“Diwali is the day when we harvest the results of our hard work blessed with wealth by Mother Lakshmi. We pray to her with gratitude and ask the gracious Divine Mother to shower Her blessings in abundance for the coming year, give us the intelligence to use our wealth in the right manner and give us the heart to share it generously with our fellow beings.” – Swami Tejomayananda
In India, festivals are not only known for the celebrations and festivities, but also for their spiritual significance, inspiring us to raise the standard of our life. Rather than merely exhausting ourselves physically and mentally, they purify the mind, enabling us to face life with more enthusiasm.
And with Diwali here, let us take a closer look at the great significance it has.
Diwali is a contraction of the word “Deepavali” which means a row of lights or a billion lights. As you know, all festivals in India have special social, cultural and religious significance. And most of the festivals in the Hindu culture are meant to celebrate the victory of good over evil. In this sense, Diwali is a day of many blessings.
It is the day when the wickedness, jealousy and greed in Kaikeyi accepted defeat and when the love, dedication and service of Bharat, won. It is the day when Sri Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya. Happiness, peace and harmony returned to Ayodhya—the land of no conflict. Sri Ram represents honesty and firm adherence to duty; Sita embodies faith and devotion; Lakshman personifies detachment.
For this homecoming, lamps of peace are lit. It is the day Sri Krishna killed Narakasura—the demon of sorrow and hell, who had kidnapped and imprisoned 16,000 princesses for his harem. It is the day when the selfish ego, which has entrapped all the 16,000 thought-varieties, is killed and all thoughts get wedded to the one infinite blissful consciousness, Sri Krishna Paramatma—the supreme Self in all. When our mind turns towards the infinite Self, the sense of limitation along with its selfishness ends.
For this knowledge, lamps of joy are lit.
It is the day when we harvest the results of our hard work blessed with wealth by Mother Lakshmi. We pray to her with gratitude and ask the gracious Divine Mother to shower Her blessings in abundance for the coming year, give us the intelligence to use our wealth in the right manner and give us the heart to share it generously with our fellow beings.
For this sharing, lamps of love are lit. Fill the heart with the oil of love. Place in it the wick of single-pointed mind. Light it with the knowledge of truth and remove the darkness of ignorance around you. Just as one lamp can light many lamps; let each one kindle this light in many hearts.
» Swami Tejomayananda, head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, is an orator, poet, singer, composer and storyteller.