Dhanteras, Diwali Festival and its spiritual
and astrological meanings
By Krishna Wiuker
Version en espanol
This upcoming Amavasya
or new moon in sidereal Libra, this October 30th 2016, is
a very special day, a very auspicious and meaningful Hindu
holyday and festival called Diwali or Dipavali, the festival
Diwali or Dipavali literally means a row
of lights, and it has being associated with important events
like the marriage of Lakshmi with Vishnu, with Krishna killing
the demon Narakasura and with Lord Rama returning victorious
after killing demon Ravana to his natal city, Ayodhya.
All those allegories have something in
common and a powerful message: Even at the moments of greatest
darkness, the light always triumphs and removes all ignorance
Astrologically, the day of Diwali is the darkest day of the
Why? Because the Sun is in its constellation of debilitation
(sidereal libra) and the moon is in
total darkness (just before the new moon), so it doesn’t reflect any light from
the Sun towards the earth.
The darkness and weakness of the sun and
the moon at this time tends to have a darkening effect on
the mind and emotions.
But Diwali is a reminder that the light of the Atman, the
innermost Self, The Divine within, is beyond the mind, beyond
the body, beyond the emotions and beyond the effect of the
Sun or the moon and it always prevails, even at the time of
maximum external darkness.
Puranic literature talks about a time of
great universal darkness when a demon called Narakasura, in
his thirst for power, managed to conquer and submit the whole
world, even the heavens, where the Devas (beings of light)
became powerless and oppressed by him.
Not satisfied with his lordship over the whole world, he assaulted
and kidnaped all woman and forced them to be part of his harem.
He even assaulted Adidti, the mother of the Devas, to posses
her extremely precious earrings. That humiliated everyone.
But at that time of greatest darkness, Sri Krishna, the incarnation
of the Paramatman, slayed the demon, bringing back the light
and dharma to the universe and the power to the Devas.
Narakasura is also representing the internal demon who assaults
our mind, filling if with negative thoughts, the ignorant
or lower mind, the one attached to power and materialism.
This darker side of the mind is to be re-conquered by the
meditation and realization of the Atman and the Divine light
within, the real Master of the mind.
The story of Rama depicts the same situation,
when powerful Demon Ravana kidnaped Rama’s wife Sita
and took her to his abode. Sita also represents Lakshmi, the
supreme light, the goddess, universal mother, all the good
qualities of the mind, in whose absence there can only be
After a painful time in exile from home, finally Rama kills
the demon and rescues Sita, returning home to Ayodhya with
So again this story tells about the defeat of darkness, the
recovering of the light and the return to our own dwelling,
the innermost cave of our heart, or Atman.
The marriage of Vishnu and Lakshmi also
represents the union of the Jivatman or individual Soul with
the Paramatman or divine Soul. The two merging in a marital
embrace represents the purest and highest devotional love
which destroys all forms of pain and darkness
The festival of Diwali actually starts
today on the 13th moon day (tryodasi) of the dark fortnight
which is the celebration of the birth of Dhanwantari, a manifestation
of Vishnu which is the master of Ayurveda and all healing
sciences. He came up from the churning of the cosmic ocean,
with the pot of Nectar or “Amrit” in his hands.
It is considered as a very auspicious day and highly celebrated
in the indian tradition.
Also Lakshmi, the divine female principle, the divine mother
in her pure benign form, who bestows prosperity and all good
qualities is worshiped and celebrated on this day.
Following is a writing by Swami Sivananda
about the deepest meaning of Diwali, excerpt from his book
“Hindu fasts and festivals”
“O Ram! The light of lights,
the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining
steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close
your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme
light and enjoy the real Dipavali, by attaining illumination
of the soul.
He who Himself sees all but whom no
one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon
and the stars and the whole universe but whom they cannot
illumine, He indeed is Brahman, He is the inner Self. Celebrate
the real Dipavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal
bliss of the soul.
The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars,
nor do lightning shine and much less fire. All the lights
of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner
light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights
and enjoy the supreme Dipavali.
Many Dipavali festivals have come and
gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the
night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the
heart is full of the darkness of ignorance. O man! wake up
from the slumber of ignorance. Realize the constant and eternal
light of the Soul which neither rises nor sets, through meditation
and deep enquiry.
May you all attain full inner illumination!
May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding!
May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the
Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well
as spiritual planes!”
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