Prepare to Brighten Your World!
When the sun goes down this weekend, the lights will come up around the world. Hundreds of millions of people from every walk of life, race and religion, from Mumbai to Mexico City, from Tokyo to Toronto and from the tiniest of Indian villages to the largest cosmopolitan metropolis, will join together to illuminate the darkness by celebrating Diwali—The Festival of Lights.
Diwali is the most famous, joyous and beloved of all Hindu festivals, not to mention the brightest. It is celebrated with city-wide carnivals, community dances beneath colorful street lighting, candlelit communal dinners and massive firework displays.
And of course, there are many reverent religious ceremonies in temples and homes commemorating the festival’s ancient and sacred origins—the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil.
According to tradition, the first Diwali was celebrated in honor of Lord Rama’s victory over an army of demons led by Ravana, the demon king and ruler of darkness. The name of the festival itself is derived form the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians keep lit on their doorsteps to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. Lakshmi, the goddess of joy, good fortune and prosperity, is also honored during Diwali. It is said that she travels the Earth on this special night, entering houses that are clean, pure and bright and to bestow her blessings upon the inhabitants.
Astrologically, the festival coincides with the October new moon—a period with no lunar light to guide us into and through the long, dark winter nights. The lights of Diwali signal that we are entering this darkness with our souls ablaze in divine love and awareness.
While it is easy to get caught up in the festive atmosphere, colorful clothing and delicious treats that are part of Diwali, it is important to remember the spiritual message this celebration has carried for countless generations since time immemorial: There are dark forces at work in the universe that can only be vanquished by the light of personal spiritual awareness.
So, no matter how you celebrate Diwali this year, take a moment to light a candle and say a prayer of thanks and gratitude to your own higher power for the love that shines on us even in the darkest night.
Light up the darkness and have a Happy Diwali!
We are celebrating a Diwali meditation at our Wellness Center in Cheneville Saturday, October 29th from 6 to 8 pm. Please call in advance our toll-free number 866.428.3799 so we can reserve a spot for you.