According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, it was on this day that Lord Ram returned home to Ayodhya with his wife and brother after 14 years of exile, and after defeating and killing the demon Ravana who had kidnapped Ram’s wife.
The people of Ayodhya were overjoyed at having their king return to his rightful throne, so they lit the city up with hundreds and thousands of lamps. And every year since then, this day came to be known as Deepavali or Diwali, translating literally to ‘a queue of diyas (lamps)’.
Diwali means a lot of different things to everyone: family, friends, spirituality, worship, wealth, sweets and so on. But the essence of Diwali lies in its very means: a row of diyas.
It is the festival of lights that shine bright and continuous across the sky and in one’s heart. Diwali lights are the symbols of victory, perseverance, endurance and grace. They teach us to be happy, and hope for the light that we find across the darkness.
Today, if I had to cure one ailment for anyone. I would give a blind man a lamp. They would not be able to see it, of course, so I would describe it to then: how the lamp flickers in the soft breeze, how the shadows play on the wall, how the little flame dances like a ballerina. I would make them touch it, so they could feel the warmth, feel it run through them, energizing and enlightening their very core. I would will for this light to dispel all their insecurities, darkness and despair, and fill them with incandescent and scintillating love and warmth.
I would give them Light.