Diya is a small earthen lamp, which was used as a source of light in olden times. Decorating homes with lighted diyas is an important part of Diwali festivities. Diwali is a five-day long festival and the main night of Diwali is the darkest of all. It falls on a moonless night, which is why the lamps are lit and thus, accomplish the purpose of Diwali i.e. the reign of brightness over darkness and wisdom over obscurity. The lamp consists of a cotton wick and some oil or ghee that serves as the fuel. Normally, the diyas are washed in water to get rid of the dust and then dried under the sun. This is either done the day before Diwali or the same day in the morning. Once these lamps are cleaned, they are placed all around the house and then, cotton wicks are properly placed and oil is poured. By evening, people start lighting these diyas. Have you ever wondered about the origin of this tradition? Read this article and learn about the origin and significance of this tradition.
The Significance of Lamps
The tradition of kindling lamps is believed to have originated in the Treta Yuga, during the time of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was on a fourteen year exile, during which he killed Ravana, the evil king, and returned to his kingdom, Ayodhya. In order to celebrate his return, the people of Ayodhya decorated the capital city and the path that led to the palace of Lord Rama with lamps. Even today, people decorate their homes with lamps to commemorate the return on Lord Rama. The diyas also signify the power of light /knowledge which drives darkness/ignorance away. Even in their everyday lives, while worshipping their deities, Hindus light diyas. It will not be wrong to say that Diwali celebrates the supremacy of light in the lives of human beings.
Maha Lakshmi puja is more important event on the day of Diwali. Hindus offer special puja in the praise of Goddess Lakshmi. The illuminating of lamps is a kind of offering welcome to the Goddess Lakshmi, the 'Goddess of Wealth'.
Types of Diwali Diyas
As Diwali approaches, the markets get flooded with assortment of diyas, which constitute small lamps to big decorative ones. The traditional diyas are the earthen or clay lamps, which are preferred by a major number of customers. These diyas that come in various patterns reveal the traditional craftsmanship of India. The latest additions are the electronic diyas, which are replicas of the traditional diyas but, with tiny bulbs instead of the wick. These lamps are very much in vogue because, unlike the traditional lamps, they are cheap and do not consume much fuel. Electronic diyas are easy to maintain as you need not clean them after use.
Diwali spreads the element of brightness and knowledge among the people. It rejoices the victory of light over darkness and encourages people to stay by truth and justice. The diyas not only eliminate the darkness around, but also help us illuminate our spirits. The legends of Diwali have reiterated the importance of peace and prosperity for the well-being of humanity, which can succeed if, and only if the darkness in their hearts is removed.