Victory of Good over Evil

Victory of Good over Evil

The full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik is celebrated as Tripuri Pournima   This year the full moon was on Friday 26 November 2004, and thousands of temples around the country,   the 64-year-old Kopaneshwar Temple in Thane was lit up with countless oil-lamps to mark the occasion.

There are many legends about why Tripuri Pournima is celebrated. One of them goes like this: in the ancient period, there was a demon called Tripurasur, who pleased Lord Vishnu with years of penance, and in return, the received a boon of protection along with amulets of iron, silver and gold from the Lord. This made the demon almost indestructible as he could be killed only with a single arrow from Lord Shiva’s quiver. The demon started misusing his new-found power and began troubling the Gods and the Rishis. The Gods turned to Shiva for help, who fought a war and with the help of Lord Ganesha, and finally defeated Tripurasur with a single arrow demolishing his three amulets. This victory over Tripurasur took place on the night of full moon in the month of "Kartik". The Gods rejoiced and celebrated this victory by illuminating their abdoes and lighting fireworks. It is therefore also known as Dev Diwali (God’s Diwali). Tripuri Pournima is considered next only to Mahashivaratri for the worship of Lord Shiva.

The Shree Kopaneshwar Mandir Committee Trust has been celebrating Tripuri Pournima in this fashion for over 25 years now, in association with various city-based groups that work in the cultural sphere. This year, Vivekananda Kendra (Kanyakumari) Thane, The Chinmaya Mission, Brahman Shabha, Naupada Hindu Bhagini Mandal, Rastriya Sevika Samiti, Mukhtayi Bhagini Mandal and a few more cultural organisations collaborated in celebrating the occasion.

On November 26, women from the city performed a "deep prajavalan" (lighting of lamps) as part of the process of offering prayers to Lord Shiva. Inside the temple where the Shivling is housed, there were 750 wicks that were ignited to make a deepamala (garland of lights). To mark the occasion, the Kopaneshwar temple flooring was decorated with several large and colourful rangolis and oil-lamps. One giant rangoli, made from colours and flowers, was right in the middle of the temple, portraying Lord Krishna with his cow and a Shivling in the background. On its periphery were hundreds of oil-lamps, making it a sight to behold. Next to it was a large swastik made out Marigold flowers, also very attractive. The entire temple was replete with a variety of colours, flowers and oil-lamps arranged so beautifully that it left the devotees, regardless of their age, awestruck. Such was the enthusiasm of the devotees that if the breeze would cause any lamp to be put out, the by-standing devotees would light it up themselves.
 
Tripuri Pournima is yet another day to celebrate the victory of good over evil and like many other Hindu festivals, serves to remind us that such celebrations are symbolic and have significance that is far more profound than the rituals themselves. In today’s modern context, Tripuri Pournima stands for the fight between the good and evil that resides inside each of us. We have to encourage the good (which contains the word GOD within) and destroy the devil (which contains the word evil within). The lighting of lamps signifies the chasing away of the dark (evil) forces from our hearts.

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