Diwali or Dipavali (meaning Line of Lights) is the Festival of Lights celebrated by those of India’s Hindu/Vedic, Jain and Sikh cultural traditions, and this year it begins tomorrow (Nov. 9th) and will go on for five nights of celebration aimed around the new moon that will occur in sidereal Libra on Wednesday. The Lakshmi puja is perhaps the most significant day which commemorates the birth and blessing of Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of love, wisdom, beauty, and abundance, and this will be the night of the 10th (Tuesday), as Lakshmi was born in the darkest night before the New Moon (Amavasya Tithi, which is the night of 10th-11th before the Sun and Moon conjoin at Pratipada Tithi).
The late Swami Krishnananda Saraswati of the Divine Life Society wrote a beautiful essay about the spiritual meaning if Diwali, in which he explained:
Diwali is an occasion for spiritual exhilaration, a lighting up of all darkness, socially as well as personally, outwardly and inwardly, for the purpose of allowing an entry of the Supreme Light of God into the hearts of all people. Diwali is the celebration of the rise of Knowledge. It is also the celebration of the victory of the Sattvic or divine elements in us over the Rajasic and Tamasic or baser elements which are the real Asuras, the Rakshasas, Narakasura and others. The whole world is within us. The whole cosmos can be found in a microscopic form in our own body. Rama-Ravana-Yuddha and Tarakasura-Vadha, and all such Epic wars,–everything is going on inside us. Dipavali is thus also a psychological context, wherein we contemplate in our own selves the holy occasion of self-mastery, self-subjugation and self-abnegation leading to the rise of all spiritual virtues which are regarded as lustre or radiance emanating from Self-Knowledge.
Bhagavati Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, does not merely mean the Goddess of wealth in a material sense. Lakshmi does not mean only gold and silver. Lakshmi means prosperity in general, positive growth in the right direction, a rise into the higher stages of evolution. This is the advent of Lakshmi. Progress and prosperity are Lakshmi. In the Vishnu Purana we are told if Narayana is like the sun, Lakshmi is like the radiance of the sun. They are inseparable. Wherever Narayana is, there is Lakshmi. Wherever is divinity, there is prosperity. So on this day of Dipavali we worship the Supreme God who is the source of all conceivable virtues, goodness and prosperity, which is symbolised in illumination, lighting and worship in the form of Arati and gay joyous attitude and feeling in every respect. So, in short, this is a day of rejoicing over the victory of Sattva over the lower Gunas, the victory of God Himself over the binding fetters of the soul.
May your light shine brighter and brighter with each coming day, and may all the devas bless you and yours now and forever.
Love and light,
༺ ♥ ༻ There is a Light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our hearts.~ Chandogya Upanishad, 3:13.7