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The festival of Diwali is associated with many legends:

  1. The first day of Dhan Trayodashi is the day when Goddess Lakshmi appeared from the Samudra Manthan.
  2. Next comes Narak Chaturdashi is when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narkasur.
  3. The next day of Amavasya celebrated as Deep-awali is when Lord Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravan.
  4. This is followed by Govardhan Puja or Annakut on the next day.
  5. The final day of the festival is Bhai-duj which is also called Yamadvitiya since it is associated with Yama, the god of Death and his sister Yamuna the second day after new moon.

Chronologically, I guess the Samudra Manthan episode could have come first followed by the Yam-Yamuna episode; then the Ramayan episode and finally the two days related to Krishna. My question is, which is the oldest reference to each of these celebrations?

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    I know there are different beliefs related to the festival that's why i mentioned all of them. My question is which is the oldest scripture to mention these days. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Oct 9 '17 at 6:53
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    @sinister "It wouldn't take him 20 days because they travelled in Pushpak Vimana" Did you mean Rama left Lanka on next moment when Ravana got killed? After killing of Ravana, Rama didn't left Lanka immediately. He stayed for funeral of Vibhishan's brother. After He also make Vibhishan King and then Agni Prikshna etc. All works that need to done after Ravana's death that work couldn't be complete in one or two days. Rama is not selfish so he think Ravana die so now let's take Sita and go to home! He himself handled all situation after end of war. So took 20 days to reach in Ayodhya. – Rishabh Oct 9 '17 at 7:41
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    @Rishabh Did you read the answer I linked? Can you show me where is it mentioned that Rama killed Ravana on Vijaya Dashami only? How many days did he stay in Lanka? He didn't enjoy and take rest in Lanka because he was under exile. More over it was Lakshmana who installed Vibhishana because Rama shouldn't enter palaces. So, it's not more than 3 days. – Sarvabhouma Oct 9 '17 at 7:47
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    @Rishabh Rama waited for Lakshman but that doesn't mean that it took 20 days and it's related to Diwali. It's not more than 3 days after Ravana was killed. Dr.Vineet Aggarwal Bali Padyami is celebrated on the next day of Diwali. You can add that one also. – Sarvabhouma Oct 9 '17 at 7:58
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    @Sinister BTW the Padma Puraan story has many deviations from the original Valmiki Ramayan -boloji.com/… so it may not be all true. Assuming that it is not untrue, it may actually be related to Ramayan of some previous Kalpa. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Oct 9 '17 at 8:14
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The oldest spiritual reference of Diwali is Vamana avatar according to Dashavatar book(Ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu).

When king Bali had defeated by the Lord Vamana. Later lord Vamana sent the Bali to the Hartal folk(पाताल लोक). Then all people who were scared by Bali, They celebrated like the festival and lit the lots of lamps.

Then new fresh reference is Lord Rama According to Dashavatar Book. We all know about the whole story of Ram and Ravana.

Ravana defeated by Lord Rama at Lanka during Ram's exile. After this war, Lord Rama back to his own kingdom Ayodhya. All the people of Ayodhya have been waiting for his beloved Rama since 14 years. So, they started a lit of lamps and a warm welcome to Lord Rama.

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    Welcome to HSE, can you please cite your references. – Just_Do_It Apr 3 '18 at 15:17
  • You may post screen-shot of Dashavtar book. – Pandya Apr 6 '18 at 11:31
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    Sorry for, I have forgotten the reference to Dashavarar book. Problem is that, this book is in Gujarati and hard copy. I don't have any soft copy. – Yogesh Borad Apr 6 '18 at 11:39

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