Also known as Deepawali and Deepotsav, this is the final day of the Hindu year.
Mankind is forever steeped in the misery of ãdhi (mental agony), vyãdhi (physical sufferings) and upãdhi (pain from external elements).
On the day when man is liberated from these, it becomes the day of Diwali, of bliss for him.
There are five stories celebrating this day:
- Shri Krishna vanquished Narkasur, releasing people from misery.
- Pruthu Raja extracted goodness from the earth.
- During the Samudra Manthan, Lakshmiji emerged from the ocean.
- The Pandavas returned from their forest exile.
- Shri Ramchandra returned to Ayodhya after his victory over Ravan in Lanka.
Rituals The Bhavishyottar Puran (140–14–29) cites details of how to celebrate Diwali from early morning.
- To augur success, those involved in trade and business do pujan of their new ledgers, known as Chopda Pujan (also known as Sharda Pujan).
- People light divas in their homes every evening.
- During Diwali it is a tradition in Hindu homes for the womenfolk to decorate a rangoli at the entrance or near the doorway, after washing the floor. A rangoli is an intricate and artistic design, using coloured powders. It represents an auspicious welcome for Lakshmiji, who visits people during Diwali to grant wealth.
- People forgive and forget misdeeds of the past year and resolve to spend the coming year in peace, harmony, purity and to earn lakshmi by observing dharma.
- On this the darkest (moonless) day of the month, people light divas symbolically, praying to Paramatma for inner enlightenment.
- Diwali is a festival to resolve personal discord and familial conflict, to increase love, unity and harmony in the family and society.
- Finally, since we are graced by the infinite love of God and his holy Sadhu, we should feel fulfilled and contented, known as purnakampanu. Therefore we should endeavour to consolidate our dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti, to further receive their benediction.