Tuesday, October 25, 2011
India, the land of various cultures and traditions is a land of festivals and celebrations. It is a land of festivity where Diwali festival is one of the most favorable & grand Occasions which is celebrated with great zeal & warmth among all races and religions. Diwali is also called as Deepavali that means a line of lamps. Being the festival of lights, Deepavali in India is a holy tradition and it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness; darkness refers to unawareness and light refers to knowledge. It is a chief Hindu festival honoring Maa Lakshmi “the goddess of wealth. Celebrated joyously all over India, it is a festival of wealth and prosperity.
Meaning of Diwali or Deepavali
‘Diwali’, also called Deepavali or festival of lights, is the concept of the Sanskrit word Deepavali – ‘Deep’ means diya (small pots made from clay) or light and ‘Avali’, means a row – denotation a row of diyas or array of lamps. Thus placing small diyas, candles & amp; lamps inside and around the home marks the festival of lights.
Diwali also celebrates the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year expel, 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 approved through the south earlier. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated a day earlier in South India.
While Diwali is usually known as the “festival of lights”, the most important spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”.
Diwali has a very special importance in Jainism, just like Buddha Purnima, the date of Buddha’s Nirvana, is for Buddhists as Christmas is for Christians. Lord Mahavira, the last of the JainTirthankaras, attained Nirvana or Moksha on this day at Pavapuri on Oct. 15, 527 BC, on Chaturdashi of Kartika, as Tilyapannatti of Yativrashaba from the sixth century states:
Mahavira is answerable for establishing the Dharma followed by Jains even today. According to tradition, the leader disciple of Mahavira, Ganadhara Gautam Swami also attained complete knowledge (Kevalgyana) on this day, thus creating Diwali one of the most significant Jain festivals.
How Diwali Festival is Celebrated
The glorious five days long delight of Diwali celebrations is marked by multi-colored Rangoli designs, special pooja ceremonies, and lines of lamps, floral decorations fireworks, and exchange of sweets and gifts that lends grandeur to the occasions. Every home – lowly or mighty – the hut of the poor or the mansion of the rich – shines with the glow of twinkling diyas or candles to welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity.