Celebrating Diwali – the Festival of Lights
The followers of Vedic tradition from all over the world and India celebrate the 5-Day festival – Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights.
It starts with Dhanteras. Dhan means wealth; therefore, we invite prosperity, abundance, and wealth into our lives. Teras means 13th – because it is celebrated on the 13th day of the waning moon. Hence Dhan Teras has a lot more significance for the bankers, traders (including stock traders), and the rest of the business community.
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is celebrated and honored on Dhanteras and throughout the whole of Divali.
During Dhanteras, the physician of the gods, Dhanvantari is also celebrated. According to the Vedic scriptures, once the devas (godly beings) and asuras (demonic beings) together were churning the milky ocean (Samudra Manthan). Upon completion, various gifts, treasures, and benevolent beings started to appear from it. The Dhanvantary – the doctor of the gods and patron of Ayurveda, appeared holding the vessel with Amrita (elixir of immortality).
Goddess Lakshmi also appeared from the same ocean during the churning signifying the return of all the wealth and prosperity to the world.
If we approach this story from the archetypal perspective – the milky ocean here represents our consciousness. If we go to the beginning of the story, it tells us that once the king of devas (gods), Indra, was cursed by the sage Durvasa, and as a result of the curse, the gods lost their wealth and glory personified as Lakshmi. Also, the Amrita (elixir of immortality) was dropped in the ocean during the fight between Indra and the king of Asuras.
Shiva Mahadev advised Indra to get together with asuras and start churning the milky ocean to bring back the Wealth and Elixir of Life.
While the ocean here represents our consciousness, asuras represent our shadow parts, and devas represent our light (or “good/acceptable”) parts.
To become wealthy and healthy, we must meticulously churn our consciousness and integrate shadow parts with our psyche’s good/accepted parts.
Also, (per my experience), we should engage in spiritual practice to elevate ourselves to higher levels of consciousness.
Once we are whole and complete, the health represented by Dhanvantary and wealth represented by Lakshmi will appear as a result.