On the 14th day of the Krishna paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik, one day before Diwali, Hindus commemorate Narak Chaturdashi and the people of India also call this day Choti Diwali. The Devi Kali with the help of Lord Krishna and Satyabhama is said to have crushed the demon Narakasur on this day. People who worship Goddess Kali or Shakti receive particular blessings and thus receive stability, peace, and wealth in their life. In the different parts of India, Narak Chaturdashi is called by various names like Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas, Bhoot Chaturdashi, and Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi.
When Narak Chaturdashi is Celebrated?
Narak Chaturdashi, also known as Choti Diwali, is commemorated on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha in Kartik month. This year, the festival of Narak Chaturdashi will fall on the 22nd of November on Sunday, a day prior to Diwali. In many parts of India, devotees have a custom of worshiping Lord Yamraaj on this auspicious day.
How is Narak Chaturdashi Celebrated?
In different parts of India, Narak Chaturdashi is known by different names. People in North India call it Choti Diwali, on the other hand, it is known as Tamil Diwali in the Southern region of India.
On the occasion of Narak Chaturdashi, it is more auspicious if worshippers take bath before the Sunrise i.e, in Brahma Muhurta by making use of sesame oil and ubtan. This ritual allows devotees to be cleansed of their previous negative actions or sins. The devotees perform worship of Lord Krishna, Kali, and Yama with traditional rules and regulations. After performing pujas and aarti, Worshippers pray to Lord Krishna and other gods to cure and purify their bodies and souls from previous negative karmas and misdeeds in order to prevent being sentenced to hell in the afterlife.
Indian women adorn their homes with mud lamps, colored lights, and flowers after doing all of the traditional acts. After that, everyone in the family and other relatives gets dressed up and gathers at night to enjoy the festivities by lighting fireworks and exchanging delectable delicacies.
Why is Narak Chaturdashi Celebrated?
Narakasur was an aggressive, cruel, and selfish monster who was destroyed by the effort of Lord Krishna’s wife Satyabhama, who was the incarnation of Bhumidevi, the mother of Narakasura. When Narakasura was taking his last breath, he requested Lord Krishna that his death should not be wasted and people must celebrate Narak Chaturdashi in order to prevent sins and misdeeds in their life. Narakarua felt guilty and apologized for all his misdeeds and sins which he performed at the end of his life. This is the reason Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated in order to stay away from bad karmas and bring peace and light of happiness in our life.
Significance of Narak Chaturdashi
There is a great significance to Narak Chaturdashi, which is also called Choti Diwali in the Hindu community. Lord Krishna is claimed to have vanquished the villain Narakasura and blessed sixteen thousand and one hundred females by releasing them from Narakasura’s jail. The death of Narakasura informed us about his past crimes and misdoings, and thus inspired us not to commit any bad karmas and injustice in life.
On the auspicious occasion of Narak Chaturdashi, worshippers light mud lamps in order to wash away all their dark thoughts and pray to God to beg forgiveness for all of our transgressions.
The Legend of Narak Chaturdashi
There is a story of the ugly and selfish demon behind Narak Chaturdashi. It is believed demon Naraksura was very cruel and ruled all three worlds. He was the son of Devbhumi (Mother Land) and he got a special gift from Lord Brahma that he would not be killed by anyone except his mother, Devbhumi (Prithvi). Thus, he felt proud and thought he had become immortal and attacked Devlok and kidnapped sixteen thousand and one hundred princesses of Dev Lok. At the request of Indra Dev, Lord Vishnu promised Indra to vanish Narakasura. Then Lord Krishna along with his wife Satyabhama, who was the incarnation of DevBhumi (Prithvi), demolished Narakasura and released 16100 females from Narakasura. This is the legend mentioned in the Hindu religious documents about Narak Chaturdashi.