The occult significance of the night of Deepawali

Much has been written about the significance of Deepawali. It is said to symbolize the victory of Light over Darkness, of Knowledge over Ignorance. In history it is recorded as the day when Sri Ram returned to Ayodhya after being victorious, it is the day when the Pandavas returned after 13 years of exile, it is the day before which Narakasur was killed by Sri Krishna, it is the day when the Jain tirthankara Mahavir Swami attained nirvana, it is the day when the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid, and many other such facts are related to Deepawali.

I am going to discuss here the occult reason for lighting up the night of Deepawali.

Deepawali is celebrated on the amavasya of the lunar month of kartika. This is the time when Surya transits through Tula rashi. I have checked the position of Surya on the date of Deepawali of the following years and sure enough, Surya is in Tula rashi.

2020 ​14 November
2021 ​5 November
2022 ​24 October
2023 ​12 November
2024 ​31 October
2025 ​21 October
2026 ​6 November
2027 ​29 October

Surya is the atma of the Kalpurusha and is the source of all the energy which sustains life on earth. Surya stands for life, wisdom, intelligence and knowledge; Surya is the son of Aditi, the mother of the gods and he is thus called Aditya. Because of his various attributes he is given the 12 names of Aditya, Arka, Bhanu, Savitr, Pushan, Ravi, Martanda, Mitra, Bhaskara, Prabhakara, Kathiravan, and Vivasvan. All that exists on the earth are his aspects. In the famous hymn Aditya Hridayam, he is compared to Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The Gayatri Mantra, created by Sage Vishvamitra is addressed to Surya. He is the father of Yama and Shani, both of whom dispense justice.

Chandrama signifies emotions, mood, intuition, wisdom, birth and death. Surya is the Atma and Chandrama is the manas. Surya is the seen world and Chandrama is the Inner Self. Chandrama represents Amrit, water and all such fluids which sustain life on earth.

The night of amavasya of the lunar month of Kartika is Kaalratri – the dark and terrible night when both the Surya and the Chandrama are powerless.

  • Tula rashi is the neechasthana or the sign of debilitation of Surya. During its transit through Tula rashi Surya loses its powers and turns ineffective and incapable, its luminous spark is gone. And at night even the powerless Surya disappears.
  • It is Surya which illuminates Chandrama which provides nectar and cool soft light to the earth. Chandrama represents the mind of the kalpurush which must become full moon to be enlightened; but Chandrama is unlit, because its source of light itself is weak and powerless.

This dark night comes after a long spell of monsoon when the energies of the earth are dull and laid back, when no vigorous activities are undertaken, when the wandering sanyasi also stops at one place and stays put to observe the Chaturmasa, a period of tapasya and austerities, of silence and inner contemplation, a period when the gods go into yogic sleep and Vishnu leaves earth and goes to Patala to be with king Bali, when auspicious functions like marriages and all other acts of sense gratification are put on hold.

On this night Surya is debilitated and not available, Chandrama is not available, the mother earth has just recovered from a long spell of monsoon.

This situation is terrible, but it must be overcome, and overcome by human effort. The darkness must be dispelled. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth must be invoked, her son Ganapati must be woken up to welcome an auspicious future. The darkest night on the earth must be lit with a thousand lamps. Each house must be cleaned, painted, festooned and decorated to welcome Lakshmi and Ganesh. Each street must be lit, each village and city must be brought to life.

That is why we light up our entire country on this dark night to dispel darkness and welcome Lakshmi and Ganesh into our homes.

There is another aspect of Diwali. This night, as said earlier, is called Kalaratri and is important in the tantric cult.

कालरात्रि महारात्रि मोहरात्रिश्च दारुणा
kālarātri mahārātri moharātriśca dāruṇā
Because the energies of the earth are dull, Surya and Chandrama are powerless, tamas reigns. This tamas is so dark that none else other than the powers of the Shakti herself must be invoked to overcome tamas and dispel darkness. Hence the fiercest form of Kali is invoked, a form which cannot be invoked in a household or within the boundaries of the city. Kali is invoked and worshipped by the tantriks in cremation grounds. It is the night when the sadhaks perform rituals to attain siddhis, it is the night when the śābara mantras are invoked.

I’d like to end this blog with a word of caution. The internet has become a den of misleading websites, inaccurate blogs and articles on methods to attain various siddhis on the Diwali night. Incorrect mantras, various ‘totkas’ and what have you are being offered. The world of the occult is neither open to all, nor is it meant for all, and if you have an inclination to step into it, please go to a genuine teacher who would teach selflessly rather than blindly follow the internet university.

Arun Vyas
Author: Arun Vyas