by extramarks - Academics - October 26, 2019June 30, 2021 Diwali – The Festival and the Symbol The festive weekend is here. The hue of the world around is changing – brighter colours adorn markets and homes. Nights are brightly lit – lights and chandeliers hang from balconies and doorways. Rangoli patterns are emerging, a tad different for every culture. And shopping, oh shopping is going on in full swing. Diwali – the festival of lights is here, along with its share of cheer, love, light and joy! Diwali means different things for different people. Here are a few manners in which this festival serves to enrich and inspire our lives. A Potli of Stories Diwali has been associated with the return of the Ikshvaku scion, Shri Ramchandra, back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and after fighting a fierce battle with Ravana to rescue Sita. This, however, is not the only reason narrated behind the Deepavali festivities. In different regions of the country, different stories from various eras in the cosmic cycle of the Indic people are shared. Diwali is a valuable time to collect even more of these stories and tuck them away in the potli of memories. A Sparkle of History Diwali is an auspicious day and has, hence, been marked throughout history with important historical events. For example, the coronation of the valiant king Vikramaditya took place on Diwali. This festival is observed by the Jains to celebrate the attainment of Moksha by Mahavira. Not just this, it is noted that the foundation of the grand Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on the occasion of Deepavali. The Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in the year 1875 on the day of Diwali too. Phew. So much to catch up on! A Reconnect with the Roots The various rituals associated with Diwali are nothing, but a reminder of the common core that we belong to within our respective communities. Whether you believe in prayers or not, Diwali is a day to seek the blessings of our elders, to share cheer among family and friends and to get together to preserve the spirit of humanity. Not just Diwali, all festivals serve this purpose. They bring us together – a noble cause especially in our era of chaos and paced up living. An Illumination Most importantly, Diwali is a day which transforms the darkest night of the month of Karthik into a joyous landscape bursting with lights. Diwali is symbolized with light, but this light is not the one which we merely turn-on in our houses and balconies, but one which we light within. Diwali talks of illumination of the self, with the power of knowledge. It is the time to reaffirm belief in knowledge and to put ourselves on the path to honest pursuit of the same. With our hearts brimming with joy, we wish you a Happy Diwali, and hope that all the blessings of the festival visit you and your family. Celebrate, enjoy and find a little time to learn, as well.