Diwali, a festival predominantly celebrated in Bharat, is one of the most beautiful and colorful festival and is popularly known as ‘The Festival Of Lights’. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
The significance of this festival varies with religions in India. One tradition links this festival with the legend in the Hindu Mythology – Ramayana. It says that Diwali is the day Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman reached Ayodhya(Ramas Kingdom) after a period in exile and Rama’s army of good defeated demon king Ravana’s army of evil. (Wiki).
So the question that can arise in one’s mind is – So how does that matter to me? How does it help me if Rama returned to Ayodhya? If you take this above-mentioned story as is then Diwali doesn’t really make a difference in our lives but if we understand the spiritual significance of this story, really capture the essence that this story is trying to share then this makes sense to every soul on this planet.
This story is also a metaphor for the present times. It was Sita who was in Ravana’s bondage and Rama frees Sita from Ravana and destroys Ravana. It is ‘I’ the soul (Sita) who is currently in the bondage of the ‘inner demons’ or vices(Ravana) as a result of body consciousness(Find more on body consciousness here) It is Rama (The symbolic representation of God) who liberates the soul(Sita) from the bondage of vices and negativity(Ravana). It is when the Supreme Soul gives us knowledge of the self and when the soul connects with the Supreme Soul, the soul receives the power to finish off all the negativities and weaknesses inside and is liberated from the bondage of Ravana. The soul realizes its unlimitedness and doesn’t sub-consciously identify with its limited form anymore. It is then we emerge our true sanskaras at its fullest which is love, peace, purity and happiness and establish the kingdom of God in our hearts. This is when we can say the soul is ‘lit’. This is true Diwali. That is why we lit diyas in Diwali, it is a symbolic representation of a soul which is completely awakened.
To celebrate this day, people clean their homes and offices, light diyas in their houses and buy new things for themselves during this time, discard the unwanted old things, gift each other sweets and invite Laxmi(Goddess of Wealth) in their lives.
Let’s discuss the essence of all these practices:-
People clean their homes and remove the old things which are not required anymore. It is considered that if we have these old things that don’t serve us anymore then the Goddess of Wealth won’t bless us with wealth and prosperity. The way we clean each corner of our houses we need to clean each and every corner of our minds. Not to keep any trace of the dirt of negativity in our minds. We need to let go of the old belief systems that don’t serve us anymore. Old belief systems which are holding us back to live life at our fullest potential. Letting go of the old sanskaras and habits which are not doing us any good instead keeping the soul in bondage and not allowing it to fly (We will discuss this in more detail in later posts).
People buy new clothes and other necessary things during Diwali. Along with buying new things we need to make sure we inculcate new habits that will ensure that our lives will be full of prosperity. We should wear the dress of new sanskaras and let go of the old ones which don’t serve us anymore.
Gifting Sweets – As we share sweets with everyone in Diwali let us also share sweet words and good wishes for everyone. Let us be kind, considerate and caring in our relationships.
Lighting the Diyas – As we light the Diyas let us also ignite the awareness of ‘Who Am I’. I am a soul, full of peace, love, purity, and happiness. I am a child of God.
Let us let go of our belief systems and old sanskaras which are not serving us anymore and wear the dress of new sanskaras. Let us gift each other pure feelings and good wishes. Let us keep the Diya of our awareness always ‘lit’ and establish the kingdom of God in our hearts. It is only then we will truly invite wealth and prosperity in our lives. One lit diya will light other diyas and eventually when enough of us are ‘lit’ or in other words when enough of us establish the kingdom of God inside of us, the kingdom of God(RamaRajya) will be established on Earth too and that will be true Diwali.