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Happy Diwali – Festival of Lights and Vedic Astrology Significance and Symbolism

Filed in News by on October 21, 2014 • views: 7038

Happy Diwali – Festival of Lights and Vedic Astrology Significance and Symbolism

Each year, on the New Moon day that occurs in the month after mid October Diwali is celebrated by Indians and those who feel in alignment with Indian Spiritual principles. Diwali is derived from 2 words Deepa (light) avali (row) – thus is also commonly called Deepavali.

According to Wikipedia:
“Diwali also known as Deepavali and the “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.”

Deeper Meaning and Origin 
The Sun is the inextinguishable light within us all. In the highest sense that light creates no shadow, as it is not just illuminating the material world. The more we identify with our self as a form,  (both physical and mental/emotional) the pure light of the sun becomes mixed with its shadow opposite. There is a saying: “the sun does not need the light of a candle”, which illustrates this principle.

It is no coincidence that on Diwali the new moon happens when the sun is debilitated in Libra each year. On this new moon day, with the sun debilitated and the moon completely dark and very close to debilitation, the inner light (and the personal experience of it, as shown by the moon) is much harder to feel and perceive. Thus, as a way to bring more intention and remembrance to the light within, we celebrate with an external “row of lights”. We literally bring candles before the Sun.

According to Wikipedia:
“The festival is mentioned in Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana, and other Sanskrit Hindu scriptures; the divas (lamps) are mentioned in Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts of sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life, who seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.”

Astrological Correlation and the Ramayana
There are many myths that illustrate this “return of the light”. Many of the classical Indian stories and deities, in one way or another, have some connection to Diwali. It is said to celebrate the return of the Pandavas from exile in the Mahabharata – and is also celebrated as the time when Sri Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura. All of these illustrate astrological principles. But I have found the celebration of the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita – from the Ramayana – to be the most succinct in illustrating the astrological and ceremonial correlations to Diwali.Lord-Rama-24

In the Ramayana, Lord Rama – the King (the Sun), his wife Sita (the moon) and his brother Lakshman (Jupiter) are banished into exile following a malicious curse. After some time Sita is kidnapped by the dark king Ravana (Saturn) and a quest to find her ensues. They illicit the help of woodland creatures (bears and monkeys) then eventually the general  of the monkeys Hanuman (Mars), in their search to find Sita and restore the kingdom.

Eventually Ravana is vanquished and the kingdom / dharma is restored. On Diwali the villagers lined the streets with lamps to celebrate the return of the King – Lord Rama (the Sun) and Sita (the Moon) – and the return of a dharmic Rule – after their long exile and suffering.

The debilitated King is shown astrologically as the Sun being debilitated at this time. Sita disappearing and being tormented is shown by the Moon being invisible and close to debility in the sky at that time. In addition, Saturn is exalted in this same portion of sky where the Sun is debilitated. This shows the dominance of Ravana over Lord Ram, until Hanuman (Mars), the general of the army organizes Ravana’s defeat – as Saturn is defeated by Mars (debilitated in Aries).

Yet, regardless of these outer conditions and “Karmas”, the inner light continues to shine and truth never leaves us.

In many ways the story of the Ramayana is shown literally by the astrological archetypes shown on Diwali.

Conclusion and Overall Theme of Diwali
In general, Diwali is a time to celebrate the inextinguishable light within, that light which is not dependent upon glory, kingdom or anything of the world. It comes at a time each year when the Sun and Moon are both at their weakest (all things considered). So, at this time we “offer a candle to the Sun” within and give thanks for all we have – which includes life itself.

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