Diwali 2023: A Day to Celebrate the Triumph of Good Over Evil
By: WE Staff
Diwali symbolizes hope, love, and prosperity, transcending cultural and religious boundaries. Today, let us self-reflect and understand what the festival of light truly stands for, i.e: goodness always prevails.
Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a worldwide celebration that instills a spirit of joy and togetherness in the hearts of millions. Diwali, which is rooted in Hindu traditions, transcends religious boundaries, spreading its luminous charm to people of all cultures and backgrounds.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, literally means "row of lights." The festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana and symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Its significance, however, extends beyond mythological stories to include a rich tapestry of customs, rituals, and the warmth of festive celebrations.
Diwali is more than just a visual extravaganza; it is also a time for reflection and self-improvement. People clean and decorate their homes to symbolize the purification of the soul and the welcoming of positivity. Lighting oil lamps, or diyas, represents the removal of ignorance and the awakening of knowledge. As much as it is a time for joyous celebrations, Diwali also highlights the important roles that women play in preserving traditions, strengthening familial bonds, and embodying the spirit of resilience.
Significance of Women in Diwali
Aside from religious rituals, women are the architects of the familial bonds that define Diwali. Women's thoughtful gestures and meticulous planning are often involved in the exchange of gifts and sweets, a tradition that strengthens relationships. Their efforts contribute to the festival's warmth and friendship.
Women are the weavers of cultural traditions in the Diwali tapestry. Their touch is visible in every vibrant detail, from carefully organizing the home for the festivities to creating sophisticated rangoli designs that grace doorsteps. The cleaning and decorating process, known as "Diwali Safai," is a testament to women's transformative power, representing the removal of negativity and the welcoming of positivity.
Diwali has periodically been associated with the victory of truth and enlightenment over evil and darkness through many religious ways in India. Some prominent significances are:
Goddess Lakshmi, the embodiment of wealth and prosperity, is the goddess at the heart of Diwali celebrations. During the Diwali puja, women take on the role of devout worshippers, invoking the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi for the well-being and prosperity of their families. During this auspicious time, their prayers and rituals become threads in a work of art of spiritual significance. During Diwali, Lakshmi Puja is a sacred and essential ritual that illuminates the festival with spiritual fervor and heartfelt invocation. This puja, steeped in tradition and symbolism, serves as a poignant expression of gratitude and devotion, as families gather to seek the divine's blessings for abundance and well-being.
While Diwali is traditionally associated with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, in the eastern regions of India, Kali Puja takes center stage, adding a profound layer of spiritual fervor. The night of the new moon, Amavasya, is used to invoke the awe-inspiring Goddess Kali, who is both ferocious and benevolent.
Devotees immerse themselves in the mysticism of Kali Puja, seeking the divine presence to dispel darkness and destroy ignorance. The rituals, which are frequently infused with tantric practices, create an atmosphere rich in energy and spiritual significance. With her iconic imagery and symbolism, the formidable Goddess Kali becomes the focal point for prayers that transcend the material realm.
Lord Rama's significance in Diwali celebrations is both profound and timeless, as his life and triumphant return to Ayodhya form the heart of this joyous festival. Diwali represents the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, and Lord Rama's story describes these timeless themes. The demon king Ravana kidnaps Rama's beloved wife Sita, and the subsequent battle that results in Rama's victorious return to his kingdom. Diwali commemorates the day when the people of Ayodhya greet Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and their loyal companion Lakshmana with rows of lit oil lamps, or diyas.