The festival of lights, Diwali is not limited to just one single day. Infact, it is celebrated for four continuous days, during which gods and goddesses are invoked to bestow their blessing on us and our homes. This article lists details on how to celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi, keep reading.
Just as the thirteenth day of Krishna paksh of the Kartik month in the hindu calendar is celebrated as Dhanteras, the fourteenth is known and celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi.
This day is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the Demon Narkasur, who was known to have captured sixteen thousand princesses and went around killing sages and deities.
To free the world from the chaos that this demon had created, Lord Krishna killed him on this very day of the Hindu calendar. However, when Narkasur was about to die, he attained the true knowledge and asked the merciful god for a boon.
Lord Krishna then said that anyone who would take a holy bath on this day would be saved from the horrors of going to hell, and thus this day came to be known as Narak Chaturdashi or Narak Chaudash.
On this day, people are supposed to be taking a holy bath known as the "Abhyangsnan", before the sunrise. Also, listed below are points on how to celebrate this day, take a look.
1. On Narak Chaturdashi, lamps are lit and are kept all over around the house, just as it is done on Diwali. This is done so as to eradicate the bad Tamsik energy from the house and further fill the house with positive vibes, which further acts as a shield from negative raja-tama particles present in the environment.
2. After one has taken the holy bath, he/she has to offer flowers to the Lord Yamraj, the God of death, so as to seek protection from untimely demise. This ritual is to be done while keeping the correct time in mind. The mother in the family shows the lamp to her children's faces and then has to break a bitter fruit from her toes, symbolizing the killing of demon Narkasur. This entire ritual is called "Yamatarpan".
3. Meals are to be offered to the Brahmins, as in the Hindu culture offering food to a Brahmin is considered to be a way of offering one's gratitude to God. Clothes are offered in the evening to invoke and awaken the gods and attain their blessings.
4. Yamadipdan must be performed on all three days of Dhantera, Narak Chaturdashi and Narakdwitiya to shield the family from untimely death.
5. Lakshmi Puja is to be performed after lighting a lamp with four wicks and making offerings of sweets and flowers, etc., to the lamp during the Pradosh kal, i.e., seventy two minutes after the setting of the sun. On Narak Chaturdashi, the mantra "datto deepshchaturdashyam narakpreetye maya, chaturvartisamayuktah sarvpappunyaste" is to be recited, so as to get rid and cleansed from sins.
6. One of the most important parts of celebrating Narak Chaturdashi is Shiva Puja. Without it, all the other rituals are incomplete. Praying to God Shiva, the destroyer, saves us from the negativity all around us.
7. Sadly today our society has picked up some malpractices in the name of celebrating Narak Chaturdashi. For example, people burn the effigy of the demon Narkasur causing air and noise pollution and have forgotten about the true essence of Narak Chaturdashi and what it actually teaches us. So, make sure you know the right way to celebrate this day to not lose its significance.