Rajul recounts the story of Lord Rama’s homecoming on the New Moon night of Diwali. The joy and festivities among the people of Ayodhya is revisited. Thousands and thousands of diyas were lit to help the Pushpak Viman land safely behind the king’s palace. According to festival of Diwali has been celebrated to mark this grand homecoming of Lord Rama and Sita after their great victory over Ravana. Here’s a tale associated with the Festival of Lights, as part of the special feature on Diwali, exclusively in Different Truths.
Many moons ago when Pushpak Vimana (ancient Indian aircraft) was being prepared to take Lord Rama with Mata Sita, and his army back to his hometown Ayodhya, Lakshman (younger brother of Rama) asked Vibhishana, “How will this aircraft carry so many people safely all the way to Ayodhya?” Vibhishana smiled, “Dear Lakshman you are doubting the team of scientists and engineers of the great Ravana, who himself was the master of astrophysics and aimed build a bridge connecting earth to its moon!” Lakshman replied, “I am just curious your highness.” Vibhishana explained further, “Pushpak Vimana has 4D space inside it and no matter how many people sit in it, there will always be one place empty!” Lakshman raised his eyebrows and marvelled the genius of Ravana.
Time came and all the passengers boarded the aircraft and as Vibhishana said, there was still a place left. The Lankan pilots lifted up the ship and calculated the distance. They were little worried and turned to Rama, joining their hands, “O’ noble prince of Ayodhya, we need to inform you that we will be reaching our destination on Amavasya (New Moon). It will be difficult to land this aircraft in almost zero visibility from the sky.” Rama, with a winning smile and told them, “By now, my brother Bharat, might have already known how I am reaching Ayodhya. We shall land on the brightest place on the earth today!”
Here in Ayodhya, on the orders of Acting King Bharata, the entire city of Ayodhya was decorated with twinkling earthen oil lamps. Aircraft navigation and assistance centre was also set up quickly. The city was so much illuminated that whole map of Ayodhya was visible from above, as the Vimana reached the city. People of Ayodhya were celebrating the homecoming of their King and the ‘Lakshmi’ of their kingdom, Sita. From above, it seemed like thousands of stars have come down to earth and Pushpak’s supervising pilot smiled. The Vimana landed safely on the ground behind the king’s palace. People surrounded the place as Sri Rama, Lakshman and Sita disembarked the aircraft, followed by Hanuman and other important members of Ram’s invincible army against Ravana. The news had spread like jungle fire after Vijayadashami, when Ravana was killed by Lord Rama owing to the blessings of Durga (the cosmic goddess of supreme power), messengers were sent to inform the people of Ayodhya about Rama’s arrival at home as exactly on this very day, he completed his 14 years of Vanavaasa (exile into forests).
There were Mangal gaans (songs for Lord Ganesha, who is the harbinger of good times, and music to welcome the auspicious times) and Sita was welcomed again like a newly-wed bride by the three queens of the deceased King Dashratha. The royal chariot took the round of the city, where houses were decorated with handmade decorations, flowers, bandhanwaars, rangoli and most of all love!
According to Hindu or the Sanatan Dharma’s mythological history, from this day onwards, every year, the festival of Diwali has been celebrated to mark this grand homecoming of Lord Rama and Sita after their great victory over Ravana. Of all the stories and folklore related to Diwali, this is the oldest and the most authentic one. Over the period of time, this mega festival of India has become the most celebrated one, especially, in North India. It is observed overseas by Indians across the world too. The festival warms up the spirits of people as they meet each other, and exchange gifts before the onset of chilling winters. Diwali festivities bring all the glitz, glamour, taste and ritualistic ceremonies in the otherwise mundane life of people. Today, traders and businessmen cash the occasion of grand festivities by introducing sale and heavy discounts for grabbing customers. There is special Lakshmi Pooja done by all the traders’ and merchants’ community, sometimes, irrespective of their religion! Such is the magic of this most awaited Amavasya (new moon night) of the year. While all the other festivals and fasting festivals are somewhere or the other connected to the appearance of the moon in the sky, this queen of Hindu festivals doesn’t need the moon but only united, a happy and loving spirit of the denizens!
Let’s go back to our roots this Diwali and celebrate the heart-warming homecoming with earthen lamps, candles, flowers, chandeliers, rangoli with love and wishes for the world around because true happiness lies in peace and peace, eventually, brings prosperity. Let’s pray for each other. I wish the world a very happy Diwali! Especially, to our sepoys at the border, who never leave the posts unattended and unguarded whether it is Diwali or not and because of whom, we all are able to celebrate together peacefully at our homes.
Pix from the Net.
Rajul Tiwari is an educationist, writer, author, editor and poetess. She writes in English and Hindi with equal ease. She heads a publishing unit and her poetry book ‘Beats of Beauty’ has been appreciated by many critiques and poetry lovers. In 2002 & 2004, she was honoured with ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ by International Library of Poetry, US. Rajul is gracious and acknowledges the goodness in others. Her disarming and winsome smile is endearing.