Diwali, which means “row of lights” in Sanskrit, is a celebration in India and around the world to honor the inextinguishable Light within all of us. It occurs in late October or early November every year on the New Moon when the two great luminaries of our solar system are at their weakest influence. Astrologically, Surya (the Sun) is in its position of debilitation in Libra every year at this time. This means our solar nature—vision, consistent power and clarity—is the most difficult to access individually and collectively on Diwali. Chandra (the Moon) is also at its weakest as it joins Surya in the sky, for it is completely dark on this day of the lunation cycle. Consequently, the light of consciousness is most difficult to feel on this day.
This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but although the energies of the Sun and Moon create life on Earth, it is our own Inner Light that ultimately dispels the darkness of doubt, confusion, fear and ignorance and allows us to evolve spiritually. The goal of all sadhana is to gain access to that Light within ourselves. An important story of the Ramayana correlating to the ceremony of Diwali tells of the happy return of the King (Surya) and Queen (Chandra), after years spent in exile and suffering, along a path and row of lights lit by the villagers. Festivities on this day include sweets and fireworks, as lamps are lit in homes, offices and temples in worship and reverence to the Light that is not subject to time, space and causation. On Diwali we are reminded that Light is always victorious over darkness.