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Divali Mahotsav 2020

Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation

Divali Mahotsav 2020


6 November 2020

Remarks by

High Commissioner Tanmaya Lal


Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth

Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly

Former President and Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth

Hon. Vice Prime Minister and other Hon. Ministers present

Hon. Leader of Opposition

President of Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation Mr. Ghoorbin

My colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps

All the distinguished Guests

Members from various socio-cultural and religious organizations

Members of the media present

Ladies and Gentlemen

आप सबको मेरा नमस्कार

My warm greetings to all of you

मैं सनातन धर्म temples फेडरेशन को आज के दिवाली महोत्सव के इस सुन्दर आयोजन के लिए हार्दिक बधाई देना चाहता हूँ

और इस विशेष कार्यक्रम के निमंत्रण के लिए आभार प्रकट करता हूँ

May I begin by complimenting the Government and people of Mauritius for their great efforts and unique success in keeping Mauritius Covid Safe, which is allowing such festivities to go ahead at such grand scale.

In India, festivals are generally clustered around the summer and winter harvests. There are festivals in spring following by festivals in the post-monsoon autumn. Diwali is in the latter category.

Every year, young and old eagerly await this time of the year since it is a special festive season when people get together and celebrate Diwali and other festivals with great enthusiasm and fervor.

Lighting of earthen lamps, drawing of colourful and beautiful rangoli creations on floors, bursting of firecrackers and offering of sweets and gifts is widely associated with Diwali, in addition to offering of prayers.

 Diwali is associated with a wide range of legends and narratives from the Hindu mythology, each spreading the message of the victory of the good over evil, hope over despair, and light over darkness.

Diwali or Deepawali, the festival of lights, is celebrated on the Amavasya (the darkest, moon-less night) of the Kartik month of the Hindu Calendar, which corresponds to October or November. The celebrations are, however, spread over a period of five days.

In India, Diwali is celebrated across different regions with the same fervor but with somewhat different styles, customs and rituals. These varied forms of celebrations and worship bring forth our unity in diversity beautifully.

Primarily, the festival is associated with various avatars of Lord Vishnu such as Shri Rama and Shri Krishna and Goddesses Laxmi or Kali.

While in north India, Diwali mainly celebrates the return of Lord Rama, alongwith his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, to their capital Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, and victory over Ravana, in south India the festival is called Deepawali and it marks the defeat of Narakasur by Lord Krishna. In east India the festival is linked to Goddess Kali who vanquished another demon. In some other regions, Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped.

Lord Mahavir, the 24th and the last Jain Teerthankar attained Nirvana on Kartik Amavasya around 2,500 years ago.

One of the common themes in many parts of India is also the remembrance of and paying homage to one’s ancestors.

References to the festival of Diwali are found in ancient Sanskrit texts and also in later memoires recorded by travelers to India from Persia, Italy and Portugal over the last millennium.

Diwali’s popularity continues to grow, and today Diwali is among the most favourite and widely celebrated festivals across the world in scores of countries.

These include countries in our neighbourhood like Nepal and Sri Lanka and those far and wide where Indian Diaspora has substantial presence. For instance, Singapore, Malaysia where Tamil origin Diaspora has large presence or in UK, Canada or USA where Diaspora trace their roots to different regional and linguistic communities. Diwali is celebrated as far away as Fiji, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Famously in recent times, Diwali celebration pictures from White House in Washington DC also spread cheer.

At a fundamental level, Diwali is an auspicious and joyous occasion, representing the ultimate triumph of what is good in our society and lives over trials and tribulations of mankind.

Behind all the different folklores and mythology associated with this auspicious festival and its rituals, the message of Diwali is one of happiness, celebrations and hope.

Diwali is not only a celebration but also a time for contemplation. This festival of lights removes darkness, darkness of injustice but also ignorance or fear or falsehood. These are eternal themes or challenges for human societies and civilizations.

On Diwali day we renew our hope to fight all forms of darkness and must reiterate our commitment to strive for such an aim for individual and larger good.

This year as the world battles a global pandemic that is impacting lives and livelihoods, the festival of Diwali offers us the opportunity to renew our collective strength and determination to overcome this challenge.

अंत में मैं आप सबको दिवाली की बहुत सारी शुभकामनाएं देना चाहता हूँ

दिवाली के शुभ अवसर पर आप सभी के सुखद भविष्य के लिए मंगल कामना करता हूँ

भगवान् आप सबको सुख शांति समृद्धि और प्रगति प्रदान करे

May I conclude by offering best wishes to all of you for peace and prosperity on this auspicious occasion of Diwali.


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