Archive for the Dev Diwali Category

Eradicating Demons

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

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“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
(Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta known as Buddha, 563-483 B.C.)

This is a picture of Bhonsale Ghat during the night of Dev Diwali when the Lord comes down to Varanasi (Benaras).
After the moon is sighted everyone lights up Diyas (lamps) all over the ghats along the holy waters of the Ganges.
The meaning of this festival is to eradicate our inner demons while meeting the Lord.
Happy festival to eveyrone…!!!

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Devas and Men

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

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“… it is hard to realise that we are both human AND devic in the most profound aspects of our humanity.
We are indeed human and deva and the two inseperatable parts are needed to make a whole person – one part totally unable to function without the other.”
(From “Devas and Men” by Southern Centre of Theosophy, 1977)

Dev Diwali, or Dev Deepavali, as the name indicates is the Diwali celebration of the Devas (Demi Gods).
It is believed that Lord Vishnu returned to Vaikunta, his abode on this day after the Vamana incarnation and visiting King Bali.
Another legend has it that Lord Shiva killed the three demons, who were killing the Devas and humans, and destroyed the three cities built by them on this day.
The day is also known as Kartik poonam or Karthik Purnima and Tripurari Poornima.
Dev Diwali is observed tonight on the full moon day in the month of Kartik in traditional Hindu calendar and this is the most important festival in Varanasi (Benaras).
It marks the end of the fortnight of Diwali celebrations and a major event on the day is the lighting of Diyas (lamps) during night after the moon is sighted.
The meaning of this festival is to eradicate our inner demons while meeting the Lord.
After leaving king Bali, the Lord rejoined the devas on this day, the devas celebrated His arrival in jubilation and thus Dev Diwali came into being.
Though the devas celebrated the Lord’s return, we mortals celebrate Dev Diwali by eradicating our inner demons – the base instincts of ego, anger, greed, lust, … and the resulting manifestation of divinity within.

This picture was shot at the begining of the celebrations when the moon was reflecting in the holy waters of the Ganges, showing this boat carrying a few pilgrims to the main ghats.

Happy festival to eveyrone…!!!

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The Way to Heaven

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

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“If only the bone of a person should touch the water of the Ganges, that person shall dwell, honored, in heaven.”
(A popular śloka from the Mahabharata)

This is Manikarnika Ghat during the night of Dev Diwali in Varanasi (Benaras).
This place has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death as this is the “Maha-Shmashan” or the Great Cremation Ground of the entire Universe.
Hindu mythology teaches that this ghat is especially sacred and that persons cremated there receive moksha and are granted instant salvation, it is an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths.
There stands the sacred fire (dhuni) which might be the oldest fire, it is said that this place is the “navel of the world”.

Today Western Christians will observe All Saints’ Day and I thought that this picture could make a bridge between the two cultures.
Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven and the “church militant” who are the living.
Tonight the tradition is to light candles while visit ing the graves of deceased relatives in cimeteries and the atmosphere will be very close to what I see along the sacred river at the same time of the year…

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The Gist Of All Worship

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

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“This is the gist of all worship: to be pure and to do good to others.
He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva.
And if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary.
He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste or creed or race or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.”
(Swami Vivekananda – Indian Spiritual leader of the Hindu religion (Vedanta), 1863–1902)

During Dev Diwali there is a dense crowd gathering at almost each ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This huge painting of Lord Shiva at Dasaswamedh Ghat reminds the legend saying that the City of Light was founded by the deity several thousand years ago making this place the oldest living city in the world…
I took this picture from Anand’s boat in the heart of traffic jam on the sacred river.

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To the Divine

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

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“There is a desire deep within the soul which drives man from the seen to the unseen, to philosophy and to the divine.”
(Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet. 1883-1931)

This is the ceremony celbrated for Dev Diwali and held at Prayag ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
It is known as the “Festival of Light” where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within.
Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.
For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the year, especially in North India.

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A Fantastic World

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

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“We have learnt that nothing is simple and rational except what we ourselves have invented; that God thinks in terms neither of Euclid nor of Riemann; that science has “explained” nothing; that the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.”
(Aldous Huxley – English Novelist, 1894-1963)

This picture was shot at Prayag Ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) during the celebrations of Dev Diwali on the occasion of Kartik Poornima.
The “Festival of Light” is the victory of good over the evil within and those young priests are performing Ganga Aarti with vedic hymns in order to please and welcome the Gods who descend on earth on that special day.

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The Divine Light

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2011 by designldg

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“The Divine Light of the Infinite Lord, who owns the soul and the breath of life, is deep within the inner being.”
(From the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism )

This was shot from the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) during the celebrations of Dev Diwali on the occasion of Kartik Poornima.
The festival of Lights is a mark of welcome to the Gods as it is believed that they descend on earth on that special day.
In the evening under the full moon reflecting in the holy waters each ghat is performing Ganga Aarti with vedic hymns chanted by priests in order to please and welcome God.

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Happy Diwali

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by designldg

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“May lights triumph over darkness.
May peace transcend the earth.
May the spirit of light illuminate the world.
May the light that we celebrate at Diwali show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony.
Happy Diwali to everyone, Divali ki shubhkamnayen.”

Divali is a major Indian festival, significant in Hinduism , Jainism and Sikhism.
It is celebrated as the “Festival of Light” where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within.
The celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa or deeya (earthen lamp), and fireworks.
Divali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja (amanta) in October/November.
Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.
For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the year, especially in North India.

This image was shot along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

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The City of Lights

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by designldg

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“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
( Edith Wharton – American Novelist and short-story writer, 1862-1937)

One more picture of the celebrations of Dev Diwali on the occasion of Kartik Poornima on the Ghats of Varanasi (Benaras) decorated with thousands of Diyas (tiny earthen lamps).
These lamps are lit as a mark of welcome to the Gods as it is believed that they descend on earth on that special day.
Dev Diwali, celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, is a tribute to river Ganga by the people of Varanasi, it is held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima) and is observed with fireworks, great fanfare and feasts at every ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges.

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Welcoming Gods

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.”(Voltaire – French Philosopher and Writer, 1694-1778)
Dev Diwali is celebrated on the occasion of Kartik Poornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive in the evening when pilgrims and local people decorate the entire riverbank with thousands of Diyas (tiny earthen lamps).These lamps are lit as a mark of welcome to the Gods as it is believed that they descend on earth on that special day.Dev Diwali, celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, is a tribute to river Ganga by the people of Varanasi, it is held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima) and is observed with great fanfare and feasts.

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