“Diwali” or “Deepawali” is the biggest and the brightest of all the festivals celebrated across India as well as the whole world. Such is the magic of this festival that throughout the four-day celebrations, it literally illumines the whole nation with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. Though each of the four days during Diwali are separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment, and goodness.
Going by history, the festival of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest festival. However, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali or ‘Deepawali.’ Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the dark goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshiped in most Hindu homes on this day. In Jainism, Deepawali has an added significance to the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana.
Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.
Each day of Diwali has its own tale, legend, and myth to tell, but one should not forget that each of these legends, myths, and story lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Deepawali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope. So, this Diwali, merge yourself into the light of lights who is Supreme of all and enlighten yourself from within.
Light a lamp of love, blast a chain of sorrow, shoot a rocket of prosperity, fire a flowerpot of happiness…here’s wishing a very Happy Diwali to all of you.
(The writer is a spiritual educator and popular columnist for publications across India, Nepal and the UK)
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