Diwali also referred to as Deepawali especially by the Southern Indians, is a very special and popular Indian festival among the Hindus. It is widely celebrated by the Hindu community. Diwali is a five-day festival and is celebrated once a year either in October or November – it had no fixed days.
Many traditions and customs are observed during Diwali, and one of them is the lighting of Diyas. Diwali refers to “Festival of Lights” and was derived from “Deepavali, a Sanskrit word meaning “a row of glittering lights/lamps.” So, many people either do not understand the importance of lighting Diyas or have a misconception about the lighting of Diyas
For better understanding, this article would explain the significance of lighting Diyas on every Diwali festival.
Diwali and Lights
Aside from keeping the house clean during the Diwali festival, every family decorates their home beautifully with colourful and lovely lights. Moreover, this is done with candles, vibrant electric lights, or oils lamps – there are many chances of making their homes a lighting and glowing place. Customarily, the lighting is done with clay lamps with cotton wicks. Though the tradition of using clay lamps is gradually fading away in most parts of India, the concept of lights remains unchanged.
Most people are eager to know where the concept of lighting Diyas came from for celebrating Diwali. The clay lamps or Diyas are synonymous to the Diwali festival. Diyas are placed at the thresholds of offices, shops, and homes to make everywhere look bright. New and beautiful clothes are worn, and delicious foods are prepared to add to the spirit of Diwali celebration.
Origin of Lighting Diyas on Diwali
One of the reasons for celebrating Diwali is to cause more love and prosperity among families and homes. It is also a way of celebrating the triumph of good over evil especially for the Northern Indians, who linked the practice to the legend of the return of Lord Rama, the Hindu god, after his 14-years exile to his kingdom together with his wife, Sita, and brother, Laxman, after the defeat of Ravana. According to myths, his return was welcomed with the lit of Diyas by the people. Rama’s victory over Ravana signifies the victory of good over evil.
Aside from this fact, it is customary for the Hindus to light Diya in their homes every evening to signify a submission of their souls to the almighty.
What is the Significance of the Oil and Wick in Diyas?
The oil used to light up Diyas signifies all the negative human characters, such as anger, lust, greed, jealousy, hatred, and many more. The wick signifies the soul – the inner self. So, the lighting of Diyas symbolises clearing the mind of all these negative characters by enlightening the inner self. As the oil disappears from the Diyas, the negative habits are believed to disappear.
It is generally believed that enlightening only occurs when one walks in righteousness, just like Lord Rama did. Hence, Diyas are not merely for lighting the homes but enlightenment, gaining knowledge, and for purging the soul.