Naraka Chaturdashi is a Hindu festival, which falls on Chaturdashi of the Krishna Paksha in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. It is also known as Roop Chaturdashi; Kali Chaturdashi and Choti Diwali.
Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Mahakali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the asura. People celebrate this day to rid themselves of evil, negativities, laziness, and evil.
It signifies riddance from everything negative and things that stop us from walking the right path. One of the most important aspects of Narak Chaturdashi is Abhyang Snan. It is believed that people, who do Abhyang Snan on this day, can avoid going to Narak.
Til (i.e. sesame) oil should be used for Ubtan during Abhyang Snan. It is believed that Lord Krishna, after killing Narakasura took an oil bath. Hence taking an oil bath as a ritual on this day is considered auspicious.
Abhyang Snan on Narak Chaturdashi might be one day before or on same day of Lakshmi Puja day on English Calendar. When Chaturdashi Tithi prevails before sunrise and Amavasya Tithi prevails after sunset then Narak Chaturdashi and Lakshmi Puja fall on the same day.
Abhyang Snan is always done during moonrise but before sunrise while Chaturdashi Tithi is prevailing. The Muhurta window for Abhyang Snan is between moonrise and sunrise while Chaturdashi Tithi prevails.
After you are done with the bath, pray to the God of Death, Yamraj by joining both hands facing towards south. By doing this you are relieved from your past sins. On this day, light an oiled diya at the right side of your main door in the honor of Lord Yamraj.
We have many names for Narak Chaturdashi but naming Roop Chaturdashi has a purposeful reason. We praise Lord Krishna on this day as it leads to the beautification of our body, our Roop.
In the rest of India, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated the following night, which is the no-moon night called as Amavasya. It is called Deepavali Bhogi in some parts of South India.
In the evening of Narak Chaturdashi, all the Gods are worshipped before lighting up an oiled diya, which then kept on both sides of the entrance area of the main door. It can also be placed at the work place.
It is believed that by doing this you are inviting the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi to make herself at home and bring abundance with her. On this day it advised to throw away all the useless stuff out of the house as removal of poverty.
THE KILLING OD THE DEVIL NAMED NARAKASURA:
There once lived an evil named Narakasura who with his supernatural abilities made it impossible for all the priests and saints to live in peace. Things took a turn for the worse when he took 16000 of the gods’ wives as hostage.
Bearing every possible torture that the Narakasura could throw at them, the saints and priests went to Lord Krishna for help. Lord Krishna assured all the troubled saints and priests that justice would be served to the guilty party.
Narakasura was cursed that he would die off the hands of a woman. So very cleverly, Lord Krishna took help of his wife in the month of Kartik, on a Krishna paksha of the 14th day of the waning moon.
Lord Krishna finally brought upon justice by putting Narakasura to the sword. Once the devil was dead, the 16000 hostage were freed. These 16000 hostage then came to be known as Patraniya.
After the death of Narakasura on the New moon of the month of Kartik, people light up diyas to celebrate Narak Chaturdashi and Diwali.