Hindu Celebration Diwali Sheds Light On Goodness

October 16, 2009

Author: Annysa Johnson

Source: Journal Sentinel


Fireworks will brighten the night sky over the Hindu Temple in Pewaukee on Saturday night, its interior ablaze in light, as more than a thousand people gather for Diwali, the annual celebration of light over darkness, of goodness over evil.

"It's meant to arouse the light within," said Lakshmi Bharadwaj, who teaches sociology and religion at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and serves as education and outreach director for the Hindu Temple of Wisconsin.

"It's not merely the external light that is important," said Bharadwaj, "but the spiritual light within."

The most auspicious and festive of Hindu religious holidays, this "festival of lights" also is celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, most of whom are likely to be represented at the temple Saturday. In India, Diwali is akin to American Christmas, its celebration so widespread as to become almost a secular holiday.