Diwali Greetings to All!
At this auspicious time of the year, when Diwali – the Festival of Lights is just around the corner, we would like to share with you insights on what Diwali is, what its significance is and how celebrating this auspicious occasion benefits you.
Diwali the ‘Festival of Lights’ is one of the most prominent festival in India, celebrated with great warmth, joy, and shining grandeur, just like Christmas! The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means a row of lights. [Deep = light and avali = a row]
The festival falls on the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu lunar month Kartika that happens between mid-October to mid-November.
Diwali is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh incarnation of the God Vishnu. It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness).
The Goddess of wealth, happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, is also worshipped during Diwali.
It is believed that She roams the earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual essence is “the awareness of the inner light”.
SIGNIFICANCE OF DIWALI
The festival of Diwali is an occasion of high spiritual value as it signifies the opening of our own true light which sparkles within us and sharing this glow with others as well. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and right over wrong.
It is a time to illuminate your soul and in its brilliance, allow it to dazzle with bliss.
The celebrations for Diwali usually extends over a five day period, though the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the new moon night.
The festivity starts with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi and then Diwali on the third day. Thereafter is Diwali Padva or Govardhan Puja on the forth day and Bhai-Dhuj on the fifth and last day of the 5 day long celebration.
Each day of the festival is celebrated in its own special ways. Here are the five days and the significance:
The 5 day Diwali festival starts with the celebration of Weath and Abundance. The first day of the festival is known as “Dhanteras” (Dhan-te-ras) in Hindi and “Dhanatrayodashi” (Dhana-tra-yo-dashi) in Sanskrit. The word Dhana means wealth and Trayodashi means 13th day as per lunar calendar.
On this day, special significance is the worship of the deities of Wealth and Abundance – Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity and well being) and Lord Kubera (God of assets and wealth). It is customary to purchase precious metals like gold and silver on this day. Also people buy new utensils to bring in abundance to their homes.
The second day of the five-day-long festival of Diwali, Naraka Chaturdasi (Na-ra-ka Chat-ur-das-i) is symbolic of eliminating darkness from our lives and shining light to make our lives lighter and brighter.
Per the Hindu mythology, the asura (demon) Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna and Goddess Kali on this day. It is the day to abolish laziness and evil which create misery in our life so that we can empower ourselves with light, success and prosperity.
The main day of the festive celebration. While lights are lit all through the 5 days, special lighting, prayers, food and fun activities form a part of the celebration.
Diwali Padwa or Govardhan Puja
The 4th day of the Diwali celebrations is known by the names of ‘Diwali Padwa & Govardhan Puja’. This day marks the beginning of the spring season and is celebrated as the New Year in some parts of India.
The festival represents triumph over evil and ushers peace, prosperity and happiness in this world. It also symbolizes love and devotion to Lord Krishna.
On this day, businessmen open their account books afresh, every kind of transaction, receipt or payment and business is postponed. This day is looked upon as the most auspicious day to start any new venture.
Bhai Duj is the fifth or last day of the Diwali celebrations. This festival is celebrated as a mark of strengthening of the family bond.
Diwali is that time of the year when it is considered beneficial to refresh and renew all energies around you. Preparations include cleaning, renovating, and decorating the the home and work place.
On the Diwali day, people light divas (oil lamps), candles, colorful light decorations and also make rangoli (floor art made with colorful petals, rice, and flour) to beautify the space. The illumination of the homes, prayers and chanting, fire crackers in the skies, and all forms of expression of obeisance to the heavens for receiving health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity are made. People offer sweets, food, jewelry, clothes and other items to the Gods and Goddesses.
Just like Christmas, it is a time people give gifts to family and friends. In addition to the abundance being observed, charity and selfless giving are practiced, in line with the theme of “it is in giving that you receive”.
The 5 days of Diwali is a time for generating abundance and practicing the art of giving!
OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF THE CELEBRATION
The Divine Bliss family will be in honoring and appreciating all the universal Cosmic Light energies on this day. We will be lighting candles, presenting offerings from the heart, and saying prayers of thanks to the energies of the Divine Beings and Saints who have touched our lives in their unique ways.
You are welcome to join us for the festive celebrations graced by our beautiful, loving Guruji Sri Sri Poonamji who has blessed us with the opportunity to provide you with an avenue to open yourself to your own true self in love and light.