This is the story of Ram and Ravan.
A story related to this festival.
Thousands of years ago, in the city of Ayodhaya, there was a wise and good king named Dashrath, who ruled along with his three queens and four princes.
The eldest, Ram and his beautiful wife, Sita, lived happily along with his other prince brothers and their wives.
But one of King Dasaratha’s wives was jealous of Ram and demanded that he be exiled to the forest for 14 years so that her son, Bharat, be made king.
Having once promised his wife to fulfil any wish of hers, the helpless king exiled Ram to the forest.
And so, Ram set off on foot accompanied by his loving wife Sita, and loyal younger brother, Lakshman.
A few years into their exile, a demoness named Surpanakha saw Ram and fell for his looks.
She asked Ram to marry her. Ram refused and asked her to go to Lakshman instead. But Lakshman also refused.
Enraged, Surpanakha showed her true form and Lakshman cut off her nose and ears. The demoness went wailing to her brother who was none other than Ravan, the demon King of Lanka.
Ravan was furious and swore revenge.
With the help of another demon who took the form of a golden deer, he distracted Ram and Lakshman and kidnapped Sita from their hut.
When Ram and Lakshman returned, Sita was missing!
They realised that something bad had happened while they were gone and immediately rushed to find her.
On their way, they came across an an army of monkeys and bears that agreed to to help them. Among them was a monkey named Hanuman who had once vowed to be at Ram’s service.
Now Hanuman was no ordinary monkey.
He could fly over mountains, change size at will and had super-human strength. He had the power to leap across oceans in a single stride.
So obviously, he ended up being Ram’s strongest ally.
It was Hanuman who finally found Sita, imprisoned in one of Ravan’s beautiful gardens.
Hanuman reassured Sita that Ram would be here soon to rescue her. He came back to Ram with Sita’s whereabouts and the army of monkeys, bears and men marched to Lanka.
Soon, a great battle started between to two mighty armies and Ram’s soldiers managed to kill all the demons, except one – Ravan.
The battle was now between Ram and Ravan.
He gave Ravan one last chance to apologise and return Sita. Ravan instead rained down weapons on him.
Ram too fought back relentlessly but despite all his efforts, nothing seemed to kill Ravan.
Finally, Ravan’s brother Vibheeshan told Ram that Ravan’s weakest point was in his navel.
Using an arrow given to him by the gods, Ram shot Ravan in the navel and killed him instantly.
And so Ram and his love,Sita, were finally reunited.
Soon after, upon completion of their 14 years in exile, Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned home to find the entire city waiting for them! The streets were decorated with flowers and lamps and there was happiness everywhere.
And this is why every year on Diwali, you see the streets, homes and offices lit up with lamps, like the city of Ayodhya, in celebration of Ram and Sita’s homecoming.