Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What puts the Happy in "Happy Diwali"

Call it Deepavali, Deep Utsav, Lakshmi Pujan, or as many outside India refer to it, Indian Christmas... Diwali is the Festival of Lights - the grandest of Indian festivals - most often depicted by a flaming oil lamp, or many.

Ever wondered what puts the "Happy" in Happy Diwali? What's the story behind Diwali? What does it mean?

Legend has it, Diwali is the rejoicing of the return of the divine Lord Rama (after 14 inclement years in exile) to the Kingdom of Ayodhya, to take his rightful place as the supreme and much loved ruler - after defeating the evil 10-headed Ravana and his demonic forces. To welcome Lord Rama, and celebrate his homecoming, people lit oil lamps inside and outside their homes, lighting up the streets and the city!

It is a long story the full version of which forms one of Hinduism’s sacred scriptures: Ramayana (The Tale of Rama). While it holds true to tradition, Diwali has many meanings manifested in myriad ways.

Diwali means:
  • The victory of Good over Evil
  • The triumph of Right over Wrong
  • The conquest of Happiness over Sorrow
  • The shining through of Hope over Despair
  • The win of all things Positive over Negative
    (Confidence over Doubt, Control over Fear, Virtue over Vice)
  • The prevalence of Light over Darkness

Spiritually, Diwali is the return of greatness, prosperity, peace, abundance and balance, the coming together of all holiness to say - The world is a wonderful place and things are only going to get better from here on. Yesterday's in the past (troubles forgotten & misdemeanours forgiven), we're hopeful & thankful for Today, and good times - they start tomorrow.

In that spirit, Diwali is the last day of the year in the Hindu Calendar, ushering in the New Year. And on this most auspicious of days...

I'd like to wish you a very Happy Diwali & Happy New Year. Wishing the very best for your family & friends. May you all have a safe, joyous, prosperous and peaceful year ahead. I hope your day brightens (and face lights up like a lamp :-) on reading this.

Here's the President of USA, Barack Obama wishing everyone a Happy Diwali and "Saal Mubarak" ("Happy New Year") and explaining the signifcance of the auspicious Indian festival.

Dear Mr. Obama, Wish you a Happy Diwali & Saal Mubarak too!
All the very best for the upcoming US elections next year.