Diwali, known as the ‘festival of lights’ is celebrated in India with much pomp and fervor, lights, crackers, sweets, new clothes, holiday delight and cheer all around. The significance of this festival has evolved to become a time for family, bonding, connecting with friends and relatives.
The festival is marked by a cleansing of the home, surrounding and ‘bringing in the light.’ Lamps are lit inside and outside the homes to signify the light being welcomed into their lives. This festival also welcomes prosperity and abundance and marks the arrival of all good things and good times.
According to Hindu mythology, this festival is symbolic of the celebration of the return of Lord Vishnu in the reincarnation of Rama. Rama returns to Ayodhya post his 14 years of exile, after his triumph over the evil demon king, Ravan. In South India, the significance of Diwali is the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes good luck, prosperity, fortune, and wealth is believed to visit the realms of human existence and is said to enter auspicious and clean homes who are welcoming of her energy.
Many homes and families report a turn in events after the festival of lights, news of prosperity, abundance, and wealth fill their ears and those of close friends, depending on the good karma they have accumulated and the blessings of light.
The triumph of Ram over Ravan is figurative of the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Rightly, understanding the totality of nature the merging darkness and light, it is further signified by the lit diya, laying emphasis on the lighter side of things. The lighting of the lamp works as a protection charm for those who burn bright with good, pure and clean intentions.
Yogic philosophy speaks of an inner light, a fire. Ayurveda speaks of a fiery element within us ‘pitta’, an internal force which drives us forward, towards an external light, filling us with the passion to pave our paths towards abundance.
The celebration of Diwali also marks a personal triumph, each one of us may have had different experiences through the year, but it has shaped us through the months. We have learnt to surrender, grow and face our demons, come to a deep acceptance about certain parts of ourselves and conquered our insecurities. Now we celebrate that parts of us which stuck with us and helped us ignite our inner light warriors.
Festivals are about friends family, loved ones and those who surround you. When you celebrate together, you also recognize the parts which brighten their inner joy and makes them alive. This may be a very philosophically challenging idea to digest, but festivals are what the culture and tradition make it out to be and WE are the ones who create new cultures.
The world is evolving towards a much better tomorrow, with every Diwali, more acceptance, love and more souls unafraid to celebrate the light in each other.
Diwali is truly the festival of lights, Happy Diwali!