Significance Of Diyas, Rangoli, Lanterns And Sweet During Diwali

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

As we all know that Diwali is also known as “FESTIVAL OF LIGHT” which we celebrate every year usually lasting for five days and celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). First to understand what is the significance of Diyas, Rangoli, Lanterns and sweets we need to understand what Diwali is. It is celebrated to honor Rama-Chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness). The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. The Diwali festival in southern India often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna, a deity worshipped in Hinduism, who was finally able to subdue Naraka and free the prisoners. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light. Let’s see the significance of Diyas

SIGNIFICANCE OF DIYA
Diya is essential in Hinduism because it signifies purity, goodness, good luck and power. The presence of light means the non-existence of darkness and evil forces.
Since, Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day when there is supreme darkness everywhere; people light millions of lamps to get rid of the darkness. It is believed that evil spirits and forces gain power and become active when there is no light. So the oil in the diya symbolizes the dirt in the human mind — such as greed, jealousy, hatred, lust etc. — which human beings tend to nurture. The cotton in the diya is symbolic of the Atma or the self or the soul. The diya presents light when the oil is burnt by the wick. Hence, lighting of the diyas signifies that one needs to get rid of the selfish and materialistic thoughts. This frees one from all forms of sadness, guiding the path to enlightenment and to connect with the Supreme Being. Diyas are lit in every corner of the house to weaken those evil forces. Hindu philosophy or belief further states that after the realization of Atma, one must learn to love and serve others unconditionally, without any expectations of rewards in return. Such selfless service would bring contentment, anand or happiness in our lives. The external materialistic rewards are only illusions. Hence, as a part of purification on Diwali, one must endeavor to make one’s Atma purer. Instead of trying and expecting to change the world outside, change inside.

SIRITUAL ESSENCE OF DIWALI
There is a shloka in Sanskrit: ‘Tamso-ma-jyotir-gamaya’ which signifies the journey from darkness to light. While the Rig Vedic rishi’s shloka linguistically means moving from darkness to light, it is a mantra dedicated to the goddess Maha Lakshmi.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RANGOLI
Diwali is celebrated, primarily to herald the coming of the goddess Lakshmi. Prayers are offered to her, asking for her blessings in the form of wealth. As such, a rangoli design is created at the entrance of the house, not only to welcome the guests that visit, but also the goddess herself. Rangoli patterns are usually made using coloured chalk, rice powder, and crushed limestone.

Rangoli is known to be the first step to conducting any auspicious activity as its beauty and intricate details hold many prayers and sheer reverence. People find in themselves the passion to draw and design – by hand – images of Gods and Goddesses, lotus flowers, peacocks, abstract designs, auspicious symbols, and much more.
Although, rangoli has evolved tremendously over the years, its essence remains in the very act of preparing for it. Cleaning the house once the sun rises, drawing out an outline with chalk or flour, filling in the design of choice with the usual suspects together leads to the creation of something that is at once serene, and fulfilling.

This Diwali, learn a thing or two about the ‘Art of Rangoli‘ and what it signifies in different places across India, its evolution from tradition to present day, and its importance for the people of this country.

SIGNIFICANCE OF LANTERNS
A Kandeel is a lantern with a wooden framework and covered in coloured matte or glossy papers. These lanterns are generally hung in front of homes during the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. [citation needed] Kandeel in Sanskrit is known as akasha deepa (lantern of the sky), 'akash diva' (sky light), and in Kannada, Goodu Deepa (nested light), or Nakshatra Gudu (star-like nest). Hindus in earlier days set kandeels afloat high, a gesture to invite the spirits of their ancestors moving around to come back home and be with them during the festival time; hence the name akasha deepa (lantern of the sky) or Akasha Kandil.Kandeels are hung for around a month from the first day of Diwali. Kandeels are traditionally built in a crystal shape with tails at the bottom; shapes include stars, globes, delicate dotted designs, and simple drawings. Opaque papers cut into a complex design give more beauty to a Kandeels by blocking some of the light behind it.

SIGNIFICANCE OF SWEETS
Diwali also marks the end of harvest season of the year. This time, farmer-households assess the rewards from their crops. Farmers are thankful for the plentiful bounty of the year gone by, and when you have such a good harvest, you would share your happiness with everybody else – a good reason why we started exchanging gifts and sweets.

That said this is not the only reason why we gift sweets. Diwali also means start of a new year. It also marks the beginning of a new farming / business year. We welcome New Year by firing crackers, wearing new clothes, visiting temples and exchanging sweets.
In short, the sweets we give at time of Diwali are for wishing our friends and family a prosperous and happy new year. After all, who doesn’t love a sweet year ahead?

There are a hundred types of varieties ranging from laddoo, barfi, besan, Gulab jamun, petha, halwa, and so many more. Some of the special mithai's that are prepared during Diwali are Gujjia, Gulab jamun, Coconut barfi, besan or flour laddoo's, etc.

I would like to end up by saying that,” A national festival is an occasion to refine and rebuild the national character.” In this festival of Diwali we should fight with our bad nature and as where there is light there is no darkness same way where there are good habits there are no Bad ones.



Report:
Ved Valani, 7-D, Indian Educational School
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