In the grand tapestry of ancient Indian traditions, each festival holds a scientific foundation. While we perceive Amavasya (new moon) as an inauspicious time, then why is our greatest festival, Diwali, celebrated on the day of Amavasya? Let us delve into this query today. The commonly offered explanations for the observance of Diwali often feel incomplete, such as Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, Lord Krishna’s vanquishing of the demon Narakasura and rescuing 16,000 women, Lord Vamana freeing Goddess Lakshmi from the reign of King Bali, Lord Mahavira attaining supreme knowledge, King Vikramaditya’s ascension to the throne, and the birth of Goddess Lakshmi during the churning of the ocean. However, these explanations seem insufficient.
The rich tapestry of Indian tradition revolves around the concept of “Yat Brahmande Tat Pinde” – what exists in the cosmos also exists within the human body. This principle is deeply ingrained in our cultural practices. Thus, it is natural to assume that there would be certain mysterious elements in the cosmos or the Brahmand, which is why we celebrate Diwali.
During Vedic times, calculations were based on the positions of the sun and the moon in the sky. In the Ashwin month, just like any other new moon, the sun and moon align at 0 degrees. However, during the Ashwin month, they both align specifically in the zodiac sign of Libra, which signifies balance.
Hence, the sun symbolizes the soul or the paternal energy, while the moon symbolizes the mind or the maternal energy. The significance of this alignment in the zodiac sign of Libra, which embodies balance, is that it creates a state of balanced cosmic energy in the universe. By harnessing this energy, we can improve our lives, uplift ourselves, and fulfill our desires. In fact, the fulfillment of desires is also known as the attainment of goals. The word “goal” is derived from the Sanskrit root “laksh,” which is also the root of the word “lakshmi.” This is why Diwali is considered as the day of the birth of Goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth and prosperity.
It is not surprising that during the churning of the ocean, a balance was created through the efforts of two different and opposing energies: the devas and danavas, resulting in the birth of Goddess Lakshmi.
Therefore, on the day of Diwali, a unique balancing energy is available in the cosmos, through which we can manifest wealth or fulfill our desires.
If we delve into further detail, on the day of Diwali, the sun and moon are positioned in the ‘Swati’ nakshatra of the Libra zodiac sign. This nakshatra holds a significant place and conceals a mystery within its name.
The word ‘Swati’ is derived from the combination of two words – ‘Su’ and ‘Ati’. Here, ‘Su’ is a prefix that signifies something good or more. For example, ‘Su Gandh’ means pleasant fragrance and ‘Surup’ means beautiful form. On the other hand, ‘Ati’ means ‘to come’ or ‘to bring’, so ‘Lati’ means ‘to bring’ or ‘to come’ in a good way.
Thus, the meaning of ‘Swati’ would be to bring forth or arrive in a good way.
To bring forth what? To bring forth a cosmic energy that enables us to attain our desires. We have the ability to work independently and self-reliantly, aligned with our own desires, through this cosmic energy that is available on Diwali. If we observe the symbol of the Swati nakshatra, it is represented by a small plant swaying in the wind. This symbol signifies independence, delicateness, and freedom.
The description of Swati in the Amarakosha also aligns with this interpretation: “One who performs actions in their own strength is called Swati.”
स्वेनैव आतती इति स्वाती ।
Once we have understood all of this, a question arises as to how we can make use of the powerful and uplifting energies available on the day of Diwali. First and foremost, let us explore the energy that the Swati nakshatra represents. It is believed that the deity associated with the Swati nakshatra is ‘Vayu’, which translates to ‘wind’. Let us examine this further:
स्वाती नक्षत्रं वायुर् देवता ।
– तैत्तिरिय संहिता
The element of Vayu, or air, is related to our subtle body through the heart chakra, also known as the Anahata chakra. Without delving into excessive detail, the Muladhara chakra represents the earth element, the Svadhisthana chakra represents the water element, the Manipura chakra represents the fire element, the Anahata chakra represents the air element, and the Vishuddhi chakra is associated with the ether element.
When we look at the symbol of the Anahata chakra, we see two different triangles or the balancing energy of the feminine and masculine. It is not just a coincidence that the Anahata chakra works to connect the three lower chakras with the three upper chakras.
You may be amazed to learn that the Muladhara chakra is referred to as the Brahma granthi, the Anahata chakra as the Vishnu granthi, and the Ajna chakra as the Mahesh granthi. Moreover, as we all know, Goddess Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu. So, if on the day of Diwali, we meditate on the Anahata chakra, focusing on the remembrance of wealth or our goals, we will assuredly attain success. Remember, we must maintain awareness towards Vayu or prana, meaning we need to practice pranayama or breath control, and then after that, visualize what we desire in our heart.
Our ancient scientists, the Rishis, were aware of these principles, which is why on Diwali, in the business-oriented state of Gujarat, there is a ritual of worshipping business books. It is known as ‘Chopda Pujan’, where the books for the upcoming year are worshipped.
So, in essence, what we need is the force to manifest what we desire and the freedom to do so. On the day of Diwali, these opportunities are available in the universe. All we need to do is focus on our hearts or the Anahata chakra and communicate our desires to the universe. Whether your time is limited or the planetary alignments pose challenges, the unique energy of Diwali will undoubtedly ensure the fulfillment of your wishes. So, with this prayer, I shall conclude, hoping that the energy of Diwali, which is associated with wealth generation and wish fulfillment, brings benefits to us all.