Diwali or Deepavali is one of the most celebrated festivals of Sanatan Dharma that carries with it the message of hope and good will. Popularly referred to as the festival of light, diwali is one of our holiest observances.
It’s a time for togetherness. It’s a time to pool our senses together and celebrate who we are and what we have achieved as an individual. It’s a time for us to come together with our family members in worship and illuminate our residences with little lamps. It’s a blessed occasion for us to join hands in our community. It behooves us to create a society of true brotherhood and collectively strive for a better tomorrow.
We pray to Maha Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity that may auspiciousness surround us. May we engage in righteous acts that will yield positive results not only for ourselves and families but also society.
Our faith is expressed and enhanced in our worship of the Goddess. Puja is an outpouring of love and gratitude and at the said time we humbly beseech Maha Lakshmi for continued happiness and success.
We ignite 8 lamps (diyas) around Maha Lakshmi and chant Her 8 names. Each manifestation of Maha Lakshmi has its significance.
She is Aadi Lakshmi – the primeval goddess, reminding us of our divine qualities that are present within, such as fearlessness, purity of heart, forgiveness, self control, sense control, humility, a charitable disposition, etc….
She is Dhan Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth. Wealth is a necessity. It should be earned thru righteous means, spent wisely and be given in charity. We should continue to feed the hungry, clothes the poor, care for the sick. Compassion is one aspect of our emotional wealth, when that is extended to the less fortunate, we truly become wealthy.
She is Dhaanya Lakshmi – the goddess of grains. We depend on the energy of the earth for sustenance. Give thanks to the Almighty for Her kindness. Let all have and no one be without, let all be happy and none suffer.
She is Gaja Lakshmi – the goddess of strength. We are to move forward collectively with confidence. There are no obstacles for a man who is in tune with the divine.
She is Santaan Lakshmi – the goddess who blesses one with progeny. Our children are our wealth. They should be revered as gifts of grace. Parents are to nurture, care, love, educate and implement the right morals into the lives of their children. Let it be considered as an early investment that will surely yield positive results in the future.
She is Dhairya Lakshmi – the goddess of courage. Our soul is a spark of the Almighty. Never allow yourself to fall into the deep abyss of sorrow. Take charge of the most valuable gift that was given to you, yourself and move forward. The human birth is the most blessed of all.
She is Vijaya Lakshmi – the goddess of victory. May we not fail ourselves, may we not disappoint our family, may we always be victorious in our endeavors and may we become a stern example and model for society.
She is Vidya Lakshmi – the goddess of knowledge. Knowledge is power. Education is power. Is it our most prized possession. May we continue to learn everyday and utilize our knowledge for the betterment of society.
Life depends on light, for it is light that literally dispels darkness. Sorrow, sickness, chaos, loss, disappointment, lack of confidence and enthusiasm, enmity, discrimination, cruelty are all forms of darkness. To get rid of the darkness of sorrow, you have to light the lamp of happiness. To dispel the darkness of disease, you have to install the light of health. To get rid of the darkness of losses and failures, you have to usher in the light of prosperity. Growth depends on education and as such the light of knowledge dispels ignorance. Poverty and suffering is a reality, but selfless service is the antidote. Hands that are extended in friendship will surely rid the world of enmity. Unity will bring about harmony and peace. These opposing conditions are not totally separate from each other. They are inter-related. If there is no sorrow, one cannot know the value of happiness. If there is no darkness, the value of light cannot be appreciated. Hence, if the greatness of light is to be realized, darkness is necessary. Diwali is to literally celebrate that light. To utilize our blessed abilities and remove ourselves from whatever uncertain, depressive, doubtful state we’re in.
Some will be observing Diwali as a harvest festival. My sincere wish is for all to have and never be without. Others will be ushering in the New Year. I pray that you may realize all your noble goals. Some will be performing worship to Maha Lakshmi, I pray for your continued success and happiness in life. Some will be telling the story of Narkaasur, which translate to man becoming his own enemy and thus contributing to a chaotic world. Subdue the demonic tendencies within and awaken the divine qualities are lying dormant.
Let us once again rekindle that lamp of faith within, extend that grace out to the world and strive to make tomorrow a brighter day.
Pt. Rajin Balgobind