Are you half-asleep? We won’t be too surprised, actually. Chances are that you might be discovering this article on your feed after a long-ass night of playing cards. It’s Diwali season after all and no one says no to a little bit of indulgence.
But have you ever thought how gambling, which is otherwise illegal in the country, finds a place in our Diwali rituals?
One of the plausible answers comes from Indian mythology. Gambling on Diwali night is traditionally believed to invoke Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, who may then shower blessings on the player’s household for the rest of the year.
It is also believed that on this day, Parvati played dice with her husband Shiva. In fact; this particular scene is even sculpted at Kailash temple, Ellora. Goddess Laksmi decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year.
Others reason that gambling makes them aware of the fickle nature of lady luck, along with bringing about a sense of balance in material pursuits.
It all comes across as a part of the larger celebrations that are centred around the invocation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. As a result, several key Diwali traditions are centered around money–it is considered a particularly auspicious time to acquire new assets and make new investments, and even to shop and to gamble.
In fact, the lead up to Diwali has come to be regarded as a lucky time to make any expensive purchases, particularly those thought to enhance productivity, such as cars, machinery, and electronics. You don’t need us to tell you about the festive season offers on leading e-commerce websites in India right now.
And because Diwali marks the Hindu New Year, for much of India’s trading and business community, it symbolises the new financial year as well. That’s why we see a lot of activity in the share market during this period as well.
As Forbes’ Leeza Mangaldas points out, “In contrast to the austerity of several other faith traditions, in Hinduism, wealth and spirituality are not seen as antithetical. Wealth gained by honest means is considered divine, and while greed is discouraged, it is perfectly acceptable to pray for financial success and prosperity.”
So just in case if you were concerned about being too materialistic, you at least have the support of one faith. Happy Diwali!