**Deepavali or the festival of lights is not only about lighting the external lamps, it is also about an individual’s inner journey from a state of darkness of ignorance to a state of light of knowledge and freedom. **
The correlation between light and knowledge on the one hand, and between darkness and ignorance on the other, is very deep in Hindu consciousness and pervades the entire corpus of Hindu scriptures, starting with the Vedas. Rigveda, for example, begins with a hymn dedicated to Agni, the source of divine illumination on earth. There are a large number of verses in the Vedas, including the Upanishads dedicated to Surya- the very embodiment of light and divine knowledge. Then, we have the famous Sandhya Upasana and Gayatri mantra, which is all about appealing the divine to illuminate our minds with the light of knowledge. The celebration of Deepavali, is thus, a manifestation, an externalization of the inner realization that darkness of ignorance is removed only through the light of knowledge. And hence, it becomes imperative that we make an attempt to understand this inner journey from darkness to light.