Deepavali is the Festival of Lights and Victory celebrated by the Indians in India as well as in other countries. It is the Hindu Easter. It commemorates the victory over evil which is honored by lights of decoration.
What is Deepavali?
Of all the festivals celebrated in India, Deepavali is the most glamorous and important festival which is enthusiastically enjoyed by people of every religion. Its magical and radiant touch creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity. It is a Hindu festival celebrated in the month of October or November on the New moon day. It is a festival of joy and sharing. The theme of the festival is the victory of Good over Evil.
The Christian Deepavali
Christians celebrate the Easter festival which commemorates the Resurrection Of Lord Jesus on the third day of his death as it was foretold by prophets and himself. On the Easter day, the Christians lit the Paschal candle which stands for Risen Jesus and the congregation holds candles in their hands and celebrates the victory of Light over Darkness, that is Satan who stands for all evils. The church and surroundings are illuminated with candles and other lights.
The Hindu Easter
It is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the annihilation of spiritual darkness. It celebrates the victory of good over evil and exalts glory of light. This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his fourteen year exile and also the victory over the Demon king Ravana who abducted Sitadevi, beloved wife of Lord Rama. Houses are decorated, sweets are distributed by everyone and thousands of lamps are lit to create a world of fantasy.
There is another legend about Deepavali which says it is the day of the victory of Lord Krishna over Demon king named Narakasura who had managed to acquire such awesome powers that he began to terrorize the three worlds. All in the three worlds prayed Lord Krishna to protect them from Narakasura. In an encounter he was defeated and killed by Lord Krishna. As a mark of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon king’s blood. When Krishna returned home early morning on the day of Narakachaturdashi, a full moon day, the womenfolk applied scented oil on his body and gave him a bath to wash away the demon’s blood. It is to commemorate this that the custom of taking an oil bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice especially in Maharashtra and in the South India.
Why I say Hindu Easter?
Both Deepavali and Easter are festivals of light, decorated by candles, lamps and lights. Both commemorate the victory of Good over evil. In both God redeems people from destruction and death. Both are festivals of great joy. On Easter vigil, baptisms are given and the Christians are blessed with new holy water. On Deepavali day early morning taking the holy bath, which is called bath of Ganges, is very important.
Akbar the great celebrated this festival
Ayini-Akbari, the book of Akbar, describes how the great Mogul king celebrated Deepavali in his palace. The Emperor himself lit the first lamp in the center of the hall which was followed by lighting of lamps by his courtiers all around the palace. He appreciated the great meaning of this festival.
Deepavali is a festival of joy and sharing
People share whatever they have and enjoy the day in exchange of gifts. Sweets have an important place in this festival. It is a sharing of love and extension of friendship. This reminds us to lead a righteous life in the path of justice to uplift humanity in a spirit of fraternity.
If dust is God for you, where does the wisdom of dust lies? I am not condemning Hinduism or so called man-made god (statue) but if the wisdom of your (dust) god (lifeless) cannot be compared to the children of Christ who are breathing and living on earth, how can you compare deepavali with Christian Easter or even Christ Himself? Where does the man-made idol stand and where is the throne of the living God, Lord Jesus Christ? If man dies, he returns to dust. If we destroy statues or idols, it returns to dust. Lord Jesus did not return to dust after he died but he rose on the 3rd day and he lives forever and ever. Dust of the earth is not even worthy to untie the sandal of Christ Jesus, the Living God whose body did not rot in the grave. As high as the heaven from the earth, Wisdom of God is higher than man (human beings) who returns to dust and man-made statue which returns to dust. Just because one dust is worshipping another dust as god, it does not mean others have to follow or honor it blindly.