The following is the Divali 2023 message of President Christine Kangaloo:
After weeks of fasting and preparation, our Hindu community at home and around the world today celebrate Divali, the Festival of Lights. Today, families in households and communities will gather in their numbers to offer prayers of devotion and gratitude to Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and to light deyas and prepare, consume and exchange traditional delicacies.
In the lead-up to Divali, thousands of our citizens, not just of the Hindu religion, but from every creed and race, participate in the festivities by decorating their homes and offices, re-enacting Ramleela, staging pageants and exhibitions at schools and business places, and attending the Divali Nagar. The dedication and grandeur with which Divali celebrations are organised throughout the country, and the thought that is put into every detail, ensure that Divali’s deep and meaningful rituals and traditions are preserved and revered by people of every creed and race.
Divali, with its rich traditions and pertinent lessons, presents the entire national community with the challenge and opportunity to embody its essential message in our everyday lives. That essential message is the ultimate triumph of good over evil, and of light over darkness.
As we light our deyas this evening, we should reflect on those that were lit to herald the return of Lord Rama and Mother Sita to the village of Ayodhya, and be inspired to practice patience and perseverance as we face challenges and difficulty in our own lives, and collectively, as a nation. Lord Rama’s triumph over Ravana and his victorious return to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile, assure us that good will always prevail, and that victory and prosperity are sure to follow even the darkest times.
At Divali, we are also reminded of that Divine light that shines within all of us, radiating outward to dispel the darkness of fear, ignorance and despair. This Divali, let us all view ourselves as vessels of light, on a sacred mission to impart peace, happiness and abundance to the lives of others, and let us challenge ourselves to ensure that our thoughts, words and deeds respond to the call of Divali to bringing love where there is resentment; understanding where there is confusion; and peace where there is enmity. Let the light of Divali illuminate our hearts, our homes and our lives.
I extend to the Hindu community and all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, best wishes for a peaceful, safe, happy and holy Divali.