This week Hindus all over the world are celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. It signifies the beginning of a new financial year.
When we were traveling by bus in rural India in 2007 on our pilgrimage to Buddhist holy sites, we started to see the wooden frames, then the papier mache, then the paint applied to large statues of Lakshmi and Ganesh. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and (elephant-headed) Ganesh is the god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles (in this case to prosperity).
And there were smaller versions made of clay to take home. Each year, last year’s statues are put in the closest river, and new ones purchased to grace the family altar.
Happy Diwali to all–may we all prosper in the coming year!