True Meaning of Deepavali


Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated in India by firing crackers, wearing new clothes and by eating and distributing sweets. One tradition maintains that it is on this day that Satyabhama, wife of Lord Krishna, killed the demon Narakasura. However, for many the true meaning of Narakasura’s death and of Deepavali is lost. Deepavali is viewed as a mere festival. Saradamma reminds us of Deepavali’s true meaning by recounting Lakshmana Swamy’s explanation of it. Narakasura represents the ‘I am the body’ idea, the Ego or Jiva. Satyabhama is the individual soul or Atma. Deepavali signifies the killing of Narakasura, the Ego or Jiva by Satyabhama, the Atma, with the help and power of Lord Krishna, the Paramatma. Thus, Deepavali signifies the lighting of the deepam or lamp of the Atma in us brought about by killing or annihilating our ignorant Jiva. Ramana Maharishi expresses a similar sentiment in his poem on Deepavali.