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In a land not so far away, during a time long, long ago…..
Lived prince of Ayodhya Nagri,  Lord Shri Ram Chandra , who is said to have been born in 5114 BC.  (according to The Times of India)
Lord Ram  was exiled by his father (for 14 years), to prevent him from being the next in line to the throne. He accepted the banishment and entered the forest with his younger brother  Laxman  and wife  Sita .   (Pictured: Ram and Sita)
While in the forest, Sita is tricked and kidnapped by the evil  Ravan  (pictured above), King of Lanka (now Sri Lanka). He tried to force Sita to marry him but she refused. Upon hearing the news, Lord Ram heads into battle to rescue her.
Upon his journey to rescue Sita, Ram met  Hanuman , the monkey god. Hanuman helped Ram and became one of his greatest devotees. Hanuman, along with his monkey warriors, helped bring  about the fall of King Ravan’s empire and assisted in the rescue of Sita. Therefore he is usually pictured alongside Ram, Sita and Laxman, and is respected greatly as a teacher.  Hanuman is also the son of the Vayu, the wind god.  He is believed by some scholars to be a source for the Chinese mythological character Sun Wukong.
After defeating Ravan, Lord Ram, Sita, Laxam and Hanuman return back to Ayodhyaa. Upon hearing the news of their return, the villagers rejoiced and lit candles for their beloved Prince Ram and Devi Sita. And so began the  celebration of lights known as “Deepvali”. Pictured above: Ram (center), brother Laxam (left), Sita (right) and Hanuman (bending).
Deepvali   or  Diwali  is seen as the “Christmas for Hindus”. It’s more than just about Lord Ram coming home from exile; it’s the celebration of  good over evil ,  light over darkness  and  knowledge over ignorance . Diwali has many different meanings around India, however remains largely as the “festival of lights”; a time of fireworks, sweets and giving gifts. It is the biggest celebration on the Hindu calendar and is celebrated every year around the end of October / beginning of November.
Many Hindus pray to Goddess Laxmi during Diwali. Why? Because Diwali also marks the incarnation of the Goddess, who appeared during the churning of the ocean. Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and her worship during Diwali has become tradition. In fact, Devi Sita (Lord Ram’s wife) is an incarnation of Laxmi.
THE ENDING…. Although the story, in relation to Diwali, finishes here- the great epic of Ramayana (the story of the gods) continues and actually has a rather tragic ending.  It’s important to remember the complexity of the Hindu religion (this is a simplified version of a rather long, historic journey with over 24,000 verses that include devotional teachings).   In the original version of the Ramayana, after Ram and Sita return, rumors about Sita’s adultery in Ravan’s captivity continue to haunt them. Ram, who is now King, falls pray to the rumors and banishes Sita from his Kingdom.  In the forest she meets a sage named Valmiki and tells him the story.  In Valmiki’s ashram Sita gives birth to Ram’s twins, Lav and Kush. Some say Sita couldn’t bare the stress and humiliation of the rumors and asked Mother Earth to swallow her. Others say Ram asked Mother Earth to swallow her to prove her loyalty. Either way, Sita disappears into the Earth. Unable to live with his broken heart, Ram soon jumps into the river to end his life. They become absorbed into their original beings as Vishnu and Laxmi.  Pictured: Sita with her sons Lav and Kush
 

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The Meaning Of Diwali

  • 1. In a land not so far away, during a time long, long ago…..
  • 2. Lived prince of Ayodhya Nagri, Lord Shri Ram Chandra , who is said to have been born in 5114 BC. (according to The Times of India)
  • 3. Lord Ram was exiled by his father (for 14 years), to prevent him from being the next in line to the throne. He accepted the banishment and entered the forest with his younger brother Laxman and wife Sita . (Pictured: Ram and Sita)
  • 4. While in the forest, Sita is tricked and kidnapped by the evil Ravan (pictured above), King of Lanka (now Sri Lanka). He tried to force Sita to marry him but she refused. Upon hearing the news, Lord Ram heads into battle to rescue her.
  • 5. Upon his journey to rescue Sita, Ram met Hanuman , the monkey god. Hanuman helped Ram and became one of his greatest devotees. Hanuman, along with his monkey warriors, helped bring about the fall of King Ravan’s empire and assisted in the rescue of Sita. Therefore he is usually pictured alongside Ram, Sita and Laxman, and is respected greatly as a teacher. Hanuman is also the son of the Vayu, the wind god. He is believed by some scholars to be a source for the Chinese mythological character Sun Wukong.
  • 6. After defeating Ravan, Lord Ram, Sita, Laxam and Hanuman return back to Ayodhyaa. Upon hearing the news of their return, the villagers rejoiced and lit candles for their beloved Prince Ram and Devi Sita. And so began the celebration of lights known as “Deepvali”. Pictured above: Ram (center), brother Laxam (left), Sita (right) and Hanuman (bending).
  • 7. Deepvali or Diwali is seen as the “Christmas for Hindus”. It’s more than just about Lord Ram coming home from exile; it’s the celebration of good over evil , light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance . Diwali has many different meanings around India, however remains largely as the “festival of lights”; a time of fireworks, sweets and giving gifts. It is the biggest celebration on the Hindu calendar and is celebrated every year around the end of October / beginning of November.
  • 8. Many Hindus pray to Goddess Laxmi during Diwali. Why? Because Diwali also marks the incarnation of the Goddess, who appeared during the churning of the ocean. Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and her worship during Diwali has become tradition. In fact, Devi Sita (Lord Ram’s wife) is an incarnation of Laxmi.
  • 9. THE ENDING…. Although the story, in relation to Diwali, finishes here- the great epic of Ramayana (the story of the gods) continues and actually has a rather tragic ending. It’s important to remember the complexity of the Hindu religion (this is a simplified version of a rather long, historic journey with over 24,000 verses that include devotional teachings). In the original version of the Ramayana, after Ram and Sita return, rumors about Sita’s adultery in Ravan’s captivity continue to haunt them. Ram, who is now King, falls pray to the rumors and banishes Sita from his Kingdom. In the forest she meets a sage named Valmiki and tells him the story. In Valmiki’s ashram Sita gives birth to Ram’s twins, Lav and Kush. Some say Sita couldn’t bare the stress and humiliation of the rumors and asked Mother Earth to swallow her. Others say Ram asked Mother Earth to swallow her to prove her loyalty. Either way, Sita disappears into the Earth. Unable to live with his broken heart, Ram soon jumps into the river to end his life. They become absorbed into their original beings as Vishnu and Laxmi. Pictured: Sita with her sons Lav and Kush
  • 10.