Narak Chaturdashi, also known as Choti Diwali, is the most auspicious day during Diwali festival as it is the day during which demon Narakasura was demolished by Lord Krishna.
As per the Puranas, those who perform bath ritual before sunrise would get rid of Yam lok darshan. They will not get Narak praptthi. ‘Apamarga Prokshana’ is the main ritual to perform on Naraka Chaturdashi as per the Holy Scriptures. Naraka Chaturdashi 2012 date is November 12.
Before sunrise, oil is applied on the head and apamarga prokshana is performed. It means rubbing the stem or flowers or leaves of Calotropis gigantean on the head while reciting the following mantra:
Sithaloshta samayoktham sakantaka dalaanvitham
Hara papa mapaamaarga bhramyamanah punah punah //
After performing ritual bath, Jala Tharpana is observed for three times. It is known as Yama Tharpan. Deep Daan (donating diyas) is performed after Yama Tharpanam and Devata puja.
Devotees to light Diyas or Deepa for three days – Dhanvantari Trayodashi, Naraka Chaturdashi, and Deepavali Amavasya to get the benefits or merits of the vrata. Some devotees observe ‘Eka bhuktham’ (single meal fasting).
King Maha Bali worshipped Lord Vamana to bless those devotees with happiness who light lamps for Yama Dharma Raja during Dhan Trayodashi, Narak Chaturdasi, and Diwali. And he also prayed to him to give endless wealth to those who observe Lakshmi Puja during these days.
It is to note that Calotropis gigantean is known as Jilledu in Telugu, Mudar in Hindi, Ekkamale in Kannada, Erukkalai in Tamil, and Aka in Marathi.
In the previous article, you can read the Narak Chaturdashi Mantras