Narak Chaturdashi : Why We Celebrate Choti Diwali and What To Do On Naraka Chaturdashi.

 Narak Chaturdashi

The second day of Dhanteras or Diwali celebration is known as Narak Chaturdashi which is also called Choti Diwali and Narak Chaturthi.

To mark the auspicious occasion, people perform rituals and take a holy dip to prevent going to narak (hell). Another name of Narak Chauturdashi is Roop Chaturdashi because an ubtan (body mask) consisting of sesame oil. sandalwood powder, haldi, besan milk and milk cream is used during the bath.

Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

Narak Chaturdarshi also called Choti Diwali is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Vishnu in his incarnation avatar of Lord Krishna over Narakasur. Narak means hell and Chaturdashi (14th day (Tithi) of the waxing phase or waning phase of the moon).

Narak Chaturdarshi is another important day during Diwali celebration and is celebrated a day before main Diwali festival or a day after Dhanteras when people buy new gold, silver jewellery items. According to Indian epics, the day has a historical and mythological significance.

Maa kali; Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Kali who had slain the demon Narkasura. The motive of the puja is to get rid of wickedness in order to bring light into the life. People also light diyas and get together with their family on this festival.
The ingredients required for puja are oil, flowers, agarbatti, camphor, diya, sweets, coconut, aarti and thali etc. People think that washing head and applying kajal in their eyes keeps them away from the bad sights. The persons associated with tantra consider that practicing their mantras on this day would increase the power of their tantras.

 Lord Vishnu; Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

According to another Hindu mythology it is believed that Narakasur, who is said to be the son of Mother Earth, had turned into an evil. To defeat Narakasur, Lord Indra had appealed to Lord Vishnu to defeat the demon of the hell. 
Lord Vishnu in his Lord Krishna avatar through his divine and super powers attacked Narakasur along with his wife Satyabhama and ended his life by beheading with his Sudarshan Chakra (This Chakra is a spinning, disk-like weapon, literally meaning “vision of which is auspicious,” having 108 serrated edges used by the Hindu god Vishnu).
Lord Krishna; Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali 

Another epic in Hindu mythology says that Narakasur, the king of the hell, had kidnapped Lord Krishna’s female friends, who are referred to as gopis in Hindu mythology. Seeking revenge from Narakasur and in order to save gopis, Lord Krishna, who has his following and influence all across the world, defeated the Narakasur.

Yama ; Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

According to another Hindu mythology, There was a spiritual king called Ranti Deva who was very spiritual and devoted himself to service of mankind. One day Yama (death of god)came to claim his soul. 
The king asked Yama why he was sending him to hell since he had never committed a sin in his life, to which Yama replied that he had once returned a hungry a priest. 
The king asked Yama for one more year of life, which he was granted. After this incident, the king met with saints who asked him to observe a fast on Narak Chaturdashi and offer food to priests to apologise for past mistakes and get relief from past sins.
It is believed that people can absolve themselves of sins on Narak Chaturdashi and prevent themselves from going to hell (Narak).

Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

Therefore, Choti Diwali or Narak Chaturdashi is a symbol of preventing yourself from hell. It is believed that by practising the rituals with a pure heart and soul on Narak Chaturdashi, one can prevent from going to hell.
A holy bath (Abhyang Snan) is also conducted on Narak Chaturdashi as part of festival ritual to ignore the call of the hell. 

Hanuman Jayanti ; Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

Hanuman Jayanti is also celebrated on Narak Chaturdashi, one day prior to Deepavali. It is believed that Lord Hanuman took birth on this day.
There is a slight controversy regarding the birth of Hanuman as the day of Chaitra Purnima is also considered to be the day when He was born. Nevertheless, both these days are celebrated with devotion and much fanfare by the devotees. 

Narak Chaturdashi is widely celebrated in South India especially in Goa, whereas people in North India celebrate this occasion as Choti Diwali. Devotees offer prayers to Lord Vishnu, Lord Indra and Lord Krishna who played an important role defeating king of the hell, Narakasur. 

What to do on Naraka Chaturdashi

 Narak Chaturdarshi ;Choti Diwali

  • One should clean their homes, workplaces as it is believed that God prefers those places which are cleaned, especially during Diwali festival.
  • Make Rangolis at your homes, offices to create a live and auspicious environment.
  • People can worship Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Kali on Narak Chaturdashi.
  • Lit diyas (oil lamps) using mustard oil in your homes, at the corners of the main gate to purify the environment.
  • People also take a holy dip called (Abhyang Snan) on this day, a part of the ritual on this festival. There is a belief that taking the holy dip with pure heart and soul, one can avoid going to hell.


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