(Deepavali Festival: 25th through 29th October)
The five days starting from Dhan-Teras to Dwitiya or Bhai Dooj are the days of the festival to know the points that keep the body, mind and intellect healthy and light the lamp of the Self.
Cows and Lakshmi are worshiped on Dhan-Teras to gain wealth and opulence in this world of maya. To propitiate Yamaraj (the god of death) and avoid untimely death, light a lamp in the courtyard on this day and offer eatables.
Kartik Krishna Trayodashi is the incarnation day of Lord Dhanvantari. According to Srimad Bhagavat Purana, out of the 24 incarnations of God this is considered to be the 12thincarnation of God. The Lord says: “When the ocean was churned on the day of Dhan-Teras, I appeared as Dhanvantari, carrying the jug filled with nectar. Seeing the pot of nectar, my tears of joy fell into that jug. Tulsi appeared from there. On this day, whoever worships and respects Tulsi and Lakshmiji will attain money, grain, health and become happy.”
On this day Narakasura was killed by Shri Krishna. To commemorate this, the people of Southern India celebrate Diwali.Observing a vigil the whole night of NarakChaturdashi and Diwali and doing japa is more fruitful. Mantra chaitanya, latent in the mantra is more awakened bestowing mantra siddhi to the sadhaka. If you do not chant your mantras on this day, they become impure and their effect will be reduced. If someone, on any account, wakes up after sunrise on this day, then the effect of his merits and good deeds of the whole year will diminish. But if one takes a bath before sunrise, his sattva will increase. Sattvatsanjaayate Jnaanam... Self-knowledge arises from Sattva. Knowledge of truth, Pure knowledge arises from Sattva Guna. The night of Narak Chaturdashi and Deepavali is very beneficial for establishing unity with God.In these days:-
* Burning a mustard oil lamp is beneficial for the eyes.
* One who adds cow urine to a bucket filled with water and takes a bath with it, will earn the religious merit equal to that obtained by taking a bath with water from the Ganges. It benefits the pores of the body.
* Taking a bath after applying the mixture of cow dung and cow urine to the body is meritorious. It pacifies Vata and Kapha.
There are numerous mythological, historical and political stories related to Lakshmi Pujan (the worship of goddess Lakshmi). This means that on this day, make a new resolution that ‘everyday I will do japa of this many malas, I will observe silence for this much time, I will read Shri Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana and Guru Gita.’ “Recitation of the Guru Gita silences the opponent and destroys evil and sin,” says Lord Shiva. So, by taking the vow of japa, recitation, silence, etc. you should become strong-willed and resolute.
Money and account books are worshipped in Diwali. The merchant opens his new account book yearly, but the seeker is such a clever merchant that he opens his account book every hour. An hour has passed; see how the mind is. ‘Whatever happiness and sorrow came, it has passed, but its seer has not passed, that lamp of the Self is with me!’ Thinking like this, you can come to your real home for a moment. ‘An hour passed, it became a dream. The day has passed, the night has passed, but my lamp of the Self is not extinguished. That lamp of mine knows even the deep sleep. The eyes fell asleep, the voice became silent but that lamp is ever-luminous. Worldly oil and a wick are not required for that lamp. It is difficult to extinguish that lamp and it is difficult to keep the lamps of the world always lit. The lamp which is ever-luminous is my lamp.’ You will have to do Yoga (establish oneness with your Self) again and again because you have been subject to separation from That repeatedly. Scriptures actually do not tell you to do Yoga but to remove the separation. You have done other thinking repeatedly that’s why you have to reflect on the Self (Atma Chintan) otherwise Atman won’t become great by your reflection on it. God will not be delighted when you remember Him but you will become free from the transitory things, attachment and aversion and the web of Karmas as long as you remember Him.
The day after Diwali (According to Gujarati Calendar) is the first day of the year. Vikram era started from this day. King Vikramaditya drove away the selfish, dissolute, exploitative Shakas with the virtues of his valour, enthusiasm, will-power, fearlessness, and altruism. This Vikram era reminds you of Vikramaditya and instills zeal into your life so it will be so divine and full of vigour that demonic tendencies and actions cannot destroy your time and energy.
On this day, in the morning, we remember God, have Darshan of Saints and hear their Satsang with the only desire of leading our life brilliantly, full of divinity in the coming year. The morning of the first day of the new year may become the dawn of our life divine.
Whatever bhava (mental attitude) one has on this day, he passes the whole year in the same bhava. If the person is cheerful on this day, it will help him remain cheerful throughout the year, and if one remains dejected on this day, then his melancholic nature will enhance throughout the year, according to the Skanda Purana. If one worships God on New Year’s Day, it will help him in doing worship throughout the year. If one gets absorbed in meditation on God even for a ghari (24 minutes) on this day, then it will facilitate getting absorbed in meditation every day.
A symbol of Pure Love: Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj is a festival that promotes the mutual, innocent and selfless bhava of brother and sister. Yamaraj, the God of Sanyamanipuri, was very satisfied after getting food, etc. from his sister Yami, and said, “Sister, please ask me for any boon you want.”
Yami said, “Brother! May anyone who comes to your Yamapuri on this Dooj get emancipated.”
Yamaraj said: “It will disrupt the system. But still sister, in commemoration of our sweet meeting and helping society understand the dignity of the sweet relationship between sister and brother and lead leading a self-restrained life, (in this, both worldly and otherworldly imports are expressed), I give you the boon that on this day, the brother who gets food served by his sister and pledges to protect her modesty and dharma, and the sister who wishes for the uplift of her brother, both of them will be emancipated. – Pujya Sant Shri AsharamJi Bapu