Happy Diwali or Deepavali to all those of you who are celebrating it around the world. Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights. But not only Hindus celebrate this festival. Jains and Sikhs are among other faiths that dive into the celebrations with great fervor.
The festival falls between mid-October and mid-December. It is a time of the year when Hindus renovate, clean and paint their home. Families buy new clothes for everyone to get dressed up in on the day, lavish meals and sweets are prepared and fireworks are set off to celebrate what is probably the biggest festival in the faith.
When you read about Diwali you quite often come across it being described as a Festival of Lights representing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. All true but I do want to pick at one of the words in that phrase – “good over evil”. In Hinduism we believe that God permeates everything. God is in me, in you, in the trees, the stones and everything and everyone. Based on this philosophy Hindus do not believe then that there is an entity that is purely evil. God is in all and therefore everything in its essence is God. There is no evil but only temporary states of confusion and hellish states of mind.
Amidst all the celebration of Diwali, it is good to take some time in silent reflection on what this festival is all about. Diwali is very much about bringing light into the darker areas of the mind to gain a greater clarity on the meaning and purpose of life. This is symbolically represented outwardly by the lighting of lamps. On this day around the world millions of lamps are lit to signify this.
So, Diwali is light shining forth into darker areas bringing clarity thus understanding which gives birth to empathy, compassion and love.
Happy Diwali one and all!