Significance of Divali

Significance of Divali

Divali (or alternatively Deepawali, Deepavali or Diwali) is the Festival Of Light and is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. The Festival signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, justice over injustice and intelligence over ignorance. The Goddess worshipped on Divali (Diwali) is Mother Lakshmi or Lakshmi Mata. Lakshmi Mata is the Goddess of Light, Wealth and Beauty and is also associated with properity, luck, riches, abundance, financial well being and generosity.

Deepavali is Sanskrit means “row of lighted lamps”, and is revered as one of the most important Hindu festivals. It falls on the Amavasya of the month of Kartik every year in the Hindu calendar. By the English or Western Calendar this festival generally occurs over a period that covers the last week of October to the first half of the month of November.

At Divali it is not surprising to see eloborate preparations being made to welcome the Goddess into the homes of devotees. Though it is tilted as being a festival, it is one with a difference since at the heart of the festival is a very significant religious observance honouring and worshipping Lakshmi Mata in the form of pujas, the singing of bhajans (religious songs) and chanting of mantras.

Origins of Divali

In the Hindu community, there are various beliefs as to the genesis of the festival. The Northern Hindus believe Divali is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya and the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama, the symbol of goodness as depicted in the Hindu Classic “Ramayana”. While Hindus in the South celebrate the occasion in remembrance of the victory of Lord Krishna over the evil Naraksura.

Whatever the orgin, the symbolism and significance of light is the central to the observances of Divali. Light dispels the darkness of this mortal world and allows us to find our true path. The enlightened soul can then walk this darkened world shedding light, illuminating the darkness of his fellow men. Divali also fosters a feeling of comradeship and community as is evidenced by the sharing and almsgiving.

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