My first recollections of Diwali in distant childhood are of immense joy: fireworks, diwas, nice food, presents, time-off school, spending time with friends and relatives, and a general feeling of happiness. How can anyone not grow up loving such a festival?
This greatest of festivals is a time when we take a step back from the entanglements and stress that keeps us divided, bringing us all together. Diwali always creates an atmosphere of joy and goodwill, not just in our own circle, but in the entire society and nation!
It is a festival of inner and outer light and a time of great hope, with many divine legends of great meaning and evocative power.
It marks new beginnings and a renewal of commitment to family values. It represents joy, love, success, forgiveness, light and knowledge – all qualities embodies by Shri Rama. Diwali symbolises the eternal hope that Rama Rajya (the rule of Dharma) will come once more, celebrating Rama and Sita’s return to Ayodhya after the trials and tribulations of their exile.
Other important aspects of Diwali celebrations include the victory of Shri Krishna over Narakasur, the worship of Maha Lakshmi (Dhanteras) and Mother Kali (on Kali Choudas), the financial New Year, and the celebration of the sacred bonds between brothers and sisters (Bhai Beej / Bhai Dooj).
I wish you all a very auspicious and happy Diwali. May the entire world be illumined!
NB – This year Diwali falls on 3rd November.
For more information / further reading on Diwali, check out the following:
More than a festival… Deepavali – By Aravindam Neelakandan
Meaning of Diwali – Swami Chidanand Saraswati