This is my endeavor to bring to light, what the significance of the Festival of Lights truly is. I believe literature will carry in its safe hands, the pure and rich culture of India. Thus, we plan on writing a series of posts which express what Diwali means, beyond other “intolerant” misconceptions.
Diwali is celebrated over 5 days, with each day holding a different meaning and celebrated to observe different auspicious and practical ideologies. The first day, (today – 9/11/15) is Dhan Teras, which marks the beginning of the mega festival in India. Dhan meaning wealth, and Teras meaning 13.
Dhan Teras symbolizes the onset of worship to the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, according to Hindu mythology – Goddess Lakshmi. It is celebrated two days before Diwali, that is, two days before the new moon.
The significance of this day is profound. As households prayed to the Goddess of Wealth, men were believed to look into the needs of the household and purchase new utensils and other requirements of their homes. Shopping, as we have it today, did not exist centuries ago. Dhan Teras was the day people bought new clothes, utensils, and marked the beginning of a new year. Today, Dhan Teras has been modernized in the form of people purchasing a gold or silver coin, or anything new to observe this tradition.
With Dhan Teras begins a scintillating festival, glittering the streets of India with light, color, and warmth. It signals the onset of a new year with prayers of prosperity and wealth. Diwali illuminates homes with diyas, hearts with enthusiasm, and a common spirit towards the history and heritage of this great country.
It is pitiful some (many) people, especially young kids, have correlated Diwali with environmental and societal problems that prevail in India all year round, yet become immensely important at this time of the year; they see not much in this grand Festival of Lights. Diwali has been camouflaged with matters unrelated, making the festival lose its beautiful essence.
It is a magnificent festival, this. Look beyond what you see, to observe the meaning of these five days. Look Beyond the Panorama.
I always say that the Indian youth needs to learn the true Indian culture. It must be passed down from one generation to another, for us to carry it forward to eternity. I will never be able to express how thankful I am to my Father for passing on the knowledge of our heritage to me. Thanks Pops!