The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
November 5th, 2010
Statement by President Obama on Diwali
On behalf of the American people, I want to extend my warmest wishes for Diwali to all the people who celebrate this auspicious holiday, here in America and around the world.
Diwali is the festival of lights, the time when members of some of the world's great faiths celebrate triumph of good over evil.
It's significance is laid out in the Sanskrit verse "Lead us from falsehood to truth, form darkness to light, from death to immortality, In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Ram from exile, when small lamps lit he's way home, the lighting of these lamps continues today, marking the celebration as a reflection of the year gone by, and a time to pray for a good year to come. In Jainism, the occasion celebrates the attainment of Nirvana by Lord Mahaveer, one of a long line of spiritual leaders known for achieving enlightenment by freeing themselves from base human impulses and emotions.
In Sikhism, Diwali is a celebration of freedom by Guru Hargobind, the religion's sixth Guru, While this is a time for celebration, it's also a time for contemplation, when we remember those that are less fortunate, those who may not be eating as heartily, or celebrating as festively, those who do not enjoy the same rights to speak and worship freely and make of there lives what they wish our hearts are with them, our hearts are with them, not just today, but every day, and at this sacred time of the year, let us join together across denominations, religions and cultures, to make a habit of empathy and reach out to those most in need, to share the blessing we enjoy and advance the course of peace in all corners of our world, as families and communities gather to rejoice and reflect over great food and delicious mithai, please know that you are in our thoughts and that Michelle and I wish you a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak!
President Obama's Diwali Message (turn on sound) see and listen to message on You tube: