Although this year Diwali, the festival of lights, will be different, it is still an important Hindu festival celebrated with joy and happiness. Diwali is also known as Deepavali. Deepavali consists of two words.
A deep vali is a row of light. The word ‘Diwali’ means ‘a row of lights’. The festival of lights signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
On Diwali, we decorate our homes with lights and diyas. The lighting of a Diya is an important part of prayer in Hindu tradition and signifies purity, goodness, good luck, and power. The festival of lights, Amavasya, falls on the day of the new moon (15th day of Karthik Masam).
The presence of light means the non-existence of darkness, and by extension, evil forces. When there is no light, it is thought that evil spirits and powers gain strength and become aggressive. Diyas are lit in every corner of the house to weaken evil forces.
The Diya has a more profound meaning. The oil in the diya symbolises the impurities in the human mind such as greed, envy, hate, lust etc. The cotton in the diya is a symbol of the soul or the atma.
The diya provides illumination when the oil is burnt by the wick. One should get rid of greedy and materialistic thoughts, therefore the illumination of the diyas means that. This leads us to enlightenment and a connection with God, freeing us from all kinds of grief. You must learn to love and serve others unconditionally.
On Ashwin Purnima, which is a full moon day, it is suggested that one should buy diyas. The diyas should be soaked in water until they are saturated and then they will be ready for the Diwali puja.