DIWALI – A Historical Event with Modern Day Relevance
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is an annual celebration which is embraced and celebrated by almost every distinction and strata of our society. In this time and age, the festival transcends economic, social and religious barriers. To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces- wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering.
The occasion is unique in every regard as it exhibits man’s faith and determination to convert Amawaasya (Dark Night), the darkest period of the lunar month, into a mist illuminated night. The high point of the Hindu Life is self-realisation. Diwali provides the opportunity for introspection and self-analysis, i.e., to rekindle the flame of positivity within. The deep significance of Diwali must never be allowed to elude us as a people, instead, the festival should be used to build bridges of love and unity rather than to construct walls of division.
The universal principle is to ignite the light of wisdom so that it could permeate our entire being and of those whom we connect with. Maha Lakshmi is a total representation of the eight cardinal virtues of life (Ashta Siddhi). Diwali, like other Hindu festivals, depicts spirituality transcending physical acquisition which is a product of our lower nature. Man, in general, is a product of duality. He is unnecessarily affected by the pairs of opposites which is influenced by ignorance. Diwali, in essence, is the sum total of that principle which is rooted in wisdom, truth and goodness. May this Diwali increase the capacities of all those who act in conformity with the principles of truth and goodness. Happy Diwali to All from the Viraat Sabha – Guyana.
In each legend, myth and story of Diwali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Diwali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope. From darkness unto light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope.