Here’s wishing you a happy and prosperous Diwali.
A bit about what Diwali is about from a previous year’s post follows.
For most North Indians, Diwali means the worship of Devi Lakshmi. For Bengalis, in contrast, the main emphasis during Diwali is on the worship of goddess Kali, affectionately known as Ma Kali to Bengalis. Kali is the fierce form of Durga, or Shakti. Ma Durga is worshipped during “Durga Puja” (which Bengalis refer to simply as “pujo”) which happens just a few weeks before Diwali.
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, and Kali epitomizes that battle between the forces of creation and the forces of destruction. (See the wiki on Kali for more.) I find it particularly interesting that Diwali is associated both with Kali and with Lakshmi. Both are manifestations of Shakti, the primary power motivating the universe. Working hard to create wealth is the worship of Lakshmi. Fighting evil and defeating it is the worship of Kali.
I believe that Indians by and large have neglected what Diwali means. We have to confront evil and destroy it because otherwise we will not have the opportunity to create wealth. We have to worship Kali and Lakshmi.
Happy Diwali and a happy new year!
[The above recycled from a 2011 post.]