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Top 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu

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What are Avatars

a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.  Especially Avatar is a Sanskrit word which means different forms and lives.  If we assume that evolution of life and Avatars of Lord Vishnu are both same, we can have brief study of evolution of life with the reference of Avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Once an American reporter asked, “Why only Indians have Avatars? why don’t have for others?” The answer is Indians didn’t forget all of those Avatars to keep in records and others forgot who had worked in their own land.  Avatar can be a person that help you to get out of our problems but with the time we forget those who helped us.  According to Hindu scripture, Avatar is a symbol of God, yet Avatar does not have any barriers of religion, races, caste.  In the case of Avatars of Lord Vishnu, all of those were born is different eras yet all worked to save human lives, morals and remembrance of God.  We will be going through all of these ten Avatars one by one according to scripture, Purana and Vedas called as Dash-avatar (Dash- 10, Avatar– Forms)

Matsya-avatar (Matsya – Fish)-

King Vaivasvata Manu finds a little fish in the palm of his hands when performing the Tarpana (water-offering). The fish asks Manu if his riches and power was enough to give the fish a nice home. Manu keeps the fish to give it a home, but the fish keeps expanding, which breaks Manu’s pride about his wealth. Eventually, he releases it into the ocean, realizing it is Lord Vishnu himself. Vishnu informs Manu of the coming destruction of the world, by means of fires and floods, and directs Manu to collect “all creatures of the world” and keep them safe on a boat built by the gods. When the deluge (Pralaya) comes, Vishnu appears as a great fish with a horn, to which Manu ties the boat, which leads them into safety.

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Matya-Avatar

 

 Kurma-Avatar (Kurma – Tortoise)

The Giant Tortoise Avatar. When the devas (Gods) and asuras (Devils) were churning the ocean of milk in order to get Amrit, the nectar of immortality, the mount Mandara they were using as the churning staff started to sink and Vishnu took the form of a tortoise to bear the weight of the mountain and save Amrit from Devils.  It would be hard enough to save the Earth from Asuras if it would have found them.  To understand this situation more please look at the image.

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Kurma Avatar

Varaha-Avatar (Varaha- Wild Swine)

He appeared to defeat  Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth, or Prithvi, and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean (much like in ether theory) in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe.

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Varah-Avatar

 Narasimha (Nar- Male, Simha- Lion)

The half-man/half-lion Avatar. Jaya and his brother Vijaya are cursed by the sage sanaka when they stop him from seeing Vishnu, and will be reborn three times as demons to be killed by Vishnu. In their first demonic birth they become Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu persecuted everyone for their religious beliefs including his son who was a Vishnu follower. he was protected by Brahma, and could by no means be killed. Vishnu descended as an anthropomorphic incarnation, with the body of a man and head and claws of a lion. He disemboweled Hiranyakashipu, and brought an end to the persecution of human beings including his devotee Prahlada.

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Narasimha

 Vamana (Dwarf man Avatar)

The fourth descendant of Vishnu, Bali, with devotion and penance was able to defeat Indra, the god of firmament. This humbled the other deities and extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods appealed to Vishnu for protection and he descended as a boy Vamana. During a yagya of the king, Vamana approached him and Bali promised him for whatever he asked. Vamana asked for three paces of land. Bali agreed, and the dwarf then changed his size to that of a giant Trivikrama form.  With his first stride he covered the earthly realm, with the second he covered the heavenly realm thereby symbolically covering the abode of all living beings. He then took the third stride for the netherworld. Bali realized that Vamana was Vishnu incarnate. In deference, the king offered his head as the third place for Vamana to place his foot. The avatar did so and thus granted Bali immortality and making him ruler of Pathala, the netherworld. This legend appears in hymn 1.154 of the Rugveda and other Vedic as well as Puranic texts.

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Vamana- Avatar

 Parashurama (Man with an Axe)

He is son of  Jamadagni and Renuka and was granted as boon, an axe after a penance to Lord Shiva. He is the first Brahmin-Kshatriya in Hinduism, or warrior-sage, who had to follow the Dharma of both, a Brahmin as well as a Kshatriya. Once, when king Kartvirya Arjuna and his hunting party halted at the ashrama of Jamadagni, the father of Parashurama, and the sage was able to feed them all with the aid of the divine cow Kamdhenu. The king demanded the cow, but Jamadagni refused. Enraged, the king took it by force and destroyed the ashram. Parashurama then killed the king at his palace and destroyed his army. In revenge, the sons of Kartavirya killed Jamadagni. Parashurama took a vow to kill every Kshatriya on earth twenty-one times over, and filled five lakes with their blood. Ultimately, his grandfather, Rishi Rucheeka, appeared before him and made him halt. He is a chiranjeevi (immortal), and believed to be alive today in penance at Mahendragiri. He also credited for creating coastal belt of Karnataka and Kerala throwing his mighty axe as per Hindu mythology. The place the axe landed in sea got its water displaced and the land which emerged thus came to be known as coast of Karnataka and whole of Kerala.

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Parashurama

Lord Sri Rama 

The Avatar of Morality and Rules, The Prince and King of Ayodhya. He is a commonly worshipped avatar in Hinduism, and is thought of as the ideal model of a common prince without super powers, despite being an incarnation. His story is recounted in one of the most widely read scriptures of Hinduism, the Ramayana. While in exile from his own kingdom with his brother Lakshman and the God Hanuman, his wife Sita was abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. He travelled to Lanka, killed the demon king and saved Sita. Rama and Sita returned home and were crowned. The day of the return of Prince Rama to the kingdom of Ayodhya is celebrated in the form of Gudhi Padwa (Hindi New Year) all over India.

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Sri Rama

 

 Lord Sri Krishna – 

Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva and the foster-son of Yashoda and Nanda.  A frequently worshipped deity in Hinduism, he is the hero of various legends, particularly the Kansa-vadha and Mahabharata and embodies several qualities such as love, duty, compassion, and playfulness. Krishna’s birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Krishna Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar. Krishna is usually depicted with a flute in his hand. Krishna is also a central character in Mahabharat, Bhagavat Purana, and the Shri Madbhahavadgeeta.

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Shri Krishna showing Vishwarup Darshan to Arjuna

  Gautam Buddha

He is the founder of Buddhism, is commonly included as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. Buddha is sometimes depicted in Hindu scriptures as a preacher who deludes and leads demons and heretics away from the path of the Vedic Scripture, but another view praises him a compassionate teacher who preached the path of Ahimsa(non-violence).  As earlier mentioned that there is no barriers of religion is satisfied in this avatar.

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Gautam Buddha

 Kalki Avatar

Kalki is described as the final incarnation of Vishnu, who appears at the end of each Kali Yuga. He will be atop a white horse and his sword will be drawn, blazing like a comet. He appears when only chaos, evil and persecution prevails, Dharma has vanished, and he ends the Kali Yuga to restart Satya yuga and another cycle of existence.

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Kalki Avatar

 

Evolutionary Interpretation – 

  • Matsya- fish (Paleozoic era)
  • Kurma- amphibious tortoise (Mesozoic era)
  • Varaha – boar (Cenozoic era)
  • Narsimha- man-lion, the last animal and semi-human avatar (Cenozoic era)
  • Vamana- growing dwarf and first step towards the human form
  • Parashurama- a hero, but imperfect human form
  • Shri Rama – another hero, physically perfect, befriends a speaking Vanara deity Hanuman
  • Lord Krishna- son of Devaki
  • Gautam Buddha- the Buddhism founder
  • Kalki- yet to happen and the savior, and is like Christian Advent, which Madame Blavatsky believed Christians “undoubtedly copied from the Hindus.

The Puranas speak of the different manifestations or incarnations of the Deity in different epochs of the world history.  The Hindu Avatar rises from the lowest scale of life through the fish, the tortoise, and the hog up to the perfection of humanity. Indian Avatarism is, indeed, a crude representation of the ascending scale of Divine creation. Such precisely is the modern theory of evolution.

 

*Here are numbering of Avatar are in incorrect manner, they are given from 10 to 1 but they are starting from 1 to 10.

 

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Religion

Top 10 Dances of India

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Because of its vast and diversified culture, India is adorned with various styles of classical and folk dances. Folk dances are commonly used to mark the festivities of various seasonal or spiritual holidays. They are an essential component of our social pleasure. Most folk dances have changed and matured with time, providing originality and freshness to Indian culture.

Bhangra- Punjab

BBC's Bhangra or Bust reveals Battle of Bhangra Dancers | DESIblitz

Bhangra

Bhangra is a loud and vigorous Punjabi folk dance. Its origins are unknown. Some claim it is a martial kind of dance, while others claim it was started by farmers to celebrate the Baisakhi celebration or crop season. In Punjab, no festival is completed without Bhangra. It consists of energetic dancing routines accompanied by the sounds of a dhol or drum.

Jhumar- Haryana

Dance forms of Haryana | Hindu Lifestyle | Indian Dance | Hindu Scriptures

Jhumar

It is a popular dance genre in the state of Haryana. It is also known as the “Hariyanvi Gigga” in some parts of the state. Jhumar is derived from an accessory used by girls to adorn their foreheads. Young married women in eye-catching outfits and brilliant jewellery sing and dance to the beats of thali or dholak. They usually dance in a circle and singing.

Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh

Kuchipudi – Classical Dance From Andhra Pradesh | RitiRiwaz

Kuchipudi

Named after the Andhra hamlet of Kuchipudi, this classical dance style has its origins in the NatyaShastra, an ancient Hindu Sanskrit literature. The flute, violin, and tambura are commonly used to accompany the dancing form. Before the actual show begins, each dancer must be welcomed, their job defined, and they must do a short preparatory dance.

Garba- Gujrat

Joyful Garba Dance of Gujarat in Western India during the Annual Navaratri Festival - The Cultural Heritage of India

Garba

It is one of the most important folk dances in West India. On festival events such as Navaratri, Vasant Panchami, Sharad Purnima, and Holi, women perform this elegant dance. On all nine nights of Navaratri, women perform the Garba. It entails going around in a circle, chanting and clapping to the beat of a drummer or Dholi. Garba songs are mostly dedicated to Mother Goddess Amba.

Bihu- Assam

Awesome Assam | Bihu

Bihu

This exquisite northeast Indian dance plays an important role in Assam’s festivities. This dance type is typically performed during the Rongali Bihu festival, which marks the beginning of the spring season. The actual specifics of its genesis are unknown. However, according to the earliest sources, KingRudraSinga of Ahom invited artists to participate in Bihu on the auspicious occasion of Rongali Bihu in Ranghar field in 1694.

Lavani – Maharashtra

Lavani Dance Wallpapers - Wallpaper Cave

Lavani

It’s a lovely mash-up of tune, song, dance, and culture. This dancing style is extremely jazzy due to the engaging Dholak rhythm and aggressive dance routines. It features a quick tempo and a strong rhythm. It covers a wide range of topics, including religion, politics, and society. It is sometimes portrayed in a romantic light, with a lady eagerly awaiting the acceptance of her love.

Kathakali- Kerala

Kathakali dance - Traditional dance of Kerala History

Kathakali

Kathakali is one of India’s most well-known classical dances. This lively dance-drama combines interesting colours, graceful body movements, and stunning emotions that are timed to music and song. It dates back to the 17th century and is widely performed throughout the state of Kerala. The dance displays drama with mudras and gestures, which are typically influenced from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, or Puranas.

Hikat – Jammu and Kashmir

Saathee Magazine, Dances of India - 2018

Hikat

When spring magnificently submerges the valley in all its majesty, young girls and boys in Kashmir execute this lively and frisky dance. The boys and girls form dancing partners, joining their arms, clutching each other’s hands, bending their bodies backwards, and moving in a circle with flawless accuracy. Rabab and the drum frequently provide music when they perform songs.

Kathak- UP

Learn all about Kathak dance style | Danceninspire.com

Kathak

Kathak is one of India’s eight primary classical dance styles. Kathak is said to have originated with the roaming bards of ancient northern India called as Kathakars or storytellers. The term Kathak is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit words Katha (tale) and Kathakar (one who narrates a storey). Wandering Kathakars tell legendary stories through dance and song.

Manipuri- Manipur

manipuri | History, Characteristics, & Facts | Britannica

Manipuri

Manipuri is a famous Indian dance form that originated in the north-eastern state of Manipur. The dancing costume features a one-of-a-kind stiff skirt that reaches all the way down to the feet. Manipuri dance describes Radha and Krishna’s Raslila act and prepares the spectator for a religious journey

 

 

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Top 10 Best Non-Fiction Books To Read

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Books are something that can change your entire point of view and will force you to look at this glorious world differently. Books are divided into various genres and people love to read them, one such genre is non-fiction. It’s one of the most readable and loved genres of all time. So today we will be listing the top 10 non-fiction books of all time. So grab these books and let all the information sink in.

When Breath Becomes Air 

When Breath Becomes Air

For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question ‘What makes a life worth living?’

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster 

Into Thin Air

 When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn’t slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top.  No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! 

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! 

Richard Feynman, the winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman’s life in all its eccentric—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah. 

Manual for Living 

Manual for Living

The essence of perennial Stoic wisdom in aphorisms of stunning insight and simplicity. The West’s first and best little instruction book offers thoroughly contemporary and pragmatic reflections on how best to live with serenity and joy.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion  

Influence

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

Meditations 

Meditations 

Written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. 

A Brief History of Time 

A Brief History of Time

In the ten years since its publication in 1988, Stephen Hawking’s classic work has become a landmark volume in scientific writing, with more than nine million copies in forty languages sold worldwide. That edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the intervening years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro-and the macrocosmic worlds

The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles 

The War of Art

The Art of War meets “The Artist’s Way” in this no-nonsense, profoundly inspiring guide to overcoming creative blocks of every kind.

This is Water 

This is Water

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 

Sapiens

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

So these were the top 10 non-fiction books of all time. If you liked this list then also read more amazing lists by clicking here.

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Top 10 Festivals in Maharashtra

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Top 10 Festivals in Maharashtra

Marathi people celebrate the festivals all the year, all are enthusiastic and have a special target to have the festivals.  Each festival has separate food item that includes too much fun, especially for kids.  In all festivals, blessings are important from your parents, teachers, and elder once.  Some are related to parents, some are related to siblings, some are related to a spouse, some are related to their families as well.  This is the way to show gratitude for the people you adore.  This brings more perfect bonds among all the relations.  We will be going through the top 10 festivals in detail.

Gudi Padwa –

The year starts on the first day of Chaitra known as Gudi Padwa] which falls around March or April of the Western calendar. A gudi or victory pole is erected outside the house on this day. The special dish on the day includes Shreekhand. Neem leaves are eaten on this day to ward off illness during the new year. Gudi Padwa, like Diwali Padwa and Dasara, is considered one of the three and a half auspicious days of the Marathi calendar. Astrological charts need not be consulted for conducting important ceremonies, such as weddings, on these days. During Chaitra, women also hold a Haladi-Tunku celebration. Chaitra is, however, considered inauspicious for weddings.

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Gudhi Padwa

Makar Sankranti –

This mostly falls on January 14 when the Sun enters Capricorn. In Maharashtra, the day is celebrated by giving and receiving sweets made of jaggery and sesame seeds called tilgool and halwa. During the exchanging of the sweets, people say to each other in Marathi “Til-gool Ghya aani God Bola” (rough translation Please accept my til-gool & be friendly to me or Take sweet, talk sweet”). Special chappati with jaggery (gool poli) is the dish of the day.

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Sankranti

Mangala Gaur – 

Pahili Mangala Gaur (first Mangala Gaur) celebration is one of the most important celebrations for the new brides. On the Tuesday of the month of Shravan after her marriage, the new bride performs Shivling puja for the well-being of her husband and new family. It is also a get-together for all women folks. It includes chatting, playing games, Ukhane (married women take their husband’s name woven in 2/4 rhyming liners), and great food. They typically play Jhimma, Fugadi, Bhendya till the wee hours of the next morning

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Mangala Gaur

Ram Navmi –

Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, the birthdays of Shree Ramchandra and Hanuman respectively are also celebrated in the month of Chaitra. Sunthawada/dinkawada, a snack usually eaten by new mothers is the snack of the day for Ram Navami.

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Ram Navami

Kojagiri Purnima –

In autumn Full Moon night is celebrated with sweetened milk. The firstborn in the family is also honored on this night.

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Kojagiri Purnima

Champa Shashti –

A six-day festival, from the first to sixth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Margashirsh, in honor of Khandoba is celebrated by many deshastha families. Ghatasthapana, similar to Navaratri, also takes place in Deshastha households during this festival. The sixth day is called Champa Sashthi.

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Champa Shasti At Jejuri

Maha Shivratri –

Worship day of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is pleased with austerities, so no sweets are prepared. A chutney made the fruit of the Kawath tree (curd fruit, elephant apple, monkey fruit, or wood apple) is the specialty of this day.

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Mahashivratri

Navaratri –

This festival starts on the first day of the Hindu month of Ashvin. The nine-day festival of Durga culminates in Vijayadashami (Dasara). This is one of the three auspicious days of the year. Traditionally, stars need not be consulted for starting a new project on this day. People also exchange leaves of Apti tree as a symbol of gold. During Navaratri women and girls hold bhondla, a singing party in honor of the Goddess. Some families also observe Navaratri in the spring season in addition to the Navaratri observed in winter.

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Devi Durga, Navaratri

Ganesh Utsav –

Festival of Lord Ganesh. Through, Lokamanya Tilak’s efforts Ganeshotsav became a public celebration a century ago. However, families install their own clay (called shadu in Marathi) Ganpati in their house on Ganesh Chaturthi for family observation of the festival. The private celebration can go on for 1½ days to full 10 days according to each family’s tradition. A Modak (steamed rice dumpling usually with a jaggery/coconut filling) is a sweet prepared for this occasion and is considered the favorite of Lord Ganesh. Ganeshotsav also incorporates the Gauri festival. people install statues of the Gauri. some people on the other hand use special rocks as symbols of Gauri. In some families, Gauri is also known as Mahalakshmi Puja. It is celebrated for three days; on the first day, Mahalakshmi’s arrival is observed. The ladies in the family will bring statues of Mahalakshmi from the door to the place where they will be worshipped. They are settled at a certain location (very near the Devaghar), adorned with clothes and ornaments. On the second day, the family members get together and prepare a meal of Puran poli. This day is the puja day of Mahalakshmi and the meal is offered to Mahalakshmi and her blessings sought. On the third day, Mahalakshmi goes to her husband’s home. Before the departure, ladies in the family will invite the neighborhood ladies for an exchange of Haldi-kumkum. It is customary for the whole family to get together during the three days of Mahalakshmi puja. Most families consider Mahalakshmi as their daughter who is living with her husband’s family all the year but visits her parents’ (Maher) during the three days.

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Ganesh Utsav

Diwali –

The festival of lights is celebrated over five days by the people of Maharashtra. Families celebrate this by waking up early in the morning and having an oil bath. People light their houses with lamps and burst firecrackers over the course of the festival. Special sweets and savories like anarse, karanji, Chakli, chivda, Ladoo are prepared for the festival. Vibrant Rangoli is made in front of the house. Kids make a replica fort in memory of  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha leader.

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Diwali or Dipawali

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