Diwali: A Festival of Lights
Sunday, October 22 nd , 11:30 am to 2:30 pm


Diwali means "rows of lighted lamps" and the celebration is often referred to as the Festival of Lights. The festival marks the return of Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after fourteen years in exile. Rama, with the aid of the monkey god, Hanuman, defeated the demon king, Ravana of Lanka, and rescued Sita who had been captured.,

 

After this victory, the entire city of Ayodhya was decorated with flowers and garlands in celebration of Rama and Sita's return. Throughout Ayodhya devotees were anxiously awaiting their arrival. Rama returned to Ayodhya with Sita and was greeted with joy and celebrations. Rows of clay lamps were lit to welcome them. The story signifies the triumph of good over evil or the coming of God-consciousness into the life of the devotee. The day Rama destroyed Ravana is called Dussehra. The day that Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya is called Diwali. According to the Puranas, Diwali represents the day Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, married Laksmi, the goddess of abundance and grace. 

 

Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, Sita is an incarnation of Laksmi and Hanuman is an incarnation of Shiva.


In India, homes are cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Laksmi. Candles and lamps are lit as a greeting to Laksmi. Gifts are exchanged and festive meals are prepared during Diwali.  We will celebrate Diwali at the Temple on Sunday, October 22, starting at 11:30 am with chanting and mantra with the Temple musicians. Swami Pranananda will give the noon meditation “Ignite, Nourish and  Sustain Your Inner Light ” followed by a meditative visualization honoring this festival by Sylvia Ewing. The festival will conclude with a ritual followed with tea and vegetarian fare. All are welcome.

Happy Diwali!