Chaitra Vad 30, Wednesday 26 Apr 2017

Diwali

Dip - Small lamp which burns ghee
Awali - Row of lights

Ashwin Vadh 30

This day is very significant to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

Hindus celebrate Diwali because on this day Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom of Ayodhya after serving fourteen years of exile in the forest. Having defeated Ravana and rescuing his wife Sita, Lord Rama triumphantly returned to the Kingdom of Ayodhya with Sita and brother Laxman and his devotee Hanumanji. On hearing of Rama's arrival the people of Ayodhya were overjoyed and lit the streets and houses with divas. This is the day when the good prevails over evil and the light enters our hearts to show us the right path of virtue.

Jains celebrate this day because on this day Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana. Sikhs also celebrate because on this day the Sixth Guru Har Gobinji returned to the Golden temple in Amritsar. He was imprisoned with other Hindu Kings by the Mogul Emperor Jhangir.

On this day Puja is offered to Lakshmi who is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and her blessings are invoked on this day. On this day, during the churning of Kshir Sagar (Samudra Manthan), Lakshmiji emerged from the ocean. Also on this day Lord Vishnu returned to Vainkuth from the Kingdom of King Bali and rejoined his wife Lakshmi.

This is last day of the Hindu Lunar year. On this day we light diwas and decorate the temple with brightly coloured lights. To ensure success, traders do pujan of their new account books. Non-traders can also do pujan of their saving books. This pujan is known as Sharda/Laxmi poojan and is performed in our temples by the priest. Firecrackers and fireworks are lit at night to celebrate the traditional festival. A Rangoli, an intricate artistic design using bright coloured powders, is created at the entrance of homes and temples. This is to welcome people who visit or come to pray. In homes and temples various sweets are offered to the Lord and served as Prashad.

Since it is the last day of the year one must resolve all personal conflicts forgiving and forgetting misdeeds of the past year and start the New Year with a clean slate.