth on this day to visit his loyal subject. 
                                               
 Fifth day- Bhai dooj

The final day of Diwali celebration is called the  "Bhai Dooj". On this day, sisters apply Tilak on the forehead of their brothers and the brothers in return bless their sisters and promise to protect them throughout life. On this day Yama-Dharma raja went to his sister Yamuna's house as she invited him. She asked him, for any brother visiting his sister's house on this day will not see an untimely death.

 
diwali sms

 



Edited by mnx12 - 10 November 2012 at 2:45am

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 2:52am | IP Logged

Wishing a Very Happy Diwali to everyone.Smile

Diwali is starting from tomorrow, do share how Diwali is celebrated by you all, various customs followe etc.

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 6:00am | IP Logged
again a nice post. Thumbs Up
wishing you all a happy diwali and pollution free diwali.
me as a jain celebrates diwali just by making rangoli and lightning diyas coz the day is marked as the nirvan divas of our lord MAHAVIR.

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 6:12am | IP Logged
Happy Diwali to all!Hug
gr8 post:) 

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 7:04am | IP Logged
In bengal, we worship maa kali on diwali.

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 10:40am | IP Logged
Thanks a lot minaxi for making this post on diwali.
Every community celebrates diwali in a different way and manner.
 
I am from Odisha.On diwali,we don't have Lakshmi pooja.We call our ancestors on that day and tell them to go to all the places of pilgrimage for their aatma's shanti.
We buy sugarcane sticks.Mom makes one salty dish and a sweet dish.We take the food to the balcony.We light the sugarcane sticks,show the sticks towards the sky and call all our ancestors  and tell them to go to benaras,brindavan,mathura,mansarovar,etc.Then we bring all the food items inside,eat them and then go out to light crackers.Without doing this pooja,we never lit any cracker. 

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 10:42am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Tarakari

In bengal, we worship maa kali on diwali.

Yeah, we have Kali Puja on Tuesday and Diwali on Wednesday.

Citing Mytho Masti forum post here

Originally posted by Urmila11

Friends, today is Kali Puja in Bengal Smile & Debi didi is unavailable on IF right now, so I am posting this day's specialty on behalf of her.

Goddess Kalika: The Mother of universe


Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. "She who destroys". The name Kali comes from kala, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kala - the eternal time, Kali, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" (as in time has come). Hence, Kali is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantricbeliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as
Bhavatarini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess. Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga,BhadrakaliSatiRudraniParvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses. 

Etymology

Kali is the feminine form of kala ("black, dark coloured"). Kala primarily means "black" but also means "time." Kali means "the black one" and also "time" or "beyond time." Kali is strongly associated with Shiva, and Shaivas derive her feminine name from the masculine Kala (an epithet of Shiva). A nineteenth-century Sanskrit dictionary, the Shabdakalpadrum, states: ???? ???? ? ???? ??????? - ???? ? kala? siva? ? tasya patniti kali - "Shiva is Kala, thus, his wife is Kali."

Other names include Kalaratri ("black night"), as described above, and Kalika("relating to time"). Coburn notes that the name Kali can be used as a proper name, or as a description of color.

Kali's association with black stands in contrast to her consort, Shiva, whose body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground (Sanskrit: smasana) in which he meditates, and with which Kali is also associated, as smasana-kali.

Kali is frequently confused with the word kali, as in Kali Yuga or the demon Kali. However, the words Kali ("black, time") and kali ("weak, crude, inarticulate") are etymologically unrelated, and the goddess Kali is not associated with Kali Yuga. 


Origins

Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kali appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra (19.7). Kali is the name of one of the seven tongues of Agni, the [Rigvedic] God of Fire, in theMundaka Upanishad (2:4), but it is unlikely that this refers to the goddess. The first appearance of Kali in her present form is in the Sauptika Parvan of theMahabharata (10.8.64). She is called Kalaratri (literally, "black night") and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until finally she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona's son Ashwatthama. She most famously appears in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam as one of the shaktis of Mahadevi, and defeats the demon Raktabija ("Bloodseed"). The tenth-century Kalika Purana venerates Kali as the ultimate reality or Brahman.

According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield." She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the "Adi Shakti" (Fundamental Power) and "Para Prakriti" or beyond nature. 

In Tantra

Kali Yantra

Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kali is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma,Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kali's mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantraKamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kali vidyas(manifestations of Mahadevi, or "divinity itself"). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi.

In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:

At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art. 

The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a "forbidden thing", or even death itself. In thePancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise to Kali describing the Pancatattvaritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)

He, O Mahakali who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0h Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Shakti [his energy/female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.

The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with LordShiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.

One of the most well respected author Dr. David Frawley, also known as Vamdeva Shastri, has explained the meaning of Beeja Mantra of Ma (Mother) Kali in a lucid manner. The mantra is "AUM AIM HREEM KLEEM CHAMUNDAYE VICHCHE SWAHA |" Usually this mantra is sung during Bali or animal slaughter. But it has a dominating knowledge aspect to it, which is now very well understood in various world literatures. 

Aum ' Prayer; Aim ' Symbolic of knowledge by Goddess Saraswati; Hreem ' Symbolism of transformation; Kleem ' Symbolism of confidence or strength; Chamundaye Vichche ' Decapitation (Considered as fall of EGO) and Swaha ' Sacrifice or Yajna prayer.

This interpretation states that Goddess Kali through knowledge brings transformation in a devotee by excising the Ego, and then blesses the devotee with enormous strength and confidence.

So by this interpretation, animal slaughter is not required for prayering Goddess Kali as Dravya Yajna (material sacrifice). Prayers can be offered to Goddess Kali through Pure Knowledge or Gyan Yajna that is EGO sacrifice. 

In Bengali tradition

Kali Puja festival

Kali is also a central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen (1718'75). With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva's consort, Kali is rarely pictured in Hindu mythology and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotions beginning in the early eighteenth century. Even in Bengali tradition her appearance and habits change little, if at all.

The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings adopting the attitude of a child, coming to love her unreservedly. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way that things are. These themes are well addressed in Ramprasad's work.

Ramprasad comments in many of his other songs that Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin. He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:

Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother." You hear me, but you will not listen.

To be a child of Kali, Ramprasad asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures. Kali is said to refrain from giving that which is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world.

A significant portion of Bengali devotional music features Kali as its central theme and is known as Shyama Sangeet ("Music of the Night"). Mostly sung by male vocalists, today even women have taken to this form of music. One of the finest singers of Shyama Sangeet isPannalal Bhattacharya.

In Bengal, Kali is venerated in the festival Kali Puja - the new moon day of Ashwin month which coincides with Diwali festival.

In a unique form of Kali worship, Shantipur worships Kali in the form of a hand painted image of the deity known as Poteshwari (meaning the deity drawn on a piece of cloth). 

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Posted: 10 November 2012 at 10:45pm | IP Logged
This may come as a bit of a surprise- but for us Tamils, Deepavali is more a social festival than a religious one. The highlights of the festival are new clothes (very important) , sweets (more important) and firecrackers (most important). There's no religious ceremony involved whatsoever.

The celebrations begins on the evening before Amavasya with a festive dinner and bursting of  crackers. On the morning of Amavasya, it is customary to get up very early in the morning (before  4:00 AM), have a oil bath and wear the new clothes and go out and burst more crackers. 

By this time the entire neighbourhood would be up and awake and the air would be rent with sounds of all kinds of crackers (atom bombs, 100- wala, 1000-wala) ...and shouts of "Happy Diwali" being exchanged. 

Then it is time to gorge on the sweets and savouries  - and more mundane things like getting elders' blessings LOL.  That's it. Deepavali, officially over. 

So, actually, by the time the rest of India is celebrating Deepavali (on the evening / night of Amavasya), we are mostly done with our festivities - in fact, we will be found fast asleep- thanks to having woken up at an unearthly hour in the morning.







Edited by varaali - 11 November 2012 at 12:10am

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