A big warm hello to everyone!
The festive season that was kicked off with the beginning of the Navratri festival culminates now; with the festival of lights – Deepawali, which over the years got shortened to Diwali. The word Deepawali is made up of two words – Deep, meaning oil lamps and Awali meaning arrangement in a row. The word literally means a row of lit oil lamps.
This is the day when Lord Rama, God to some but beloved Prince to the people of the city of Ayodhya, returned home from the 14 year long exile that He had to endure due to the ambition of his stepmother of seeing her own son Prince Bharat as the king of Ayodhya. He had his beloved wife Goddess Sita and devoted brother Prince Lakshman with Him in this 14 year long stay in the jungles, known as Vanvaas; for they loved Him so much that they refused to live without Him. A princess and a prince, who had never seen anything except the grandour of their palaces, volunteered to follow Him to one and a half decades in the jungles for no fault of their own, simply out of love. Their stay was eventful to say the least, but I’ll not go into details here. After fighting for survival and then for friendship, honour and love; Rama, Sita and Lakshman came back home at the end of those 14 arduous years. This was the day of the new moon in the Hindu month of Kartik, and the people of Ayodhya decided to show their love to their darling Princes and Princess by lining every street, every house and every corner with bright oil lamps so that not one corner of Ayodhya and the streets leading to and from Ayodhya was left dark.
Since then, the day is celebrated with much fanfare in India and everywhere in the world where devotees of Rama live.