The Significance of Diwali
Diwali is a special Hindu festival that is observed by Indians all over the world. The tradition of Diwali began many millennia ago when on this day Lord Ram returned to his kingdom in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman after defeating the demon king Ravana. The residents of Ayodhya celebrated by welcoming Shri Ram back into their lives after his 14 years of exile.
It brings along with it great excitement and enthusiasm. Symbolizing the victory of light over darkness, it is marked by joyous celebrations, beautiful diya (lamp) decorations, sumptuous delicacies, and fireworks. This auspicious occasion brings together families, friends, and communities to spread positivity, joy, and harmony.
However, this tradition has a spiritual meaning as well. Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj has explained the deeper significance of Diwali in his lectures. He noted that many people In the world celebrate Diwali, but they do not know its true significance. Here are some snippets from his Diwali lecture:-
“Hari Surya Maya Tam Govind Radhe”
God is like the sun and Maya is like darkness
“Hari ave ur maya tam ko bhaga de”
When God enters the heart, Maya runs away
Jagadguru Kripalu Shri Maharaj Ji
“Darkness is the enemy of the light. Just like sorrow is the enemy of happiness, Ignorance is the enemy of knowledge. Death is the enemy of life. Maya is the enemy of God. Although it is God’s enemy, Maya can’t even face God. Ved Vyas states, “God is beyond ignorance and Maya. Maya is a power of God.”
“Krishna surya sama, maya haya andhakara
Jahan surya, tahan nahi maya adhikaara”
Shri Krishna is like the sun and Maya is like darkness.
Maya is God’s power. Being God’s power, it is very powerful. No one has been able to understand Maya. Everyone comes under the spell of Maya, except God. That’s why God challenges, “I remove Maya by my Grace for those who surrender to me.” So whenever the sun comes out, darkness disappears. Maya loses its grip on us and we become free of material defects.
“Darkness does not need to have to be told to leave. It will disappear by itself. In the dark, you turn on the switch and immediately there is light all around. Light travels at the speed of 1,86,000 miles per second. And God can travel infinite miles per second. Maya cannot compete with Him.
So the true meaning of celebrating Diwali is to bring God into your heart through your mind so that Maya will leave you. In other words, bring light into your heart, so that the darkness of ignorance may disappear. God is described as “sat, chit, anand.” ‘Sat’ means eternal life, ‘chit’ means complete knowledge, the All-knowing and ‘anand’ means Bliss. God is the infinite ocean of these three.
When God enters into your heart, Death leaves you forever. Ignorance leaves you forever, suffering leaves you forever, and the Mother of all these three (Maya), leaves you forever. And then the individual soul attains immortality, infinite knowledge, and unlimited happiness for all eternity.”
“This Maya in the form of darkness cannot stand in front of God. Just like darkness cannot remain where there is sun, let alone challenge the sun.
Darkness simply cannot come in front of the sun.”
Bhagwat, (Ref: 2.5.13 ).
This is the actual true significance of celebrating Diwali, as explained by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Our hearts are presently bereft of God’s consciousness. By lighting lamps and celebrating the Festival of Lights, we invite God into our hearts and in our lives. We pray to him to bless us with his treasures such as devotion, faith, and divine knowledge to eliminate the nescience within. Celebrating true Diwali is when the inner demons of pride, anger, greed, lust, and envy get destroyed by the light of Divine knowledge.
Shri Kripalu Dham is also celebrating this joyous festival with special prayers, sumptuous delicacies, and thousands of lighted candles. Today also happens to be the birthday of our beloved Amma Ji, our Divine Mother. So it is a day of double joy. The whole of Bhakti Dham is bedecked in lights and looking like a bride. Thousands of people have thronged to see the beautiful lights and colorful decorations at Bhakti Dham Mandir and Guru Dham Mandir and be part of the grand celebrations here.
Let us all also join these festivities and light a Diya of faith and invite Shri Krishna into our hearts today.
Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat wishes all our devotees a very “Happy Diwali.”
*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*
(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharaj Ji)
The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957, by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include - Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.