One of the most famous prayers by spiritually inclined Hindus is: Asato Maa Sadgamaya, Tamosa Maa Jyotirga Maya Mrutyor Maa Amritangamaya, which means “Oh Supreme Divine Mother please take me from unreal to the real, take me from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge and take me from mortality to immortality”.
Diwali night is considered to be the darkest night of the year and the lighting of lamps and bursting of fire crackers on this night signifies removal of darkness by light. The light from lamps signifies that however much the intensity of darkness is, it can still be removed by just a small lamp.
Diwali is traditionally celebrated by Hindus to attract wealth by worshipping Goddess Laxmi, assuming that she will grant wealth if she is pleased with the glitter and pomp show during Diwali celebrations. What can be a bigger ignorance than this that Gods and Goddesses can be pleased by the lighting of lamps, the bursting of fire crackers and the distribution of sweets?
Gods, Goddesses and Celestial Beings could be pleased by surrender, devotion and following the right path (dharma) in life. The motive of their existence is not to fulfil our desires, passions and greed but to guide us through the right path in life and give us salvation from not only the birth and death cycle but from the pains, sorrows and miseries of the world attracted out of ignorant living.
Considering wealth alone as the object that bestows peace, happiness and health is a misnomer. Diwali and Laxmi Puja is not meant merely to pray for attracting wealth nor is it merely a celebration of Laxmi’s wedding to Vishnu or Rama’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Its significance is much more beyond these things. It is for bigger, better and more brighter aspects of life.
Bursting of crackers and lighting the sky signifies our commitment to the world, to the Celestial and the Supreme Divine Being that we will fight out the darkness surrounding us. We will light the lamp of inner knowledge. Our prayer to Goddess Laxmi on Diwali night is to bless us with true knowledge.
Sadguru Rameshji is a spiritual guru. He can be contacted at www.poornaananda.org...