Diwali illuminates millions of houses and hearts not just in India but in most Indian lives settled even abroad. It preaches the message of friendship, love and togetherness. Light depicts of hope, success, knowledge and fortune. Diwali reinforces our faith in these virtues of life and is the resemblance of everything that is ‘good’. This festival has been the core of many mythological stories.
Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya on this day along with Sita and Lakshman after he attained victory over Ravana, the ten headed demon king of Lanka. On this occasion, the local people lit earthen lamps and burst crackers to welcome their King and queen back to the throne.
This day is also celebrated as the union of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu in heaven.
In Bengal, this day is celebrated to worship the most powerful Goddess of ‘shakti’ – Devi Kali. In the Jain culture, this day is of utmost importance as Mahavira attained the final ‘nirvana‘ on this day. In ancient India, this day was celebrated as the harvest festival. Diwali is celebrated quite differently across India. One thing that remains common is that every village, town and city is lit up with thousands of lamps everywhere. This lighting of lamps symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.
Diwali always starts with a thorough cleaning and decoration of the home. This is also a time to make traditional rangolis. People visit each other, dress up resplendently, exchange gifts, conduct rituals and poojas and come together to enjoy feasts and burst firecrackers.
In northern India, Diwali is seen as a celebration of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after fourteen years in the forest. On this moonless night, people are said to have welcomed him home by lighting thousands of lamps in his honor.
In western parts of India, Diwali is considered the beginning of a new year and the central theme is worshipping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
In eastern parts of the country, the day of Diwali is devoted to Kali and is celebrated as Kali Puja.Diwali or Deepavali is a grand festival that is an integral part of the India’s vast cultural milieu. As with all Indian festivals, Diwali also has a spiritual significance. Known as the “festival of lights”, it is common to celebrate Diwali by lighting lamps and bursting crackers. There are many stories around Diwali in the popular culture but many may not be aware of the Yogic significance of this night and how it can also become a potent possibility for the spiritual aspirant.
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