Dipa Dana, Dipavali, (Kali Puja)
THE STORY BEHIND “DIWALI”
King Dashrath ruled the rich and prosperous city of Ayodhya. He had three wives and Kaikayi was his favourite. She saved his life in a war at a very crucial time. Dashrath granted her two favours for saving his life.
Dashrath had four sons. Rama, the oldest, was everybody’s favourite. He was married to the beautiful and devoted Sita. Just before Ram’s coromation, Kaikayi reminded Dashrath of her two favors. She told him to crown Bharat as king and to banish Ram to the jungle for fourteen years. Her wishes were granted.
The old king Dashrath later died of a broken heart. After a few years in the forest, Sita was lured by the demon king Ravana. Rama, with the help of a monkey general, Hanuman, rescued Sita and defeated Ravana. After fourteen years in exile Ram and Sita and returned to Ayodhya.
It is in Their honor that “Diwali” is celebrated. “Diwali” signifies the victory of good over evil.
Today in India for Diwali all the shops are decorated brightly. Many people make “rangoli” in their house or outside. They are filled to capacity in this festive season. Everybody buys new things and decorates their homes. People visit their friends and relatives and give them sweets. On Diwali friends come over for the whole day and relatives come and go. Everyone has a wonderful time celebrating the return of Sita and Rama. Thus Diwali has become a day when all the sad things of the past are forgotten and happy times are remembered.