Dear Readers, After Dhanteras today is the 2nd day of the Diwali Festival- Narak Chaturdashi also known as Roop Chaudas. It falls on the 2nd day of the long 5-day festival of Diwali in the Hindu Religion. Many of us can relate to this day as the festival of cleanliness and the eradication of evil. On this day, our elders or parents advise us to clean our room, and each and every corner of our house so that there is no “evil” left in any of the farthest corners, and the next day we welcome goddess Laxmi in our pure and pious home wholeheartedly.
But is that all; what this day…this festival is about? Just cleaning our houses won’t eradicate or ward off any evil. What about the evil in our minds that distracts us from our goal and what about the evil in our society which we blindly follow in the name of some incoherent tradition? There is more to the essence of Narak Chaturdashi keep on reading to understand the ethos of this day.
Naraka Chaturdashi also known as ‘Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi’ is a significant festival for Hindu followers. The festival celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna after defeating a demon named ‘Narakasur’. In many states, it is also referred to as ‘Chotti Diwali‘ or ‘Roop Chaturdashi’. According to Hindu mythology, Narakasur, the son of Mother Earth, becomes an evil asur who ruled several kingdoms brought under his rule by force. Narakasur comes to rule Heaven and Earth. Lord Indra pleads with Lord Vishnu who promises to deal with the matter in his incarnation as Krishna. In his incarnation as Krishna, he attacks Narakasur while riding his mount Garuda with his wife Satyabhama and beheads him with the Sudarshan Chakra. In another version, it is said that Narkasur is granted a boon by Lord Brahma that he will only die at the hands of a woman. So, in the battle, it is Lord Krishna’s wife Satyabhama who beheads him with Krishna as her saarthi.
This was just lore in the backdrop of celebrating this festival. This day is meant to ward off laziness and any sort of evils from our minds, home, and society. Today don’t just follow broken rules by simply cleaning your room or house and not cleaning your mind and spirit. You must take a step to actually eradicate that evil that lures you away from concentrating on your true goal. Your achievements aren’t that far away from you but are you truly reaching out to them? Deep in our minds, we all are well aware of our strengths and weakness, our good and bad deeds but we fail to acknowledge them, that is where we might lack.
Abhyanga Snan on this day has special significance. Before sunrise after using ubtan of sesame oil snan is done with the belief that it will protect from poverty and misfortune. It is believed that by Abhyanga Snan on this day people can avoid going to Narak.
So, on this day embrace all your strengths and weakness and let go of all those temptations that keep you away from reaching your goal. Along with this also pledge to not just eradicate the petty things that distract you but also to eradicate the social evil that you or your folks may blindly follow in name of some broken tradition. There are many “Narakasurs” still prevalent in our society; child marriage, abuse of women, children, and elderly people, dowry, manual scavenging, corruption, and pollution are few to name from the long list. The least as responsible human beings we can do is to take a vow to eliminate such evils from our society on our scale, that we will discourage such practices and will not indulge in any of them. So, celebrate this festival with full enthusiasm, let no evil stop you from getting the bliss of healthy, prosperous, and successful life. Happy Diwali!!