The Festival of Lights Dīvālī

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

The story behind Divali, the Festival of Lights

The Triumph of Good over Evil

Naraka was born of Earth goddess Bhudevi (Bhumi) and Varaha (third avatar of Vishnu).

He usurped the kingdom of Pragjyotisha from Ghatakasura and chased Indra from earth to heaven by usurping kingdoms of earth and heaven. Having become the Lord of Earth and Svargaloka, he stole the earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess of gods.

The gods went to Vishnu and begged Him to rescue them from Narakasura. Vishnu promised when he takes avatar on earth as Krishna, He will defeat Narakasura. Aditi appealed to Krishna's wife Satyabhama for help to defeat Narakasura.

Krishna and Satyabhama mounted his ornithoid vehicle Garuda, attacked the fortress in Pragjyotisha and killed the soldiers and General Mura with Krishna earning the name Murari (Killer of Mura). Naraka fired missiles against Krishna, who neutralized them with anti-missiles. The USA is still perfecting anti-missile missiles (Oct. 2017). Narakasura rushed towards Krishna with a trident and Krishna beheaded him with his discus and rescued Parijata tree and 16K princesses hidden in the harem of Narakasura. Naraka requested Krishna that lights should grace his death anniversary. That was the beginning of the Divali Lights. Pārijāta tree is Indian Coral Tree-Erythrina indica. This tree came out of the milk ocean. It grows in Indira's gardens. Śacī, Indira's wife loves the flowers. Krishna's wife Satyabhama loved the tree and its flowers so much Krishna stole the tree from Indira's gardens. Indira's gardener informed Indira of the stealth of the tree by Krishna. A fight ensued. Indira stood alone with no weapons before Krishna. Krishna let him live and took the tree to Dwaraka with a promise that the tree will be returned to the paradise after his death. The trifoliate leaves represent the divine Triad, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the middle leaflet representing Vishnu and the right and left Brahma and Siva. (Harper's Dictionary of Hinduism)

The earth goddess Naraka's mother gave the stolen objects: Golden bowl, Aditi's earrings, Varuna's umbrella, and jewels. Bhumi Devi begged Krishna to spare the life of her grandson Bagadatta, the son of Naraka. Krishna installed Bagadatta as the king of Pragjyotisha.

The picture shows: Left to right and below: Krishna and Satyabhma seated on Garuda. Krishna with his forgiving left hand shows mercy to supplicating Bagadatta with opposed hands. Behind him, Mother Earth Bhumi Devi presenting to Krishna the golden bowl with stolen earrings… Below Bhumi Devi is the Lotus pond. Above and middle: The parijata tree against the black background. Right side: Bagadatta with his grandma Bhumi Devi, the attendant behind Bhumi Devi. Right and below: the garden. Opaque watercolor on paper, 1525-1540 Delhi-Agra region.

Indra Pays Homage to Krishna

Below is the picture of India at night during Divali celebration. Photo by NASA