"Service which is given without consideration of anything in return, at the right place and time to one that is qualified, with the feeling that it is one's duty, is regarded as the nature of goodness." (Bhagavad Gita 17.20).
Diwali is the one of the most important Hindu festivals in India There are various other rituals celebrated in towns and villages on each of the five days but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. Also, on the last day of Diwali in many parts of India, a sister cooks for her brother and he bestows gifts on her in celebration of the love between siblings, that is celebrated as a “Bhaiya Dooj. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Hinduism is the contemporary word used for the monotheistic "Sanatana Dharma" or Eternal Order. The joy and peace in human life is based on observance of this eternal order. In the Hindu approach, an integration of spirit, mind and body is emphasized for pursuit of happiness (ananda). Festivals play a very important role in Hinduism as they manifest this integration.”
The festival of lights is held in honour of Goddess Lakshmi, the hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. Hindu pray to Maa Lakshmi to bring them good luck in the coming year. Diwali celebrates the return of lord Rama and Maa sita at ayodhya after completion of 14th years of vanvasa. A complete victory of lord Rama over Ravana by killing them and handover lanka to his younger brother vibhishana for the sake of humanity. It is a festival of lightning Diyas.
Diwali is the victory of good over evil, the returning of good back into our lives and starting a new year with a positive approach and forgetting all the bad that has happened. A festival is a joyful synthesis and expression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, culture, service and social values.
The spiritual aspect is founded on the human instincts of joy and happiness. The philosophical aspect is grounded in the struggle between the forces of good and evil with the ultimate triumph of the former. This struggle and ensuing victory of good is to be celebrated and used as a reminder to us, and future generations, that selfless service and giving are an interwoven part of the traditions"
Guru Amar Das chose Diwali, later referenced as Bandi Chhor Divas, as one of the three festivals to be celebrated by Sikhs (the others being Maghi and Baisakhi.
Bandi Chhor (Shodh, Chhor) Divas ("Day of Liberation") is a Sikh festival which coincides with the day of Diwali.Bandi Chhor Divas celebrates the release from prison in Gwalior of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him. This day is known as Bandi Chhor Divas.
The word "Bandi" is translated from Punjabi into English as "Imprisoned" (or "Prisoner"); the Hindi word "Chhor" (shodh) translates as "Release," and the Punjabi word "Divas" means "Day", rendering "Bandi Chhor Divas" into English as "Prisoners' Release Day".
For Hindus themselves, the festivities of Diwali are celebrated by many stories. Universally the celebration is the triumph of Good (Lord Rama or Lord Krishna) over Evil (Ravana, Narakasura, etc.).
So the Diwali is an auspicious occasion for everyone in all beautiful aspects of life. Happy Diwali,
Stay blessed. Love & Light.
Dr Aarti Makkar
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