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Spirituality

Updated on: Thursday, November 04, 2021, 07:35 AM IST

Diwali 2021: Celebrating Lakshmi and the homecoming of Rama

The most popular story associated with Diwali is that of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile to the forests.
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The festival of lights, Deepavali, is celebrated on the 15th day of the Kartik Krishna Paksha and falls on November 4 this year, which is today. Considered the most auspicious day of the holiest month in the Hindu calendar, Diwali is the biggest festival celebrated by Hindus across the globe. The festival is synonymous with new clothes, sweets, gifts, family get-togethers, lights, and crackers.

Lakshmi puja

The third day of the five-day festivity is celebrated by performing Lakshmi puja and welcoming Goddess Lakshmi in our homes. It is believed that the Goddess visits the homes of her devotees to bless them with good health, prosperity, abundance, and wealth. After cleaning their homes, people decorate them with garlands made of marigold flowers and ashoka leaves, light lamps on the doorways and windows of their homes, and perform Lakshmi puja. Goddess Lakshmi symbolises wealth, prosperity and abundance, and we must seek her blessings to gain wealth in all forms: Knowledge, health, the well-being of our loved ones. Lord Ganesha is also worshipped on Diwali to seek wisdom and knowledge.

Lord Rama returns home

The most popular story associated with Diwali is that of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile to the forests. He returned after killing the unjust and greedy king of Lanka, Ravana on Vijayadashmi. The people of Ayodhya were overjoyed on the arrival of their Prince that they lit up the entire city with earthen lamps, hence the birth of this festival of lights. Lord Rama reached Ayodhya 21 days after Vijayadashami on the Amavasya of the Kartik Krishna Paksha.

Diwali in our lives

Lord Rama’s return and the importance of this festival are deeply interwoven: It marks the victory of good over evil; it reminds us that even the darkest night of the month can be made the brightest; that light will always find its way into dark nights when God arrives, but most importantly Lord Rama’s return teaches us that it took 14 years, an exile to the forests with many hardships (like crossing the sea to an island) to make Prince Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu himself, a 'Maryada Purushottam'. Compared to what God himself underwent, our hardships are trivial. So, this Diwali, we must express gratitude for all that we have, and seek strength to persevere through the difficulties we face.

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Published on: Thursday, November 04, 2021, 07:35 AM IST
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