Deepavali,the brightest of all festivals
The Hindu festival of lights, known as Deepavali or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all festivals. A festival marked by four days of celebration, Diwali is witnessed all around India and also celebrated in different parts the world. A beautiful and one of the most pious occasions, Diwali is the time that illuminates the country with its sheer magic and brilliance and dazzles people everywhere with joy and celebration.Diwali is most often celebrated around late October or early November. According to the Hindu calendar, in the month of Kartik, Diwali falls on the 15th day, and hence it varies every year. All the four days in Diwali have their unique traditions that fill people with good, love, peace and a rejuvenated mind, not to forget unadulterated happiness.
History and origin:
The history of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it most likely began as an important harvest festival. However, there are several legends pointing to the origins of Diwali.There are many who believe Diwali to be the celebration to mark the wedding of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, with Lord Vishnu. Others think it to be a celebration of Lakshmi’s birthday, as Lakshmi is said to have been born on the new-moon day of Kartik.
In Bengal, the Deepavali, or Deepabali, is dedicated to the worship of the powerful goddess Kali, the dark goddess of strength. The elephant god Lord Ganesha is also worshipped in some homes on Diwali, because he is a symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom. In certain Jain homes, Diwali has the added significance of marking the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana.Diwali is not only important to Hindus, but, is also celebrated among Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. For Hindus, it often signifies the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over Ravana.Ram, on that special day, was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of diyas (clay oil lamps), lightened throughout the kingdom. Thus, the tradition of lighting oil lamps on Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.
Importance and Significance:
With all the lights and diyas, eradicating dark shadows and evil, and all the prayers and love among people create a wonderful atmosphere full of goodness and purity. The festival of Diwali fills everyone’s hearts with an aura of purity and a happy, compassionate mood.Diwali is not just the lights, gambling, and fun-filled surprises and gifts; Diwali is also a time to reflect on one’s life, past deeds and making the right changes for the upcoming year.Diwali is also a celebration to give and forgive. It is a common practice in Diwali for people to forget and forgive the injustices and grudges. People celebrate with an air of freedom, festivity, and friendliness everywhere.
Diwali marks the birth of a new and rejuvenated soul. A happy and refreshed mind during Diwali encourages a person to make changes as a healthy, ethical individual, who will be more efficient in their work, and will also be spiritually advanced.
Diwali is a celebration that unites people from every corner, religion and caste. The simple smile and a kind, accommodating heart melt even the hardest of hearts. It is a time when people mingle about in joy and embrace one another.
A celebration of prosperity, Diwali gives us the strength and the zeal to carry on with our work and goodwill for the rest of the year and thus, promising us success and prosperity. Thus, people give gifts to employees, family, and friends.
Most importantly, Diwali illuminates our inner self. The lights of Diwali also signify a time to destroy all our dark desires, dark thoughts, and foster a deeper, inner illumination and self-reflection. (Courtesy ToI)