the significance of diwali

the significance of diwali

Like all other Indian festivals, Diwali too has a spiritual significance. Even though it is celebrated quite differently all over the world, one thing that remains common is that each place is lit up with lamps everywhere. This central theme of lighting lamps signifies the victory of good over evil and the triumph of light, positivity, and knowledge over dark shadows, negativity, and ignorance from our lives. It is a celebration of peace, prosperity, and joy. 

Overall, there are four key aspects of Diwali:

  1. Lighting of lamps: The lamps and diyas on Diwali, as previously discussed, are symbolic of spreading knowledge, positivity, and joy.
  2. Firecrackers: It is believed that life hits a point of inertia at this time of the year. And so, explosions are encouraged on the outside, to help you awaken on the inside and become active and alert. This is the significance of firecrackers — to help you overcome inertia and make you come fully alive.
  3. Gift-giving and distributing sweets: Thoughtful gifts and sweets dispel any bitterness, hurt or resentment from the past and signify a renewed friendship or relationship.
  4. Feeling the abundance: Diwali is a day to feel grateful for everything that we have, big and small, and get in tune with the wealth, prosperity, and abundance around us. 

The festival also sends the message of illuminating our inner selves with clarity. Light symbolizes clarity. If there is no clarity, your life loses a sense of direction and purpose. Your efforts become hollow and you’re never able to use your talents and gifts to the right end. Without clarity, even confidence becomes a liability, not an asset.

As Sadhguru explains, “Without the necessary clarity, whatever you try to do will be a disaster. Light brings clarity to your vision – not just in a physical sense. How clearly you see life and perceive everything around you decides how sensibly you conduct your life. Diwali is the day when the dark forces were put to death and light happened. This is also the predicament of human life. Like the dark clouds which brood in the gloomy atmosphere, not realizing that they are blocking the sun, a human being does not have to bring any light from anywhere. If he just dispels the dark clouds that he has allowed to gather within himself, light will happen. The Festival of Lights is just a reminder of that.”

Diwali is a great opportunity for us to not only light the lamps and diyas in our homes, but to also light the lamp within ourselves. We have to work towards dispelling the darkness within. The darkness of ignorance, the darkness that breeds due to lack of self-development and self-awareness.  

There’s too much mental, physical and spiritual noise that we constantly face every single day that paints this world in a negative light and takes us away from our true essence and potential, and puts us in the darkness of ignorance. And that’s why, it’s crucial that we dispel this darkness and get reacquainted with the truth, within and around us.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar highlights this notion beautifully in these words: “Every human being has some good qualities. And every lamp that you light is symbolic of this. Some people have forbearance, some have love, strength, generosity, while others have the ability to unite people. The latent values in you are like a lamp. Don’t be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand! You need to light many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. By lighting the lamp of wisdom in yourself and acquiring knowledge, you awaken all facets of your being. When they are lit and awakened, it is Diwali.”

Let’s celebrate this festival by embracing knowledge and wisdom and getting in tune with the abundance around us. 

Now is a wonderful time to distance ourselves from all negativity and toxicity, within and without. To let go of regrets of the past and the worries of the future and simply live in the present moment. It’s a great time to work towards dispelling the darkness within and awakening ourselves to our inner light and our true nature.

Wishing you a happy, prosperous and safe Diwali.