Namaste! This is the customary greeting in Hindi and also is used in departing . At this time of the year all people who practice Hinduism and those like myself who respect the tradition of all people will celebrate Diwali-the festival of lights.
Before I became an initiate of Ifa/Orisha tradition I practiced the tradition by always going out to nature and offering gifts and prayers to all Orishas. I did the same with Hinduism and I also had and still do have a Chinese ancestral altar, as I do an Hindu one, where I light candles and burn incense and pray. I celebrated Diwali and kept Chinese festivals (I did this at least twice, which were grand events) and one of my dreams was to go to India one year to celebrate Diwali there. I hear it is the most beautiful thing to witness, and you come away abundantly blessed and it shows.
Lakshmi is the Hindus counterpart of my Sweet mother Osun of the Yoruba tradition; Who is the Goddess of Compassion, fertility and of sweet cool water, and of love and beauty, all cultures have within their tradition, deities of the same but of different names due to language but are described the same and petitioned for the same, below is the Goddess Laksmi and also of the Yoruba Osun;
Lakshmi of the Hindu’s
Here are images of Yeye Osun of the Yoruba Tradition
Quan Yin of the Chinese
Erzulie Freda of Voudon
In the Haitian tradition the deity above id Erzulie Freda, same as Osun and Quan Yin and Lakshmi, however I could not find a black picture to represent her, since her is venerated by Haitians who are black people, so below I have added Erzulie Danto, who is also of the water, her functions may not be the same as Erzulie Freda (I work with her, but she is a fierce protector of her children and a fighter, I love her) but to color up de ting fi de Haitians dem, I must add her!
I give you these images as to make you familiar with these goddesses and how they look, they are in every culture but by different names as I have stated before. The Oluwo who took me to Africa for the first time, for my initiation there always told me stories of him going to India to celebrate Diwali, and there was a year (2005) when I had no idea that it was Diwali time, when I had a vision of a Diwali celebration. I heard the music, saw the indians singing dancing, saw the lights, food, along with all the festivities. When I woke up, this happened several years ago, I checked on the computer and sure enough it was Diwali time. They came to my dream and reminded me. We have all been incarnated into all different cultures, we have all been white, black, and others, this racial separation and hatred should really not be. I have a strong connection to China, and my junior sister has the same for India, uncanny? I think not.
Thank you Ty, for this that you wrote. We need to learn and know all cultures and respect it, this is my belief. I will also post music you will enjoy of these celebrations.
Diwali is the festival of lights that is celebrated by Hindus. It bares many names and different spelling according to the region of india, such as Deepawali or Diwali. Deep = light and avail = a row. It is in total a five day celebration, with the third day being the day of the full all out celebration. This year it will be on October 23rd 2014 and I will also be celebrating it. It is considered an auspicious day where celebrants light clay oil pots called diyas. The thought is that the act of lighting these diyas will stir within you and the universe lightness and goodwill to enter you. The date chosen for divali is done based on the position of the moon. According to the Hindu calendar, Amavasya or ‘no moon day’ is considered as the perfect day to celebrate Diwali because it is the darkness night of the year. So by lighting the diyas, you are ridding yourself of darkness and allowing light to enter.
For all Hindu people, the festival has many meanings and stories behind the reason for the celebration. The most widely used explanation is that the festival is for Lord Rama’s victory as the King of Ayodhya after his return to the kingdom from 14 years of exile along with his wife Sita & brother Laxman after killing the demon, King Ravana.
Lakshmi is the chief deity that is petitioned on this day. Her prayers or poojas are said in the evening by all. Lakshmi is the Hindu equivalent of my beautiful mother Ore Yeye Osun. As with all things involving our beautiful mother, it is one of the biggest and most loved celebrations in India. It is a celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.
As with all celebrations, there are some customary things that are done. One is to give gifts to family and friends as an acknowledgement of their love and affection. Another is to light fire crackers as an expression to the heavens for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, and prosperity. A third, is the tradition of gambling on Diwali. The reason behind this stems from a Hindu tale that on this day, the Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year. Diwali is associated with wealth and prosperity in many ways, and the festival of ‘ Dhanteras ‘ (‘dhan’ = wealth; ‘teras’ = 13th) is celebrated two days before the festival of lights.
Let this Diwali, may we step from the darkness into light. Let the light of God that shines within us all, shine brightly, so that we can carry forth good deeds, thoughts, actions, and visions. I pray that this light burns within us all and in all mankind for today the world is so dark and filled with chaos.
Thank you Ty for this, in continuation with Ty’s post I have post a link below.
Here is a link to an article on Diwali;
I played my Lakshmi Cd yesterday while cooking and cleaning, I danced and sang (I do not know the words, but I tried). I lit my candles and filled my house with flowers and burned incense and sprayed sweet perfumes. I placed on my table dishes of sweet candy and honey, I mixed condensed milk with water, I placed dried rice and beans all things which symbolizes sweetness and abundance. I have Orisha Osun to whom I am initiate of, but this is the time of year that Lakshmi energy rises above all and stand out. Revering and venerating her is the same as I do to My Osun. There are so many things for us to do here in this world which will aid and offer assistance to us on our life’s journey, if only we take the time to try to understand things of a spiritual nature/embrace your spirituality and not cast judgement on what you do not understand.
Ẹni tó ńsáré tó ńwo ẹ̀hìn, ó di dandan, kó fẹsẹ̀ kọ /
Whoever keeps looking back while running, will certainly stumble….Yoruba Proverbs!
[Avoid distractions; be focused]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…..Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned…..Obara Meji