The Festival of Lights

published in The Asian Weekly, Edition 582 ( 29th Oct to 4th Nov 2021)

The Festival of Lights
By Sikiladi

It’s time once again to be celebrating
Each Hindu household’s spring cleaning
Dharma teaches hygiene and clean living
Along with prayers and family gathering

The festival of Lights brings sorts of delights
Mithai and traditional farsan tasty bites
The rows of lights and earthen oil lamps
Hindu Lunar Calendar’s greatest events

The five day festive period of Sanatan Dharam
Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs observe
Various tones, variety of significance
The Festival of Lights celebrated by all dharams

Remembering Bhagwan Ram’s victorious return
Fourteen years of exile was quite a long run
Maintain virtues; stay honest while in the Vann (forest)
Protecting his consort Mata Sita from Raavan

In Southern India Diwali marked with reverence
Bhagwan Krishna’s victory over the evil demon
Narakasura who imprisoned 16,000 women

Defeated by Shri Krishna gifting them liberation

The Western region of India has another reason
Bhagwan Vishnu’s victory over Bali’s aggression
The King’s arrogance & power had threatened
Hence, Vishnu Ji declared the evil one’s banishment

A dozen years of imprisonment he suffered
Guru HarGobind Singh‘s country was plundered
The Sikhs commemorate this day of his release
Mughal Emperor Jahangir had caused appease
The day of deliverance for 52 kings came forth
The Guru’s mahima had a fervent strong hold

The Jains to commemorate this occasion
Bhagwan Mahavir liberated in unique fashion
Having attained Nirvana on this Hindu date
Diwali is marked as an auspicious mandate

Emperor Ashoka the great redirected his fate
In his memory the day is to commemorate
Having witnessed destruction, rising above himself
He converted to Buddhism on Diwali date

Mata Lakshmi the Devi of good fortune & wealth

Enters households and businesses in joyful stealth
Farmers pray to her at this last harvest before winter
Businesses mark the first day of new financial year

The rangolis bright in vivid color and designs
The fireworks bright, all celebratory signs
The fairs, the melas, the charity drives
The Sanatani segment dressed in Brights

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