(Festival of Light)
Hanumanji is offered pujan using oil and sindur.
It is traditional to eat 'vadaa' and items made from 'udad' (lentils)
on this day. Also known as
Deepawali and Deepotsav, this festival occurs on Aso vad 15 (Amaas),
the final day of the Hindu year.
There are five stories celebrating this day:
- Lord Krishna vanquished Narkaasur,
releasing people from misery.
- Lord Pruthu extracted goodness
from the earth.
- During the Samudra Manthan, Lakshmiji
emerged from the ocean.
- The Pandavs returned from their
- Lord Ramachandra returned to Ayodhya
after his victory over Rawan in Lanka.
In essence people light divas on this day to depict their joy
on being released from suffering inflicted by evil elements.
- To augur success, those involved
in trade and business do pujan of their new ledgers. This
is known as Sharda Pujan. In the BAPS Santha's shikharbaddh
mandirs it is a tradition for sadhus to perform the Vedic Sharda
Pujan rituals of the devotees, account books.
- People light divas in their homes
- During Diwali it is a tradition
in every Hindu home for the housewife to decorate a 'Rangoli'
at the entrance or near the doorway, after washing the floor.
A Rangoli is an intricate and artistic design or sketch, using
colored powder. It represents an auspicious welcome for Lakshmiji
who visits people during Diwali to grant wealth.
- It has been an annual tradition
to light thousands of divas at the "Akshardham" memorial
and its parikrama, from Diwali till Labh Pancham, since its
inauguration in 1992. Every evening people throng to have darshan
of this dazzling sight, the only one of its kind in India.
- People forgive and forget misdeeds
of the past year and resolve to spend the coming year in peace,
harmony, purity and to earn Lakshmi by observing dharma
- On this the darkest (moonless)
day of the month, people light divas symbolically, praying to
the Lord for inner enlightenment.
- Diwali is a festival to resolve
personal discord and familial conflict, to increase love, unity
and harmony in the family and society.
- Since our lives are dedicated
to God and Guru, we should cultivate deeper love and 'divyabhav'
- divine regard for both.
- Finally, since we are graced by
their infinite love, we should feel fulfilled and content, known
as 'purnakampanu'. Therefore we should endeavor to consolidate
our dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti to further receive their
This is the ultimate sentiment of Diwali, poetically described
by Brahmanand Swami - a poet paramhansa of Bhagwan Swaminarayan:
'Raaj maare din din Diwali re, vala maltaa tamane Vanmali re,