Divali, also known as “The Festival of Lights”, has many legends which are all celebrated on this auspicious occasion by Hindu worshippers. One of our favourite stories is the return of Lord Rama (Lord Ram) and his wife Sita to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. The Story of Rama tells the tale of how Lord Rama, with the aid of the monkey warrior, Hanuman, vanquished the evil king Ravana of Lanka and rescued his wife Sita who had been captured. Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with Sita and was greeted with joy and celebrations and the people lighted rows of clay lamps welcome him. This signified the triumph of good over evil and the coming of God-consciousness into the life of the devotee. The day he destroyed Ravana was called Dussehra, and the day on which he returned to Ayodhya was called Divali.
The return of Ram and Sita highlights the ties of family in overcoming difficult times and the strength of love in the face of adversity. Making daily time for family must be practiced, for spouses and parent-child relations.
Whether it’s a phone call or a note in their bookbags, remind your children and spouse of your love for them. Affirmations and the practice of expressing emotions open the communication lines and ensure that problems will be addressed within the comfort of family. When Sita was captured by Ravana, she dropped her jewels as a trail for Ram to follow. In his moment of loss and despair, those jewels reminded Ram of Sita’s love.
Spend time together
Make it a family tradition to spend time together weekly. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or pizza on Sunday evenings at Mario’s, establish family time. Ram and Sita spent 14 years in exile and still kept their love for each other. Sharing life experiences with one another ensures the family bonds stay strong in times of trouble and uncertainty.
It goes without saying that any parent would protect their child in physical danger, but sometimes instead of fists they need a word of encouragement or two. When their own ideas or opinions are tested by others, affirmation of their self-value will come from knowing that someone’s in their corner. Lord Rama overcame many obstacles to rescue Sita, battling many terrible monsters and demons with a legendary army. Sometimes our battles for the good of our loved ones are just as legendary in their minds.
The story of Divali with Ram and Sita mirrors the unconditional ties of family and symbolises the endurance of love in the face of hardship. With the recent celebration of Divali, we invite you to tell us how you show and celebrate family!