All over the UK today Hindus are celebrating the festival day of Diwali. Diwali is perhaps the most well known of all Hindu religious festivals, as it, uniquely, has special significance for almost all of India’s many religious traditions.
Hindus will visit temples today; they will spend much time preparing food and sweets; presents are exchanged among family members; and displays of fireworks will end the celebrations.
The Sanskrit word Diwali refers to a cluster of lights, and one of the most popular stories associated with Diwali is the journey of Lord Rama from Lanka to his kingdom of Ayodhya, in Northern India. The journey began in the evening and Rama’s subjects lit the way by placing rows of lamps in their windows to guide Him.
Rama was returning home after winning an epic battle which symbolised the victory of goodness over selfishness and conceit, of light over darkness. Rama returned to His coronation and a rule typified by truthfulness, justice, service, and devotion – thus the endurance of His story.
Rama, as the embodiment of morality and right-living, is attractive to everyone who aspires to be good. We all need inspiration in our struggle to make wise and proper decisions. Diwali serves as a nurturing mother to our good desires and aspirations.
This evening, in homes all over the country, candles will be lit to guide Rama on his way – to usher in a new beginning, a new year and a new commitment to the principles of goodness.
Dear Lord Rama, during this year please guide me through the fog of my passions, and the demands of events. Help me to see the right thing to do, and help me to do it right. Hare Krishna