Today’s the `Festival of Lights’ all o’er;
A joyful day for minds and hearts and souls;
And people throng the Temples to offer,
Prayers, resolving to take better roles.
And most of them are richly clad and clean,
And eat such dainty foods and sweets with mirth;
Whilst noisy crackers burst,their lights are seen,
It seems to be a happy day on Earth!
But are there not hearts woe-filled, very sad?
Denied of laughter, smiles for days;
Today’s the triumph of Good over bad;
But what about the wastage in much ways?
So give, share and enjoy;
True joy is when you see someone else smile!
True charity gives joy in Heav’nly style.
Dr John Celes
Deepavali as explained by:(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The Spiritual significance
While Deepavali or Divali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light".
Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman.
Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Deepavali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality.
With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge).
This brings Ananda (inner joy or inner peace).
The gunas are the underlying forces or tendencies which one needs to have unaffected, direct relation with in order to find effectiveness and righteousness in life: they are lines of potential and illuminate thought and action, thus the inner meaning of Diwali being the festival of lights.Deepavali celebrates this through festive fireworks, lights, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship.
While the story behind Dipavali varies from region to region, the essence is the same - to rejoice in the inner light (Atman) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman).
Hindus have several significant events associated with it:
Return of Rama to Ayodhya:
Deepavali also celebrates the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed Ravana. It is believed that the people of Ayodhya lit ghee lamps along the way to light their path in the darkness. Since Ram traveled from South India to his kingdom in North India, he passed through the south earlier. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated a day earlier in South India. Deepavali usually comes 19 or 20 days after Dasara.
The Killing of Narakasura:
Celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi, one day before Deepavali day, it commemorates the killing of Narakasura, an evil demon who created havoc, by Krishna's wife Satyabhama. This happened in the Dwapara Yuga during this time of Krishna's avatar.
In another version, the demon was killed by Krishna ( Krishna provokes his wife Satyabhama to kill Narshna defeating Indra: Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Deepavali. It is the day Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain. As per the story, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to Lord Indra and questions his father Nanda about it. He debated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their 'karma', to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon.
The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna then lifted Mt Govardhan and held it up as protection to his people and cattle from the rain.
Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme.
This aspect of Krishna's life is mostly glossed over,but it set up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later detailed in the Bhagavat Gita
In Malaysia, Diwali is known as "Hari Deepavali," and is celebrated during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar.It is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia. In many respects it resembles the traditions followed in the Indian subcontinent.'Open houses' are held where Hindu Malaysians (Malaysian Tamils) welcome fellow Malaysians of different races and religions to their house for a sumptious meal.This is a practice unique to Malaysia and shows the goodwill and friendly ties practised by all Malaysians during any festive occasion.
In Singapore, the festival is called "Deepavali", and is a gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the minority Indian community ([Tamils]]) , it is typically marked by a light-up in the Little India district. The Hindu Endowment Board of Singapore along with Singapores' government organizes many cultural events around Deepavali time.
My personal wish to one and to all, kin and kith; brothers and brethen:
May this festival of lights be the harbinger of joy and prosperity for you and you.As the holy occasion of Diwali is here and the atmosphere is filled with the spirit of mirth and love, here's hoping this festival of beauty brings your way, bright sparkles of contentment, that stay with you through the days ahead, for it is truly Fortunate; the one who has learned to Admire, but not to envy.
Good Wishes for a joyous Diwali and a Happy Year to all , with plenty of Peace and Prosperity.