Diwali: The Festival of Lights – Yash Dahima

Reflectionist Yash Dahima (ITBM 2021-2023)

Diwali is a Hindu festival that celebrates the return of Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to their kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana.

What is Diwali?

Diwali is an annual celebration in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in the autumn. When family members come home and light lanterns and candles in their windows and homes. The people celebrate by decorating their homes and front lawns with red, orange, and yellow lights, which represent the lights of the victory of good over evil. People also enjoy fireworks, shopping, and gifts. The modern festival of Diwali is celebrated with splendid vigor, enthusiasm and joy. There is a totally different aura in the air, one filled with festivities. People are seen dressed extensively in new traditional clothes and feasting upon sweets and delicacies. Sweets have become eponymous with the festival, with people greeting each other with sweets and gifts. The festivities continue with a barrage of firecrackers on display every night, from a week before the day of the festival. The festival of Diwali metaphorically represents the victory of light over darkness in our lives, the arrival of joy and the ability to overcome our obstacles. It is a festival that
teaches us the spiritual importance of illuminating our lives with positivity and prosperity by lighting the lamp of happiness. It brings people together, binds them as one to fight evil and repel darkness through their inner light, Its ethos lies in the phrase “ तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय: ” or “To lead us from darkness into light”.

How does it start?

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana. Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. It is the most significant festival of the Hindu calendar. It is observed between the end of October and the middle of November and ends with Diwali (the day when Diwali is celebrated).

The day starts with ritualistic celebrations, around the home of Lord Rama. After the celebrations, the day ends with the ‘Diwali puja’. This includes a flower arrangement or the lighting of Diyas (lamps) in each corner of the house. The day is marked by the celebration of the visit of the Gods to Lord Rama’s birthplace, Ayodhya.
Hindus worship Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana, who are considered good examples of how to live a good life.
This is when Lakshmana has to sacrifice his head in order to gain a boon from Lord Rama. It is said that Lord Rama was “born again” on the same day of Diwali in order to be reborn as the grandson of Dashrath.