Omanand Koul

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Diwali Diya

For Hindus Diwali is an auspicious day. It marks the return of the exiled hero of Ramayana-Lord Rama to Ayodhya-his hometown in central India . During this night, Rama along with his wife Sita flew into the town decorated by the townsfolk with rows of lighted lamps. The traditional way to celebrate this festival is to light earthen ware oil lamps (Diya) and offer worship to Laxmi-the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Diwali falls in the middle of five day long feast. Diwali festival occurs on the amavasya (last day of the dark fortnight of lunar month of Kartik of Vikrami calendar) when both the sun and the moon locate in Tula rashi. According to some sources the master of Tula is Shukra-the planet that affects one's wealth and prosperity. Laxmi is the Goddess that controls one's wealth (hence Shukra), the pooja of Laxmi on the day of Diwali is mandatory. And of course, in order to be able to stay in control of the wealth and prosperity one needs wisdom, hence pooja of Ganesha-the provider of wisdom- is offered along with Laxmi. Since every woman is considered a manifestation of goddess Laxmi, the attainment of household prosperity and wealth depends on the continual propitiation and respect of the household Laxmi!  This pooja of Laxmi has additional significance for the business community since for them the new fiscal year starts day after Diwali.

The traditional lighting of Diya in rows (Deepawali; Diwali) not only provides light in the dark night but also signifies dispelling of ignorance and triumph of good over evil. The wick of diya is consumed in providing light to others. This is symbolic of our resolve of sacrifice for the good of the community. The diya thus reminds us of the altruism of Rama in giving up his claim to throne at the behest of his father's wish; and that of the sacrifice of Sita for the benefit of Rama and the people of Ayodhya. In fact the word Diya in Hindi means- having given- or sacrificed. Thus I pray that the lights of Diwali night dispel darkness of ignorance and bring in prosperity, wealth, health and wisdom into our lives.

Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Laxmi Roopena Samastitaa,

Namstasse, namstasse, namstasse namo namah!

Happy Diwali!

Omanand Koul, Burlington , Massachusetts

October 17, 2009



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