Deepavali - The Festival of Lights
In the days of Deepavali festival, we do the following four things:
1. Clean our houses, etc.
2. Buy new things
3. Eat & distribute sweets
4. Light Lamps & do Lakshmi Pooja
So, the first work is - houses, shops, factories, etc. have to be cleaned during the days of Diwali. Similarly the blessed ones, who realize the importance of purifying their heart, keep it thoroughly illuminated by the Light of Knowledge imparted by the Guru. Recollection of God, faith, Jap, meditation and selfless actions clean (purify) one's heart, thereby putting an end to all his miseries.
The second work is - bringing in new things. To attain God-realization, one should adopt some such divine and pious vow or spiritual discipline as would be a direct means to Self-Realization. We get overwhelmed by trivial matters, and succumb to the fear of pain and desire for pleasure. No! Just as Gandhiji took vows in his life - a vow to observe a day long silence once a week, to observe celibacy, to speak the truth alone, to pray to God - similarly, we too should take some vrat in our life, by sticking to which, we may progress towards our goal with determination, and evolve our divine part.
The third thing is - eating & distributing sweets. Along with external sweets, the sweetness of meditation on the divine inner Self, that of Vedic contemplation, as well as of the knowledge imparted by the Guru is essential. "Vaasudeva is all that is..." - The more the people became ignorant of this Advaita Gyan (Knowledge of the non-dual Self), and the spirit of "All in One and One in All", the more they got mired in misery. A sweet like SadGuru's knowledge is a privilege, a treasure, strictly reserved for the worthy disciple.
The fourth work is - to light lamps, i.e. light the lamp of "witness consciousness", that of the Ultimate Knowledge. If you get sorrow or pleasure, it is bound to pass away, but "Who am 'I' that remains constant in past, present & future?" - such practice of Self-enquiry will kindle the lamp of Knowledge. The Real Self, the Supreme Soul is immortal; while the body is destined to die anyway. We are the eternal children of the Bliss-personified Lord, and May we live in the effulgence of the Supreme Self, discarding the wrong identification with the body, and the folly of drowning ourselves in sorrows and pleasures.
Deepavali is the birthday of Lakshmiji. On this day, we should pray to Her, “O Mother! That Who is dear to You, may also be dear to me”. And it is Lord Narayan, who is dear to Maa Lakshmi. If Lord Narayan becomes dear to us, Lakshmiji will obviously be pleased with us & bestow Her blessings upon us.
During Diwali, Goddess Saraswati is also worshipped along with Goddess Lakshmi, so that we may attain learning as well, along with wealth. Not just bread-winning education, but also the Knowledge that makes our life fragrant with the flower of liberation.