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Diwali

Festival of Lights
Diwali derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali
Deepa = light
Avali = a row
Diwali = Deepavali = A row of Light
Diwali is celebrated in the months of
October/November on one of the darkest night
(Amavasya) of this period.

Hindus in India and across the globe celebrate Diwali.

Diwali celebrations can last up to five days. Each


region of the country celebrating the triumph of good
over evil in a uniquely regional way.
Celebrations Include

Lighting of Diyas or earthen lamps


in every corner of homes.

Decoration of homes in multi-colored


and floral design (Rangoli).

Visits to the temples and offerings to Lakshmi,


the Goddess of Spiritual and material prosperity
Celebrations Include

Purchase of new Clothes

Exchange of sweets with


friends and neighbors.

Fireworks
Significance of Diwali
Significance of Diwali is based on spirituality, beliefs,
myths and legends of the triumph of good over evil.

Illumination of the diyas symbolizes the removal


of spiritual darkness and the onset of wisdom or light.

In Northern India Diwali is a celebration of the


welcome given to Lord Rama, of the great
Hindu epic The Ramayana, by his subjects
after 14 years of exile from his kingdom. Lord
Rama destroys the evil ruler of Lanka, Ravan.

Diwali is also the start of the new year for


Hindus in the northern regions of India.
The Triumph of good over evil

Lord Krishna destroying the evil demon


Narkasura for abducting the females of
the community.

In Southern India Diwali is celebrated


for the triumph of Lord Vishnu over
Hirnaykshipu an evil and unjust king.
Namaste

• Two palms placed together in front of chest with head bows


while saying NAMASTE

• Etymon: Namah + te
• I bow to you or my salutations to you

• Folded hands
• May our minds meet - real meeting between people

• Bowing of head
• Gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility
• Higher spiritual meeting
• The life force, the Divinity, the Self or the god in me is the
same in all
• Palm of one hand is the SELF in me, and the palm of the
other is the SELF in the other
• Meeting of palms recognizes this ONENESS

• NAMASTE = we salute the Divinity in the person we meet


Lighting a Lamp

• Lamps lit for daily worship, rituals and festivals

• Symbolizes KNOWLEDGE, as opposed to


darkness or ignorance

• Knowledge is lasting INNER wealth – lamp is lit to bow down


knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth

• God is “Knowledge Principle”, the source of all knowledge;


thus light is worshipped as the Lord Himself

• Oil or ghee in lamp – our “vasanas” or negative tendencies

• Wick – the ego


• When lit by spiritual knowledge, the “vasanas’ get
slowly exhausted, and the ego too finally perishes

• Flame burns upwards


• Similarly, acquire knowledge so as to take us
towards higher ideals

A single lamp can light hundreds


• Similarly a man of knowledge can share knowledge
with others without diminishing his own knowledge