Vrat-Festivals | Festivals
Kaarttik Krishn 13, 14, Amaavasyaa, Shukla 1, Shukla 2
There are four main festivals in North India, one each for four Varn. Rakshaa Bandhan for Braahman, Dashaharaa for Kshatriya, Deepaavalee for Vaishya and Holee for Shoodra. These characteristics manifest themselves in the method of their celebrations also. Holee is celebrated in a rash way as of Shoodra nature, Rakshaa Bandhan in a very quiet and decent way as of Braahman way, Dashaharaa with weapons in Kshatriya way, and Divaaleein a prosperous way as of Vaishya way.
Divaalee or Diwali or Deepaavalee is celebrated on Kaarttik Amaavasyaa. This festival is celebrated as a five-day festival :--
Dhan Teras (on Trayodashee)
(1) Dhan Teras
This day is worshipped Lakshmee Jee and Dhanvantari Jee - Dhan for Lakshmee and Dhan for Dhanvantari. Dhanvantari is called Sudhaa-paani also as he came out of the Saagar carrying Sudhaa (Amrit) pot in his hands. People buy pots, utensils, gold, silver on this day to get prosperous. According to Aayur Ved this day is the birthday of Dhanvantari. This day people offer Neem leaves and sugar to Dhanvantari Jee and distribute its Prasaad also. If one chews 5-6 Neem leaves daily, then there are rare chances of any disease. Gandhi Jee had included Neem leaves Chutney in his meals because of its benefits. There are two legends related to this day --
(1) Dhanvantari Legend
(2) Yam Deep Daan Legend
(3) Legend for Yam Deep Daan
(4) Another Legend for Yam Deep Daan
When Yam Raaj (Death God) came to take the Prince in the guise of a snake, his eyes got dazzled and he was temporarily blinded by the sharp light of lamps and jewelry. The serpent was not able to enter the chamber till morning and therefore, he climbed on top of the gold coin heap and sat there the entire night enjoying the songs sung by prince's wife. In the morning, he silently went away, as the time of the Price's death has already passed. This saved the young prince from his early death and since then this day is celebrated as Dhan Teras or Yam Deep Daan. In few houses ladies light earthen lamps or (Deepak) and these are kept burning throughout the night to glorify Yam (the god of Death).
(5) Lakshmee Legend
Lakshmee Jee asked the
farmer and his family to take a pilgrimage to Gangaa River and they will decide
on her future stay there on his return. Lakshmee Jee also gave four small
shells to the farmer to offer to Goddess Gangaa. When the farmer was offering the
shells to River Gangaa, four hands came up and accepted the offering. Farmer soon
realized that the shells he offered were no ordinary shells and the person who gave
it was no ordinary woman. He prayed to Gangaa to enlighten him. Gangaa then revealed
that the woman at the farmer's home was Lakshmee Jee. The farmer returned home happily
realizing that it was Lakshmee Jee who was staying in his house. He requested her not
to leave. Lakshmee Jee said that she caould not live on Earth permanently and had to
return. But she also said that she would visit him on all Dhan Trayodashee Day. She
asked the farmer to keep the house clean and light an earthern lamp.┬а The
farmer did as directed by Goddess Lakshmi
(2) Narak Chaudas or Narakaa Chaudas
This day is associated with the legend of the demon Narakaasur. This holy day marks the vanquishing of the demon Narakaasur by Krishn and his wife Satyabhaamaa. According to Puraan, Narakaasur, the son of Bhoo Devee, acquired immense power as a blessing from Brahmaa after a severe penance. He soon unleashed a reign of terror in the kingdom of Kaam Roop, harassing the celestial beings with his invincible might. Unable to bear the tyranny of the demon, the celestial beings pleaded with Lord Krishn to save them from his torture. But Narakaasur could not be easily killed as he had a boon that he could face death only at the hands of his mother Bhoo Devee. So, Krishn asked his wife Satyabhaamaa, the reincarnation of Bhoo Devee, to be His charioteer in the battle with Narakaasur.
When Krishn feigns unconsciousness after being hit by an arrow of Narakaasur, Satyabhaamaa takes the bow and aims the arrow at Narakaasur and kills him instantly. Later Krishn reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhoo Devee. At the time of dying Narakaasur asked a boon from Krishn that he should be remembered by all on the day of his death and whoever takes bath after massaging oil in his body, he should go to Swarg. The slaying of the Narakaasur by Satyabhaamaa could also be taken to interpret that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they stray on to the wrong path. The message of Narak Chaturdashee is that the good of the society should always prevail over one's own personal bonds.
People start this day by an oil massage, then a bath in the early hours of morning - before sunrise. It is because Narakaasur asked for this boon. People light some Diyaa on this day too. One special Diyaa which is a must on this day is an oil Diyaa for Yam Raaj and is kept outside the house. Otherwise normally 5 Diyaa are compulsory - (1) one for Yam Raaj - kept outside the house facing southward, (2) one for Tulasee Jee - kept close to a Tulasee plant, (3) one for Varun Devtaa - kept at a water source such as river, tank, pond, well; but now a days in cities people keep it near the water taps; (4) one for Vishnu Bhagavaan - kept in a temple or in Dev Sthaan; and (5) the last one for Peepal tree. If there is no Peepal tree around, one can keep it under any tree.
Why Oil Bath is Taken on Narakaa Chaudas Day?
Krishn blessed Narakaasur that those who will take Tailaabhyaang Snaan on this Day, Ashwayuj Bahulaa Chaturdashee will have Putra, Pautra (grandsons), Aishwarya (prosperity) and everything. As this is called as Narakee Chaturdashee, they will not fear of Narak also. Abhyaang Snaan is a full body massage and ritual bathing on the Narak Chaturdashee day during Divaalee. In some regions, Abhyaang Snaan is performed before sunrise. Before doing Abhyaang Snaan first have (Oil) from a Sumangalee stree (married pious woman), then do have normal Snaan. Then do the Abhyaang Snaan to the idols in your house. Then remains of the oil used for Devataa Samarpan to be mixed with the oil and to be applied to the other members of your house. Everybody has to take Abhyaang Snaan. Even Sanyaasee have to take Abhyaang Snaan on this day.
(3) Amaavasyaa - Divaalee
This is the festivals of lights and sweets. Many lights and many sweets. Divaalee is celebrated as the celebration of King Raam's homecoming, as in Raamaayan. Raam, King of Ayodhyaa, returns to his kingdom with his wife Seetaa and brother Lakshman, after His exile of 14 years, and killing the demon King Raavan. The people of Ayodhyaa welcome their King, light up earthen Diyaa (lamps) and fireworks in every home of Ayodhyaa, thus lighting up the whole kingdom. It took place on the night of the New Moon of Kaarttik, and the tradition is carried out even today.
People worship Lakshmee and Ganesh along with Saraswatee, Hanumaan and Kuber with Rolee and unbroken rice. Offer Naivedya of various sweets. They light Diyaa (lamps) all over the house, inside and outside, eat sweets and distribute sweets among their relations and friends. Parched Dhaan and Bataashaa and sugar toys are used to worship and then after the Poojaa they are eaten and distributed to friends and relations as a sign of wishing for prosperity. In some houses people play cards also whole night and wait for Lakshmee Jee to come to their house. Normally people like to celebrate this festival in their own house.
In Uttaraakhand and UP, the Shankh or Conch is not blown after the worship of Lashmee on Divaalee night, This is because the Shankh is also born from the ocean, like the goddess herself, so it is given a day of rest.
It is believed that Lakshmee (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. She does not visit the places which are unclean or dirty or where the people are lazy. That is why people clean their houses before Divaalee. After Dashaharaa is over cleaning, whitewashing and painting etc is started for Divaalee.
(4) Pratipadaa - Govardhan Poojaa
It is believed that Krishn worshipped Govardhan Parvat on this day after lifting it for seven days and seven nights consecutively on the smallest finger of His left hand. In Brij area, a mixed vegetable is prepared in houses and in temples and Prasad of that vegetable with Pooree is distributed to devotees.
Pratipadaa - Annakoot
Pratipadaa - Bali Pratipadaa or Bali Pdyaami
Pratipadaa - New Year Day
(5) Dwiteeyaa - Bhaiyaa Dauj or Yam Dwiteeyaa
On this day, Yam Raaj went to his sister Yamunaa and she wished welfare for her brother.
So normally brothers go to their sister's house and eat food cooked only by her. Sisters
wait for their brothers and wish well for them. If one does not have his own real sister,
he should go to his cousin sister's house. He should take some food, clothes, jewelry,
money etc for her. Actually people do not eat food this day cooked by their own wives.
If any woman does not have a brother, she can feed her cousin, or some other man, or in
the basence of everything "The Moon"
One should worship Yam Raaj on Dhan Trayodashee, Narak Chaudas and Yam Dwiteeyaa to prevent Apa mrityu (untimely death) by chanting his 14 names.
Worshipping in Divaalee Days
Taile lakshmeerjale gangaa deepaavalyaash chaturdasheem !
(ii) Ketaar Gauree Vrat
Aayushcha vidyaam cha tathaa sukanch saubhaagya vriddhim kuru dev dev !
(iii) Evening Lighting Deep
(iv) Evening Lakshmee Kubera Poojaa
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 11/01/13