Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the one of the most important festivals celebrated in India. It is celebrated on the darkest night of the year, and honors the victory of light over dark, good over evil. The story of the first Diwali goes like this.
A mighty demon, named Ravana, was harassing the sages and causing destruction on Earth. In desperation, the sages approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu knew that this particular demon had been blessed by Lord Brahma to remain impervious to any attempts on his life by gods or demons, so he manifested himself on Earth in the form of a man. To mankind, he was known as Rama, son of King Dasaratha. But to both the gods and the demons alike, he was recognized as an incarnate of Lord Vishnu.
Dasaratha, a noble descendant of the Solar Dynasty of Mankind, was a just and generous king of a territory called Kosala, of which the city of Ayodhya was its capital. He had three beautiful wives whom he loved very much. Unfortunately, none of them had given him a son. So, in desperation, he performed a sacred fire ceremony (yagna). Pleased by his devotion, the gods granted him four sons. About a year later, his first wife, Kausalya, gave birth to Rama. His second wife, Kaikeyi, gave birth to Bharata. And his third wife, Sumitra, gave birth to twins, Laxmana and Shatraguna. The births were celebrated far and wide, and the years that followed were filled with delight and joy as King Dasaratha and his queens witnessed the growth of their children.
To be continued…