Dev Deepawali is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasur. It is the ‘Festival of Lights of the Gods’ and falls on the Kartik ‘Purnima’ (full moon day), 15 days after the celebrations of Diwali.
You might be thinking why we are talking about diwali as it is time to bid goodbye to the festive season. But this is not in case in Varanansi (UP) because after 15 days of Diwali, the popular festival of Dev Diwali or Dev Deepawali starts in Varanasi.
According to belief, It is believed that Dev Deepawali is celebrated to usher in love, peace and happiness into our lives. It is believed that on the day of Dev Diwali, the Gods and Goddesses descend to Earth to take bath in Ganga. So, people take holy dips in the river Ganges. Prayer sessions are organized for the auspicious day and a large number of devotees gather at temples and ghats for And the Ganga aarti.
Today, I will share popular legends/Stories behind Dev Deepawali celebration in Varanasi.
Mythology- Lord Shiva slew the demon Tripurasur
On this day, the demon Tripurasur was killed by the Gods. The demon got his name from the three puras or the cities that he created. After becoming more powerful, tripurasur started doing evil things. So, Lord Shiva killed him. This brought joy and happiness among gods and they decided to celebrate it by lighting lamp. Hence the name, Dev Deepawali suggests Gods’ victory over demons.
Mythology- When Vishwamitra decided to make another universe
Another popular legend is that sage Vishwamitra bodily transferred King Trishanku to heaven/ Indra Lok. Indra is the lord of the Devas. The word ‘Lok’ means world and ‘Devas’ mean lesser Gods.
But Gods didn’t like this decision of Vishwamitra and sent king Trishanku back. Now Trishanku, neither belonging to earth nor heaven, became a hanging star. Vishwamitra became so angry that he started creating another universe with his powers. Frightened by this all the gods together begged and prayed to him to stop the creation of the rival universe.
Vishwamitra finally accepted their demand. Pleased with this the gods celebrated this occasion with lighting lamps like we do on Deepawali.
Almost all the Ganga ghats are decorated today and every single step of the staircases at Varanasi ghats glitter with thousands of diyas, which look beautiful.
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