27 October, Monday, is Deepavali or more popularly known as “Festival of Lights” to Hindus. Celebrated as Deepavali in Southern India and Divali in Northern India, this is one of the most significant festival for Hindus not just in India but across the world.
While Deepavali is popularly known as the “festival of lights”, the most significant esoteric meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”.
Central to Hindu philosophy, is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Deepavali is the celebration of this Inner Light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, imminent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman, comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (Inner Joy or Peace).
Deepavali celebrated with festive fireworks, lights, flowers, sharing sweets and worship. While the story behind Deepavali varies from region to region, the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying reality of all things.
We wish all our Hindu friends a Happy Deepavali Day!
(Part Text credit: http://en.wikipedia.org; Pix credit: http://www.malaysiasite.nl)