This Tuesday, October 28th marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival - the most significant event in the Hindu Calendar.
Here are some Diwali facts.
- There are currently Hindu temples in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, which have become major visitor attractions.
- Diwali, like the Christian Christmas celebrations, is a time for the giving and receiving of gifts.
- Diwali is known as the ‘Festival of Lights' in an interesting parallel to the Jewish Hanukkah.
- It has many legends around its origin. Some say it marks the defeat of the demon Narakasura by the Lord Krishna (the personality of God in the Hindu Pantheon).
It also has a deep spiritual significance:
"Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman (a rough equivalent to the Soul). Just as many cultures celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light, the knowing of which outshines all darkness, removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance, awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality."