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Diwali » Five Days Of Diwali » Choti Diwali

Choti Diwali
Diwali is one of the most celebrated festivities in the Indian culture. The splendor of the festival of Diwali is so great that the celebrations for Diwali go on for five days. Choti Diwali, which falls on the fourteenth day of the Hindi month, Kartik just after Dhanteras, is celebrated as the second day of Diwali. The other name given to Choti Diwali is that of 'Narak Chaturdasi'. The Choti Diwali is celebrated with the same fervor and enthusiasm though on a much lower scale.Just like Diwali, there is a tradition of worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, decorating the homes with Diwali Rangolis and lights, bursting crackers and lighting of diyas on the occasion of Choti Diwali also. As per the legends

associated with Choti Diwali are concerned there is one famous legend of the demon king Narakasur, who used to rule over Pragjyotishpur, which is a province in the South of Nepal. After winning the war with the deities of the heaven, he empowered the kingdom of Lord Indra, imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of the gods and harems in the heaven and even snatched the earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi, who was not only the mother of the deities of heaven but also the relative of Satyabhama, Lord Krishna's wife. Satyabhama lost her cool on hearing about this malevolent act of Narakasur and prayed to Lord Krishna to empower her so that she could be able to kill Narakasur. Narakasur was under a curse that a woman would kill him. So Lord Krishna empowered Satyabhama and she was able to murder Narakasur by beheading him. She then rescued the sixteen thousand women prisoners from the clutches of Narakasur and even recovered Mother Goddess Aditi's earrings. In order to save the women from embarrassment, Lord Krishna married all the sixteen thousand women and accepted them as His wife.

Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with blood as a sign of victory over Narakasur and returned home with his wives on the morning of Choti Diwali. Lord Krishna was massaged with scented oil by the womenfolk on the morning of Narak Chaturdasi and since then it became a practice to take a bath before sunrise on the day of Narak Chaturdasi.

According to another legend associated with Choti Diwali, there was a king of the nether world by the name of 'King Bali'. Though a demon, King Bali was very influential and his increasing powers posed a great threat to the deities of the heaven who went to Lord Vishnu asking for his help in eradicating King Bali. Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of 'Batu Waman', a short-height Brahmin and went to King Bali and begged him for that area of land which He would be able to cover by his three steps as King Bali was very much famous for his philanthropy.

When king Bali saw the small size of the Brahmin and heard about his request he just smiled and readily granted the Brahmin's request. At this moment the Brahmin got converted into Lord Vishnu who covered heaven with his first step and the earth with his second step. With his third step Lord Vishnu covered king Bali's head and pushed him into the underground. But at the same time being impressed with King Bali's generosity Lord Vishnu granted the king with the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to visit his kingdom once a year.

Since that day the day of the death of King Bali came to be commemorated through the celebrations of Choti Diwali.

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