Vijayadashami is over. We have celebrated the triumph of good over evil. It is now time for celebration of diwali (or, deepawali) as Lord Rama returns to his kingdom twenty days after vanquishing Ravana. It is amavasya. It is a no-moon night. It is pitch-dark everywhere. The people of Ayodhya lit up diyas to welcome the arrival of Rama. They used lights to drive away darkness. That is the festival of lights. That is diwali. We celebrate the return of the victorious Lord Rama to this day with diyas (earthen lamps), patakas (fire crackers) and mithais (sweetmeats), new clothes and prayers and offerings to gods.
Diwali is a joyous occasion. We all celebrate diwali. We worship the Lord. We decorate our homes. We wear new clothes. We enjoy sweets and other Diwali delicacies. We burst crackers.We go shopping. We exchange gifts with our relatives and friends. There can be no better way to celebrate a joyous occasion like this.
But, after we have done all that, let us take a moment off …to think of the people who have no home…who sleep in the streets…who do not have much to wear…who do not have anything to eat …who are starving for days…
For them, the whole life is a long amavasya. There is so much of darkness in their lives. Take some time off for these poor souls. Go to them…talk to them. Offer them food and clothes. Offer them sweets. Treat them with compassion. Make them feel that they are not unwanted. Light a diya in their lives. Drive away the darkness from their lives at least on this festive occasion.
If we do that to a few of our poor and unfortunate brethren, that would be an excellent way to celebrate diwali. They say joy becomes ten-fold when you share it. What better way to celebrate the festival of lights than this?