Understanding The Real Deeper Meaning Of Diwali Celebration And Traditions Around It


Akin to every year this year also saw the festival of Diwali mired in unwanted debate and controversies. The ban on the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi and NCR by the Honourable Supreme Court resulted in a fiery discussion on the methods of Diwali celebrations. While whether firecrackers should be lit or not is inconsequential, let us look at the more profound and true meaning behind the festival of Diwali.

Every Indian is perhaps aware that we celebrate Diwali to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his victory over Demon King Ravana. Beyond this, for most people, Diwali means firecrackers, sweets, long holidays, and vacation. While that may be true, every ritual behind Diwali celebrations has a deeper spiritual and even scientific meaning to it.

During the first day of Diwali people light lamps on the southern side of the house, and the Vedas say “Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amrutamgamaya.” There is a misconception that this is done to achieve freedom from death. It is not the case as death is inevitable and this meaning comes from a flawed translation. The lamps are lit to thank Lord Krishna for getting rid of those people who appear to cause suffering in our lives.

There are different school of thoughts on the why there is a need to light a Diya (maybe that is causing pollution too). However, the earthen round clay Diya symbolizes dharma chakra. The wick of the Diya represents the time all of us have on this earth. No one knows who long we have got or how long will the wick burn. So, it is paramount for us to live our lives to the fullest and do everything that we have always wanted to do.

Diwali is about forgiving and forgetting the wrongdoings of others. In the fervor of festivities, it is time for everyone to move on and forget the past. This gives you an opportunity to have a higher quality life without the anger or hatred towards anyone.  People wake up early during Diwali during the ‘Brahmamurat’ which an hour and a half before sunrise.  Spiritually and even scientifically this is good from the standpoint of your health, efficiency in work, and ethical discipline.

Diwali is also about uniting with your loved ones and sharing the joys of life. The positive vibrations produced by the celebrations result in a positive outlook towards life and help you get rid of hatred & negativity. Lastly, it is also about prospering and sharing your joys with the lesser fortunate.

Over the years, the true meaning of Diwali may have been lost, but at the core, it is still about fending off your inner evil. It may not be possible to cover the complete essence & real meaning of each and every Diwali tradition in one article. However, one should remember that despite the contrary claims of most Diwali traditions being unwarranted, the traditions have real deeper meaning that each of us needs to understand, cherish, and of course, celebrate.