According to the legend, there was an ‘Asura’ King
named ‘Naraka’. He was a tyrant. He oppressed his
people, imprisoned many women and children and fought with
‘Indra’, the king of ‘Devas’.
The tyranny became intolerable, the people
appealed to ‘Sri Krishna’, the ruler of ‘Mathura’.
‘Sri Krishna’ confronted ‘Naraka’, killed him and
his lieutenants and freed all the prisoners.
The people were overjoyed and accompanied
‘Krishna’ on his triumphant return to ‘Dvaraka’,
the capital of ‘Mathura’. When they reached ‘Dvaraka’,
it was a new moon night and the city was in darkness. So
the people of ‘Dvaraka’ welcomed the victorious ‘Sri
Krishna’ and his followers with lighted lamps, which
illuminated the entire city. He commented the day to be
celebrated annually with lighted lamps, oil baths and
other appropriate festivities.
The oil bath has special significance as ‘Sri
Krishna’ smeared his body with oil and took a dip in the
river to cleanse himself. Traditionally, oil baths on a
new moon day was a forbidden practice. However, as he was
actually Lord ‘Vishnu’, one of the manifestations of
‘Brahman’ (the Supreme God), he was above all rules
and practices. So believers take oil baths in honour of