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Diwali(Festival of Light)
The Diwali period comprises of a joyful series of 8 festivals commencing on 'Ramaa Ekadashi' - Aso vad 11. This is followed by 'Dhan Teras' - vad 13, 'Kali Chaudash' - vad 14 and 'Diwali' - vad 15 or 'Amaas' - the last day of the Indian calendar year. The Diwali festivities continue the next day - New Year's Day known as 'Nutan Varsh' - Kartik sud 1, 'Bhai Beej' - Kartik sud 2 and 'Labh Pancham' - Kartik sud 5.
Vagh Baaras  
This is also known as 'Govatsa dwadashi' and 'Guru Dwadashi'. On this day the cow and calf are offered pujan. 'Vagh' here refers to repaying one's financial debts. Therefore people clear their account books today and do not enter into new transactions, using new ledgers until after Labh Pancham.

Dhan Teras  
'Dhan' means wealth. In the past cows formed a person's wealth. Over time both were offered pujan on this day. Today, Hindu Dharma's scriptures have advocated procuring wealth only through the codes of Dharma - by the sweat of one's brow. According to the Law of Karma, wealth acquired by any other means will create discord in one's life as well as in society. Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth, and Lakshmi - in the form of currency are offered pujan (worship).
The latent sentiment is that this purifies our earnings and so that we may use it with 'vivek' (discrimination). It is said that wealth used for self is termed 'Dhan', that for others - 'Lakshmi', that for unethical purposes - 'alakshmi' (sinful) and that for God - 'Mahalakshmi.'
The sentiment underlying Lakshmi pujan is that the Lakshmi-'wealth' we have acquired is ultimately the result of God's grace. For this we thank Him on this day.
Kali Chaudash  
This festival occurs on Aso vad 14, also known as 'Narak Chaturdashi' because Lord Krishna vanquished Narkaasur. Devotees pray and ofter pujan to Hanumanji to remove inauspiciousness and fear of evil spirits and beings.

The evil king Narkaasur, also known as Bhaumaasur, of Prag-Jyotishpur, confiscated all the beautiful and valuable objects in the world. Rampaging through the 3 'lokas', he also looted the ear-rings of Aditi, mother of the devas.
When the devas prayed for succor, Shri Krishna and Satyabhama vanquished Narkaasur, releasing the 16,000 women captives. In jubilation, the devas celebrated the occasion by lighting 'divas'. When Narkaasur lay dying, he prayed to Shri Krishna, 'Let those who bathe before sunrise on my death anniversary not go to hell.' The Lord granted the boon.
In essence this means that one who has been enlightened within - become 'Brahmarup' - will not fear death.
For this we need to eradicate our 51 'bhutas', namely: Maya's 3 'gunas', 10 'indriyas', 10 'pranas', 4 'antahkarans', 5 'bhutas', 5 'vishayas' and 14 'devatas' of the indriyas - by obeying the Satpurush. In becoming brahmarup and offering devotion to Parabrahma, we truly celebrate Kali Chaudash.
  • Vagh Baras
  • Dhan Teras
  • Kali Chaudash
  • Diwali

| Diwali | Audio |
© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith