Celebrating Diwali - Where there is light, there can’t be darkness of ignorance
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. It is a 5-day celebration full of beautiful rituals and traditions. Homes are cleaned inside out, Rangoli (elaborate designs made of colored rice, sand, or flower petals) cover entryways, doors and windows are kept open - all in the hope that Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) finds her way to bless the residents and rows of brightly lit clay “ghee” lamps. A time filled with light and love and triumph of good over evil.
Diwali's date is determined by the Indian calendar and changes every year, ranging from October to November. There are many reasons for the celebration depending on the region in India. From inviting the presence of Goddess Lakshmi, to celebrating the homecoming of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman after 14 years of exile, honoring Goddess Kali (goddess of strength), celebrating Lord Krishna’s victory over evil, Bhagwan Vishnu’s marriage to Goddess Lakshmi to observing the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi-- the 5-day festival is full of life.
For me – Diwali is a time to spend with my family, friends, community and most importantly, a time for me to reflect. Goddess Lakshmi’s name comes from the word “laksh” meaning, the GOAL. I reflect on my goals, achievements and failures and celebrate us as humans. It’s about letting go of the past, forgiveness, paying off debt, helping the community, being mindful, eating healthy and most importantly accepting the failures so we can bring forth the inner light which shows us the way on our journey through life. Life is about mistakes and what we learn from them so we can continue to be better. Diwali is a time to illuminate our inner selves and rejoice over our own good over evil.
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” – George Bernhard Shaw