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Friday, October 16, 2009

Deepavali Festival - October 17, 2009


Dear members:

The festival of Deepawali falls on October 17, 2009 this year.

It is a significant festival observed by Hindus (Sanatana dharmis), Jains, Sikhs, and even Buddhists.

For Hindus, this marks the return of Shri Raama to Ayodhya after end of His Exile period of 14 years and returning triumphantly after vanquishing the mighty demon Raavanaa. Also, this festival marks the death of Narakaasura who was vanquished by Lord Krishna with assistance from His Consort Satyabaama - marking the triumph of Right over Evil.

For Jains, this day marks the Mahaa Nirvaana of Shri Mahaaveer.

You may wonder what special signficance it has to Sikhs.... there is a historical association to celebration of Deepawali by Sikhs. Deepawali is associated with triumphant return of the Sixth Sikh Guru Har Gobin Ji, who was imprisoned with 52 other Hindu Kings by emperor Jahangir at Gwalior Fort. Mian Mir and Wazir Khan (The Governor of Lahore) recommended the release of the Guru after a period of 3 years of imprisonment at Gwalior Fort. Prior to his release, during his interview with the Mughal emperor, the respected Guru prevailed upon the emperor for release of the 52 other princes (who were considered to be rebellious by the emperor) on personal surety. After releasing the prisoners, the venerable Guru visited Harmandir Sahib (more famously known as - The Golden Temple) at Amristar where people lined up with lighted divas and candles to welcome the great Guru. So, Diwali is observed as "Bandhi Chorr Diwas" by Sikh tradition (meaning "Festival marking release of those who were imprisoned").

Thus Dipawali is a unique festival in that it has special signifiance to almost all religions that had their genesis in Indian sub-continent.

May the Festival of Lights bring new joys in our lives. May the Divine Light dawn in our lives and guide us "From untruths to Eternal Truth; From ignorance to Wisdom; and from death to Immortality" as stated in the Upanishads!


Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

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