What is Diwali Really – True Meaning of the Festival of Lights

True Meaning of Diwali

What Dewali Is

Today is Diwali and along with wishing each and every one of you a very Happy and Healthy Diwali, I also want to share some of my thoughts on what is the esoteric meaning behind this glorious occasion.

For those who don’t know what Diwali is, it is the day when Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 in exile and after defeating the demon king Ravana.  It is celebrated with a great deal of enthusiasm in India and the reason it’s also called the Festival of Lights, is that on this day diyas (small clay lamps) are lit in abundance to greet the return of Rama.

This great story of Rama and Ravana is called the Ramayana.  Along with the Mahabharata, which hosts the Bhagavad Gita and Teachings of Sri Krishna, this is the other great epic tale of the Indian culture.  When I was young, my favorite book and prized possession was a copy of the Ramayana.  Of course the primary reason for this being my favorite book was due to the great tales of valor and heroism by Rama and his brother Lakshman, but the other reason was because it had 10 to 15 pages of illustrations, and these pictures were so extraordinarily beautiful that I would never tire of looking at them.   

Meaning of Ramayana from Kundalini Yoga:

Some of you might be aware of that there is an esoteric meaning for the Ramanyana and that the great story is a means by which to teach the secret of Kundalini Yoga  to others.  This esoteric meaning is as follows:

In the Ramayana, the King of Lanka, Ravana kidnaps Rama’s wife Sita.  This leads to a great war in which Rama and his brother Lakshman, with the help of Hanuman defeat Ravana and free Sita from Lanka.

The way this is is interpreted from a Kundalini Yoga perspective is this.

Rama is the soul.

Lakshman is concentration.

Sita is Kundalini Shakti

Ravana is Ego

Hanuman is Prana

Lanka is the Root Chakra

So from the above the true meaning of the Ramayana is that the Soul (Rama) needs to use Lakshman (Concentration) to harness the power of Prana (Hanuman) in order to defeat the ego (Ravana) and liberate Kundalini Shakti (Sita) from the Root Chakra (Lanka).

So this is esoteric meaning of the Ramayana, but I have some input here on why when this all happens it ought to be called Diwali or the Festival of Lights.

What Is Diwali Truly – The Festival of Lights:

Often times the great masters would simply call light as God.  They just said light is God.  It is my experience that often enlightenment experiences and the very journey to Self Realization is filled with many astonishing experiences with light.  Thus, for me the real meaning of Diwali, or The Festival of Lights, is the experience of inner light that takes place as we encounter and come closer to realizing our true nature – Rama.

Perhaps Diwali can be though of as the day of ultimate illumination when one sees completely the false nature of the ego and dualistic reality.  It is the day of enlightenment, such as that for Lord Mahavira on Diwali.

Below are some examples of the inner Diwali that takes place on your journey back to the Self.

Inner Festival of Lights:

1. Intense White Light:

In the article, Kundalini Awakening Symptoms, I described this experience of pure, white light that is extraordinarily beautiful that one spontaneously encounters within.  This light can be so bright, that one feels one would be blinded if one looked at it directly, but of course it is inner light and can be enjoyed and gazed at without harm.  Now that is one powerful diya :-).

In the 500 plus comments the above article received, you will find many more examples of yogis enjoying inner Diwali.

2. Incredible Cosmic Formations:

Diwali typically is celebrated with lots of fireworks, but no firework show compares to the incredible celestial formations which you may be given a tour of on this journey to enlightenment.  For my experience of such an astonishing trip, you can read the article: Inducing Altered States of Consciousness.

3. Pure Colors and Light:

Recently, late in the night, I had the experience of light in a different way than above.  I experiences colors that were so incredible pure, so perfect and so beautiful that they left one incredulous and breathless.  Encountering beauty of this magnitude always brings with it such joy, that is it hard to express the elation in words.

What is Diwali for You?

So that was my latest celebration of Diwali :-) and tonight I will celebrate Diwali with my wife and 2 boys, and let me tell you, in no way is that any less special that all the inner celebrations I have had.  If you have experiences of light and joy which you would like to share with us, please do so in the comments section below.  If you have your own or another interpretation of What is Diwali, we would love to hear about that as well.

So again, wishing you all a wonderful Diwali and may your lives be filled peace, happiness, love and light.

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11 replies
  1. Rajiv
    Rajiv says:

    Loved the analogy of liberating the Kundalini shakti (Sita) from the root chakra and ego, using prana and concentration. May the light shine bright within you and the family on this Diwali and spread outward to those who dwell in darkness, trapped in our base chakras.

    Reply
  2. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Thevan,

    Thank you for stopping by and your input. There are several occasions associated with Diwali, but primarily it is the return of Rama after exile.

    Wiki (thankfully :-) has that listed as well, as the first entry. Perhaps you missed it?

    Quote below from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali”

    “The return of Rama after 14 years of Vanvas (banishment). To welcome his return, diyas (ghee lamps) were lit in rows of 20.”

    Wishing you all the best.

    Love and Light,
    Anmol

    Reply
  3. Thevan
    Thevan says:

    I guess there is something wrong with your interpretation as I was informed that Diwali was celebrated the victory Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama over the Demon Naraka (Narakasura). It has noting to do with Ramayana. You can check Wikipedia on the internet. Even though your esoteric explanation make sense but the event you connected with the occasion is wrong.

    Please check and ensure the facts of the events. Otherwise this may lead to misinform your followers or fans.

    Take care & have a nice day.

    Reply
  4. Nim Sethi
    Nim Sethi says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Now that my kids are getting older, I am trying to read more about our culture and philosophies so that I can teach the kids. Your writing about Diwali happens to be one of the more enjoyable and thought provoking ones I have come by!
    Thanks for sharing!
    And happy diwalli to you and your family! Nim

    Reply
  5. manju
    manju says:

    Dear Anmol,
    Thanks for your nice article.God bless you for helping so many
    people of the world. Wish you and your family a very happy Dipaawali.
    Manju

    Reply
  6. Ramj
    Ramj says:

    true meaning of Diwali is first lightened oneself soul with compassion and ignite other divas (souls) around one selves. Explanation of meaning is praiseworthy.

    Reply
  7. ankit
    ankit says:

    Amazing mamu, I never drew such as a parallel between the Ramayana and the fundamental hindu principles that I learned in philosophy. absolutely make sense, I mean, who wouldn’t want to liberate my mom from such a egotistical maniac lol. Happy diwali to you, mamiji and the boys!

    Reply
  8. shobha
    shobha says:

    It is very nice to know the spiritual explaination ,beyond the wordly celebrations. Wish all of you health wealth happiness of mind body & soul.

    Reply

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