Some days have deep meanings that are now lost in the frenzy of festivities. Diwali is revealed as the allegory of our lives in this article, Navaratri, October 2004, Yoga Magazine.
Navaratri is commonly the worship of the three goddesses–Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. There is also the connecting story of Durga’s nine-day battle and victory over the asura demon Mahishasura. On the tenth day, Vijayadashmi, victory is celebrated. Navaratri is also the story of Rama’s battle with Ravana. He vanquishes Ravana and on the tenth day, Dusshera, victory is celebrated. Then Rama travels from Lanka (Ravana’s kingdom) to his own home kingdom of Ayodhya. The day he arrives home is celebrated as Diwali.
Rama is the eldest son of King Dashratha. He is sent into exile by his father. Dashratha has no choice as one of his wives exercises a boon he had given her previously when she saved his life. For more of the story, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana.
Dashratha means a chariot pulled by ten horses–our body pulled by ten senses (of yoga). His three wives are the three gunas (principles, tendencies) that exist in each one of us–sattwa (pure, truth, preservation), rajas (activity, creation), tamas (inertia, negativity, destruction). Rama is born from the wife representing sattwa. Now it may be fun to try and figure out the mystery of the rest of the allegory and check it out with the hidden meaning in the article! It can be a fun puzzle for the family to solve together.
There is the assumption that the reader knows the story of Rama and Sita! If not, the article may still be interesting and may remind the readers of stories within their own traditions–and the possible lost allegories.