ยป A Beautiful Story to the Wonderful Festival Diwali
Long ago, a demon dislocated Mother Earth from her orbit. Then Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a "Vara:ha," the divine boar. He lifted Mother Earth on His tusks and brought her back to the original place.
During that period of time, the Mother Earth gave birth to a boy. The boy was named as "Bhauma", which means 'the son of Bhu:mi.' During the Dwa:para Yuga, he became the king of Pra:g Jyo:thisha Puram.
The power and wealth made him arrogant and cruel. He abducted sixteen thousand princesses from all over the world. He also grabbed Indra's valuable umbrella called the "Varuna Chathram",
The precious earrings of Aditi - the mother of Indra, a sacred garland called "Vyjayanthi", and even the peak of Mount Meru, Maha:mani.
His atrocities crossed all limits and because of his evil deeds, he was called "Naraka:sura". All de:vatha:s approached Lord Krushna for help. The Lord obliged their plea. Lord Krushna left for Pra:g Jyo:thisha Puram on His divine eagle "Garuda". His wife, Sathyabha:ma also accompanied Him.
Pra:g Jyo:thisha Puram was an unconquerable city with five levels of security. The first level had tall mountains, called "Giri Durgam". The second level was armed with powerful ammunition and was called "Sasthra Durgam". The third level had poisonous water and was called "Jala Durgam". The fourth one was lined with fire walls and was called "Agni Durgam". And the inner most level was filled with poisonous gases and was called "Anila Durgam".
Lord Krushna broke down the Giri Durgam with His mace, Kaumo:daki. The Sashtra Durgam was destroyed by His powerful arrows. Jala, Agni, and Va:yu durgams, were taken care of by the divine disc, Sudarsana. After crossing these hurdles, the moment the Lord entered the next level, ten thousand strong lassos, Pa:sams, tied Him up.
Krushna acted quickly and cut them down with His Sword Nandaka, but nobody was around. To find out the origin of these Pa:sams, Krushna blew His divine conch, the Pa:nchajanya. Suddenly, a five headed serpent named Mura:sura popped up, holding a trident, and confronted Krushna.
Then it was the turn of Garuda, who cut off three of Mura:sura's heads with his beak. Mura:sura was furious and tried to attack Garuda with his trident, but he could not. Garuda cut off the trident too with his beak. Finally Krushna hit the remaining heads of the serpent with His mace and killed Mura:sura with his Sudarsana Chakra.
Immediately, the seven sons of Mura attacked Krushna with a variety of weapons from all corners. Within no time they were all killed by the Lord with His powerful weapons.
Then came Naraka:sura, out from his palace with all his forces. It was a tough fight between Krushna and Naraka. They both used all kinds of weapons, trying to defeat each other.
However, Sathyabha:ma became impatient due to the prolonged fight. She forced Lord Krushna to kill Naraka:sura at once. Then Krushna chopped off Naraka:sura's head with His Sudarsana Chakra.
All the items that were taken away from Indra were returned to him, Interestingly, "Bhagadattha", the son of Naraka:sura, was an obedient devotee of Krushna. The Lord made him the king of Pra:g Jyo:thisha Puram and then released all the sixteen thousand princesses and let them return home.
But, they refused to go back because they were scared that their families might not accept them. So, they submitted themselves to Lord Krushna and requested Him to be their sole savior. Krushna accepted all of them and sent them safely to Dwa:raka. Victorious Krishna and Sathyabha:ma returned to Dwa:raka with great joy.
While living in the dark shade of Naraka:sura's rule, people were deprived of freedom. However, with his death, they were finally able to enjoy their independence. The people lit up lamps around their houses,as they celebrated the death of Naraka.
He was killed on the Chathurdasi day that comes before the new moon day. That Chathurdasi day came to be known as Naraka Chathurdasi.
The day after Naraka Chaturdasi is called Ama:va:sya, and is celebrated with lights. It came to be known as "Di:pa:vali Ama:va:sya". People clean and decorate their houses, and that night they invite Maha:lakshmi into their homes and worship her because they finally regained their wealth and prosperity because of Satyabha:ma. They offer many sweets and request Her to always grace them. This practice is prevalent even today.
After lighting up the lamps, people fire the fire crackers imitating the ammunition used between Naraka and Krushna.
Here is the moral of the story - anyone who is arrogant and greedy is considered to be a Naraka:suras Nobody would like such a one; he eventually would be punished for his poor qualities and atrocious behavior.
None of us wants to be Naraka:suras, so we pray to Lord Krushna to eliminate these evil qualities within us.
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