Updated: Oct 22, 2022
I love this festival! And I miss Mumbai even more during Diwali!
It comes from the Sanskrit word "Dipavali". "Dipa" means "light, illumination, or knowledge" and "avali" means "a series or row".
It is celebrated as a victory of Light over Darkness.
Also, birth of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. So victory of prosperity over bad luck.
And, return of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram, Mata Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumana to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. So, victory of Good over Evil.
<If you know of anymore reasons then please do share>
As a child, for me, Diwali was all about, getting up early, very early, 4 am to be given an oil bath by the elders.
Doing a Puja.
Putting on new clothes.
Taking blessings (and money) from elders.
And, bursting loads of crackers.
Over the years, I have gone through my journey of enjoying the festival to questioning it to ridiculing it at times avoiding it to actually having developed a sense of my own understanding of what it signifies!
Haven't we all at times, looked at our Indian festivals with a sense of cynicism and a feeling of it being nothing more than superstitious traditions.
But only if we could be a bit open to understand the symbolism of it, the messaging of it, I believe we have the opportunity to change ourselves and our society at large.
So let me share my thoughts on what it means to me today:
The oil bath signifies removing the evils of ego, and anger, and bad luck. Just like oil does to the toxins when applied on the skin.
The new clothes signifies starting afresh. Shedding the old self.
The blessings from elders signify that they are always there for me. No matter what.
The lighting of Diyas to bring light in our own lives as well as in the lives of others. To remove darkness from our minds and lives. To move away from ignorance.
The making of Sweets to share happiness within and with others.
Remember to be good despite the odds. Goodness goes a long way.
To the many of you this may not make sense. Which is fine. To each their own.
But I sincerely hope though you use this as an opportunity to bring something better in your life.
Here's wishing you and family a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Diwali!