Diwali is the celebration of the light of love and wisdom. It was on this day that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, his Kingdom, after his victory over Ravana, the demon king. Ayodhya means that which cannot be destroyed, i.e. life. Ram means the Atma (the Self). When self rules in life, then knowledge lights up. There is life everywhere. But when the spirit is awakened in life, it is Diwali.
Though there are many legends about the festival, Diwali is essentially celebrated to light wisdom in every heart, and to bring a smile on every face. Life has many facets and stages to it. It is important that you throw light on all of them. For, if one aspect of your life is in darkness, there can be no complete expression of life. That’s why rows of lights are lit in Diwali to remind you that every aspect of life needs your attention and light of knowledge.
Another profound symbolism is in the firecrackers. In life, you often become like a firecracker, waiting to explode with your pent-up emotions, frustration and anger. When you keep suppressing your emotions, cravings, aversions, hatred, it is bound to reach a bursting point. Bursting crackers is a psychological exercise created by the ancient people to release bottled-up emotions. When you see an explosion outside, you feel similar sensations within you as well. Along with the explosion, there is so much light. So when you let go of these emotions, serenity dawns.
Diwali is a celebration to forget the bickering and negativities that have happened through the year. It is a time when you throw light on the wisdom you have gained and welcome a new beginning. When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration. Often in celebrations, you tend to lose focus or awareness. To maintain awareness in the midst of celebrations, the ancient rishis brought sacredness and puja (rituals) to every celebration. For the same reason, Diwali is also the time for pujas.
This Diwali, celebrate with knowledge and take a sankalpa (intention) to serve humanity. Light the lamp of love in your heart; the lamp of abundance in your home; the lamp of compassion to serve others; the lamp of Knowledge to dispel the darkness of ignorance and the lamp of gratitude for the abundance that the Divine has bestowed on us.