Today we celebrate Diwali, the glorious festival of light and victory over evil. In many homes, annual shopping is done for new clothes, new vessels and jewelery. Lamps are lit when it is dark and crackers are burst.
In my childhood, we had Chinese crackers, pellets which turned into snakes, sparklers, pomegranates which burst into a cascade of light, rockets. There were animals made of sugar given to kids. There was so much excitement. There were always accidents as children were careless, and with the arrival of synthetics, the accidents became more frequent. Now crackers are banned as they add to the pollution. We do have collective displays but it is not the same. I miss the pellets which turned into snakes and darted after an unsuspecting child. I now come back to us.
When I was a child, I just enjoyed the festival and never thought of the reasons why it was an important festival. It was important for us because we got gifts, sweets and crackers. We were told that we must clean our rooms, keep our clothes clean and the Goddess Lakshmi would be very disapproving and not bless us with gifts. Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity, Lakshya means goal, Lakshyan means mark. Lakshya signifies the material wealth, and Lakshmi is the cosmic power, being blessed with it, you have a bountiful life. The title Shree means an elevated and spiritual status. The bija mantra for Lakshmi is Shrim. The Shree Sukta is the most celebrated hymn dedicated to Shree and Maha Lakshmi is referred to as Shree.
How to celebrate Diwali
In summary you are asked to create an image of the Goddess in your consciousness with the description given. Hiranyavarnam, the first word not just golden hued, born from industrious and dedicated work, it means harmonious wealth (pure mind and body, and wealth which has no possessiveness). She grants wealth which creates wellbeing and not greed. Harinim means gentle as a deer, so your wealth causes no envy, it is shared. Harinim also means that she is the wife of Vishnu, and she upholds dharma, being the Shakti of Vishnu, the preserver. Lastly the golden ornaments of Lakshmi symbolize the glow and purity of our sadhana and our karma yoga. Lakshmi only wants us to meditate upon her with a pure heart. We have to conquer our thoughts which confuse us. Our route is Awareness and Atmabhava.
Aim Hrim Klim