Diwali – The festival of lights


Diwali – also known as the festival of lights – is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the globe every year. It is devoted to the triumph of good over bad and knowledge over ignorance.

Hindus light clay lamps by using cotton and oil outside their homes to symbolize the inward light that shields them from otherworldly haziness.

This celebration is as imperative to Hindus as Eid is to Muslims or Christmas to Christians. Hindus observe Diwali by organizing family get-togethers, adding glitter to clay lamps, using firecrackers, strings of electric lights, doing bonfires, and exchanging flowers, sharing desserts and much more. Some believe that Lakshmi, Hindu deity for sustenance, roams around earth searching for homes where she will be invited. Individuals open their entryways and windows and decorate everything with lights to welcome Lakshmi in.

Hindus have diverse understanding of Diwali, yet in all elucidations, one common idea prevails that the celebration marks triumph of good over evil.

The inception of Diwali can be followed back to old India, when it was an imperative harvest celebration. There are many legends that have different explanations regarding the origin of Diwali. Some also believe it to be the festival of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu, another Hindu deity.

Diwali brings in five days of festivities. Each day has its own particular story or myth to tell. As indicated by what information I could gather:

1) The first day of celebration denotes the vanquishing of evil spirit Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.

2) The second day of Diwali imprints the love of Lakshmi in her inclination, satisfying the wishes of her followers.

3) Bali, another part of Hindu mythology, who was in hellfire, was permitted to come back to earth once every year to put up a huge number of lights to disperse the dimness and lack of awareness, and spread the message of affection and knowledge. It is on the third day of Diwali that Bali ventures out of hellfire and rules the earth as per the shelter given by Lord Vishnu.

4) The fourth day is the first day of the New Year, when companions and relatives visit each other and hope for a new season full of happiness and blessings.

5) The fifth day is alluded to as Bhai Dooj and on this day sisters welcome their brothers to their homes.

Diwali is also, in a way, related to gambling. It is said that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her spouse Lord Shiva, and she proclaimed that whosoever bets on Diwali night would succeed all through the resulting year. Hindus rehearse this myth two days before Diwali begins.

Many people took to Twitter to wish their fellow Hindus, including a few Pakistani politicians.

This year, Pakistani border forces wished Indian army on Diwali by sharing desserts (mithai) with them and sending a message of peace. We, here from Pakistan, wish our entire Hindu population in Pakistan as well as our neighbors and Hindus, Sikhs and Jains everywhere, an exceptionally cheerful and safe Diwali.

We simply wish that these lights will make all of us understand how far in murkiness we have fallen and that we have to leave it with a specific end goal to have a solid and prosperous relationship.

Happy Diwali to all! Let’s spread a message of peace, tolerance and love together.