Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated for four consecutive days - the thirteenth day as Dhanatrayodashi, the fourteenth day as Narak Chaturdashi and the new moon day or Amavasya as Lakshmi Pooja of the dark fortnight of Ashwin (Sep – Oct) and the first day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (Oct – Nov) as Balipratipada. Following article illustrates the celebrations on the second day of Diwali.
Narakasur or Bhoumasur was a powerful, tormenting demon who ruled Pragjyotishpur. He has been torturing both deities and common people and also imprisoned 16000 young princesses after defeating their kingdoms. When Lord Krishna came to know about him he slayed the demon Narakasur. At the dying moment, the demon asked for a boon to the Lord that whoever takes an auspicious bath on this day (Chaturdashi) shall not suffer in hell. Lord Krishna granted him the same. This Tithi (fourteenth day of the dark fortnight) in the month of Ashwin (Sep – Oct) is called as Narak Chaturdashi. After slaying the demon, Krishna returned home at dawn with a spot of Narakasur’s blood on his forehead as Tilak. Krishna’s father Nanda gave a ritualistic bath and the village women relished the moment by moving lit lamps about His face (ovalani).
Yamatarpan (offering to Lord Yama)
After abhyangasnan( Oil Bath), make an offering to Lord Yama to overcome untimely death (apamrutyu). This custom of offering (tarpan) is explained in the religious almanac (panchang). One should consult the religious almanac and then perform this ritual accordingly. Thereafter the mother moves lit lamps in front of her children’s faces (ovalani). Some people break karit (a bitter fruit) with their toes to signify the slaying of Narkasur while some apply few drops of its juice onto the tongue as his blood.
Misconducts On Narak Chaturdashi
- A figurine of the demon Narakasur is made and burnt in public places, which creates lot of inconvenience to general public
- No sacred text recommend burning of Narakasur’s effigy
- Also, there is no mention of Lord Krishna slaying the demon Narakasur
- Some people block roads and forcefully grab money from the by passers
- Burning of Narakasur’s figurine leads to pollution and the metal pieces and nails used in the effigy create traffic hazards on the roads
- Discourteous dances to music have adverse impact on the society
- Youths who are involved in this ritual waste their precious time, health and money and also stay awake at night and consume alcohol.