Diwali Festival of Lights Diwali derived from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” Deepa means light Avali means a row Diwali = Deepavali means a row of lights
Diwali is celebrated in the months of October/November on the darkest night (Amavasya) of this period. Hindus in India and across the globe celebrate Diwali. Diwali celebrations can last up to five days. Each region of the country celebrates the triumph of good over evil in a uniquely regional way.
Celebrations Include Lighting of Diyas or earthen lamps in every corner of homes. Decoration of homes in multi-colored and floral design (Rangoli). Visits to the temples and offerings to Lakshmi, the Goddess of spiritual and material prosperity
Celebrations Include Purchase of new Clothes Exchange of sweets with friends and neighbors. Fireworks
Significance of Diwali Diwali is based on spirituality, beliefs, myths and legends of the triumph of good over evil. Illumination of the diyas symbolizes the removal of spiritual darkness and the onset of wisdom or light. In Northern India, Diwali is a celebration of the welcome given to Lord Rama. In the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, his subjects welcome him after 14 years of exile from his kingdom. Lord Rama destroys the evil ruler of Lanka, Ravan, during his exile. Diwali is also the start of the new year for Hindus in the northern regions of India.
The triumph of good over evil Lord Krishna destroying the evil demon Narakasura for abducting the females of the community. In Southern India, Diwali is celebrated for the triumph of Lord Vishnu over Hiranyakashapu, an evil and unjust king.
Lighting a Lamp • Lamps are lit for daily worship, rituals • and festivals • Symbolizes KNOWLEDGE, as opposed to darkness or ignorance • Knowledge is lasting INNER wealth – A lamp is lit to bow to knowledge as the greatest form of wealth • God is “Knowledge Principle”, the source of all knowledge; thus light is worshipped as the Lord Himself • Oil or ghee in lamp – our “vasanas” or negative tendencies • Wick – the ego
When lit by spiritual knowledge, the “vasanas’ get slowly exhausted, and the ego too finally perishes • Flame burns upwards • Similarly, acquiring knowledge takes us towards higher ideals • A single lamp can light hundredsof lamps • Similarly a man of knowledge can share knowledge with others without diminishing his own knowledge