Sunday July 22, 2018

Diwali: Know how Different Communities Celebrate the Festival of Lights in and Outside India

People from different regions and communities celebrate Diwali in its own unique ways

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Diya. (Representational image). Pixabay
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October 25, 2016: Diwali- the festival of lights which is celebrated differently in different cultures in and outside India. People from different regions and communities celebrate Diwali in unique ways. Though the common belief is that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and in order to celebrate and welcome him, people lit diyas, thereby celebrating the festival of lights.
Let us find out how different Diwali in India and abroad is:

Kali Puja

Kali Puja, which is also known as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. Bengalis celebrate it on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik. They worship Goddess Kali for three days and celebrate the occasion by lighting up their houses, bursting crackers, meeting and spending time with family and friends.

Diyari

Sindhis celebrate Diwali in a different way, with a different name and with somewhat different customs. They wash coins of gold and silver in milk before worshipping the Goddess. After the Puja is over, they tap the coin against their teeth and chant- Lakshmi aayi, danat vaai, (Lakshmi arrived, and poverty went away).

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Bali Pratipada

North India celebrates Bali Pratipada on the third day of Diwali. According to the Hindu mythology, this very day marks one-day return of Bali, the demon king.Lord Vishnu in his fifth avatar Vamana banished Bali to ‘patal loka’ or the other world. But, due to Bali’s unconditional devotion towards Vishnu, Lord Vishnu gave him the permission to visit the world one day, every year.

Diyari

Odisha, India’s one of the most culturally diverse state celebrates Diwali in a unique way. Kaunriya Kathi is a festival during which the people of Odisha burn the jute sticks so as to invite their ancestors who they consider descend from the heaven on the day of Diwali.

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Divali

In the late 19th century, thousands of people from Indian states of Bihar and Odisha were taken to Trinidad as slaves to work in the sugarcane plantations. Later, they gained independence and starting living peacefully with the local population. With them blended the customs and rituals of India too in Trinidad and the government of Trinidad declared it as a national holiday in 1966. Diwali marks the eradication of spiritual darkness. In Trinidad, Diwali is celebrated for nine days.

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Tihar

In Nepal, the festival is known as Tihar. The celebrate Diwali in a much different way than the Indians. However, during Diwali they also worship Goddess Lakshmi. It is a five days festival in Nepal, and each day is dedicated to some ritual. Feeding rice to the cows on the first day, dogs on the second and so on.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

 

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Life Lessons We All Should Learn From Lord Shiva

There are lot's if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

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There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons
There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Lord Shiva is the supreme Hindu Deity
  • He is a symbol of peace and tranquillity
  • There are lot’s if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

Lord Shiva as everyone knows is a Hindu God. He is one of the Trinity and is the principal deity of Hinduism.  God Shiva is considered the “destroyer of evil and the transformer” of the world. The Birth and history of Lord Shiva are topics of great discussions and confusions.

Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of hinduism. Wikimedia Commons
Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons

Lord Shiva is known to have no end and no beginning, yet, the origin of his birth is a much sought-after topic for several generations. Many ‘Puranas’ claims Shiva to be ‘aja’ meaning the one who has no birth. Some other scriptures claim that Lord Shiva was born out of Lod Narayana or Lord Vishnu. However, the authenticity of all the claims remain unclear, and there is still a solid mystery which surrounds the origin and birth of Shiva.

Shiva is also known Mahadev, i.e., the gods of all gods and rightly so. Throughout the Hindu mythology, Shiva has been portrayed as a tranquil and peaceful figure who grants all prayers of his followers and devotees. His another name is ‘Bhole Bhandari’ because of his innocent nature.

Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay
Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay

However, other than his peaceful nature, the other thing Lord Shiva is famous for is his flaring temper. Indian mythology is full of stories about Lord Shiva causing mass destruction due to his anger. The opening of his third eye is said to cause mass destruction.

Also Read: Enigmatic Mount Kailash: The abode of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva’s appearance is a beautiful shade of blue because of him consuming the poison from the sea to save the world. However, just like his body is shades of blue there are many shades to his personality as well. Here are few life lessons of Lord Shiva that we all need to take a note of.

  • Come what may never tolerate the evil. Being destroyer of the evil himself, Shiva teaches us to never tolerate or bow down in front of the evil.
  • Self-control is the key to living a fulfilled life. Excess is of everything is bad and losing control ourselves is worse. One should always have a control over themselves to live a successful and fulfilled life.
  • Materialistic happiness is temporary. To be happy, be adjustable like water. Shiva says that attaching our happiness to earthy, material things won’t give us long-lasting happiness.
  • Keeping calm is very important. Lord Shiva used to meditate for hours and is easily the epitome of calmness and that’s what he advocates too.
  • Desires lead to destruction. Shiva believes that desires lead to obsessions which in turn leads to destruction. Never desire more than what you deserve. Be happy with what you have and work hard for what you want to achieve.
  • Respect your family. Lord Shiva is husband to Goddess Parvati and father to Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. He respected his children and especially wife a lot. Respecting one’s  family is very important for living a successful life.
  • Control your ego and let go of pride. Ego prevents us from achieving greatness. Let go of your pride and control your ego to live a fulfilled life.
  • Everything is temporary. Everything in this world is temporary. Time changes as do we and our choices and desires. It is better to let go of all the ‘moh maya’ and live in the moment happily with what we already have.