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The social meaning of Deepawali
Deepawali is celebration of return of Rama from the South to the North after laying down the first foundation of Indian state on the principles of Sanatana Dharma.

RAMA, THE seventh incarnation of Vishnu, went to exile for fourteen years at the order of his father Dasharatha, according to Ramayana. While he stayed in the forest, his wife and incarnation of Laxmi, Sita, was abducted by devil king of Sri Lanka, Ravana.

Rama fought a deadly battle with Ravana and defeated him by killing him. This happened on the day of Dussehra. Rama returned to Ayodhya on the darkest night of new moon of next month Kartik. The people of Ayodhya celebrated their ideal king and God Rama’s return by lightening their houses with burning clay-pots. Deepawali is celebrated all around the north India by continuing the traditions of the very ancient people of Awadh region.

If one tries to reconstruct the Ramayana because of modern consciousness and following the Sanatana Dharma, Sita was not even abducted. In fact Rama did not go to exile. But Rama is historic. Rama did go to the South to tame a devil south Indian king Ravana, but at the invitation of south Indians coming through the wise-man Hanuman.

Rama had the option of killing Ravana but he did not choose that option. Instead he offered him marrying a north Indian fair Brahmin girl provided he accepted in part Vaishnavism and followed in part some of the traditions of the north. But this story was abandoned in favor of famous Ramayana story most probably at the instructions of Rama himself.

Rama by not killing Ravana followed the dharma and its real meaning: preaching, continuing and expanding. Killing Ravana would have made the North very infamous in the South which is still not the case even after the modern Tamil consciousness. But sparing him would have served the purpose of dharma by including the South in the mainstream Northern Hinduism. Rama exported Brahminism and Vaishnavism to the South. He promoted inter-sectarian harmony and regional harmony all around India. He was the champion of Union-state relations and the biggest investor India ever produced.

Deepawali is celebration of return of Rama to the North after laying down the first foundation of Indian state on the principles of Sanatana Dharma. Rama returned from the South after expanding the interests of the North and power ultimately residing with the North at that time. The modern power-structure in India resembles somewhat with the Ramayana story. Rama’s deeds and those of the Northerners; of sticking to the fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma and believing in the biggest possible India, led to Krishna also taking incarnation in what since independence is named as Uttar Pradesh. The two incarnations made the North center of Hinduism in ancient time.

The fact is that generally speaking Northerners as a group are the most tolerant of other Hindu beliefs, particularly those of upper caste Hindus. They are the least regionalist people in India. The credit of India being that big also belongs to them. The fact is that India needs more communication among various regions and people. Deepawali should be celebrated as the festival implying inclusiveness and harmony across regions and among people. But people should celebrate Deepawali as per their standards. Festivity and celebrations should be riding principles over any theory or ideology. The foremost important thing is that Rama is historic and people should believe in this.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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