On the occasion of diwali I've to ask, should Indian Buddhists celebrate diwali?

Because recently I've read dark history behind diwali:

  • That Tathagata Gautama Buddha had entrusted the team with the Saraiputa and Mahamoggalan. He made Dhanmaseva for 44 years. The entire generation of Kartik Purnima was performed. The 15-day Kartik Amavasa (New moon of November) Mahamoggalan was brutally murdered on the Isigil mountain, that day was of Diwali.

  • The last Buddhist king of Maurya Brahadrath, was brutally murdered by Brahmin commander Pushyamitra Shung. That day was of Kartik Amavassa(Diwali, New moon of November). The Buddhist power was overturned. The monks are slaughtered. Pushyamitra Sung left the decree for giving 100 gold coins to cut the monk's head. Viharas, Stupas was destroyed. That day was Kartik Amavasya (Diwali, New moon of November).

  • Conferred best King Bali of the Bahujana and was murdered in a fraudulent by vishnu.
    Their power, science, education, wealth were taken away. Their children were killed one after the other. On the day of Bali Pratipada, victim King Bali was assassinated. That day was Kartik Amavasya (Diwali, New moon of November).

Therefore, Buddhists, the Bahujans(Indian backward people who being Buddhist after Dr. B. R Ambedkar gave gift of Buddhism to them) should not celebrate Diwali festival.

But other thing is about diwali that Emperor Ashoka started the Digvijay campaign this day. The public had greeted them by burning lamps.

Also In Buddhism, after 18 years, Gautam Buddha returned to Kapilavastu with followers on this day. Then Diwali was celebrated burning millions of lamps in their reception by the citizens. During his first discourse, Buddha gave a new dimension to Deepawali(Diwali) by preaching:

"Atha Deepa Bhava".

So let me know with what perspective we have to celebrate or not this day? Cause there's no importance of new moon in Buddhism and observance day is on full moon.

4 Answers 4


Firstly, you got the wrong term here. "Dipa" means "island" and not "light".

From this footnote:

Atta-diipaa. Diipa means both "island" (Sanskrit dviipa) and "lamp" (Sanskrit diipa), but the meaning "island" is well-established here. The "self" referred to is of course the unmetaphysical pronoun "oneself".

Secondly, you can always celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, by giving it a new spin, for e.g. from the Tamonata Sutta:

"And how is one the type of person in darkness who is headed for light? There is the case where a person is born into a lower class family — the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper — a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food & clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, & sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn't receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct. Having engaged in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct, he — on the break-up of the body, after death — reappears in the good destination, the heavenly world. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for light.

The Buddha gave new spins to many Brahmin rituals of his day. See this answer and this answer for examples.

  • 1
    Yes I would celebrate Diwali but not as hinduism rituals as how Buddha shown the path of light. Thank you so much. "May Buddha Bless you".
    – Swapnil
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:17
  • But you are saying is wrong about pronunciation it is dipa not dweepa cause what is to do with island that's why I think you got wrong about it.
    – Swapnil
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:24
  • That's a good question. Let me ask this question.
    – ruben2020
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:30
  • Wait I thing you are right, cause meaning of "Atta" is myself or yourself so that's why. And I also found answer for your question before you ask.
    – Swapnil
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:35
  • Here What did Buddha's "Appo Deepo Bhava" mean?
    – Swapnil
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:36

It's a Hindu festival. So a Buddhist should not be a part of the religious aspect of the festival if those activities are incompatible with Buddhism. That does not mean a Buddhist cannot meet up with his Hindu relatives and have a good time.

  • Yes you are right but there's so many festivals in India like that, that has dark history. They celebrated as someone's defeat. In question mentioned (Diwali, New moon of November). That occasions they made consciously and celebrate defeat of someone. This isn't humanity. We Indians don't believe in hinduism cause it's mythologically and ideologically developed religion. Also nothing is there to achieve peace. I would not accept them because whats wrong in them but for humanity and kindness I'm always there. It's my first religion. I pardon and Thanks a lot.
    – Swapnil
    Oct 16, 2017 at 16:18
  • 1
    You are welcome! Staying away is ok, if they are celebrating something bad. But you can also guide your friends/relatives to celebrate something wholesome, if they are receptive to you. Oct 16, 2017 at 16:33
  • 1
    Yeah I do the same to my friends, relatives. My parents and siblings too I speak a lot but they don't stop following hindusim fest and rituals. I'm afraid but I don't let them do those rites and rituals cause I want 100% Buddhism in my family. Thanks a lot for your invaluable time.
    – Swapnil
    Oct 17, 2017 at 5:09

We have to celebrate and cheerish the moments Buddha s return to kapilavastu with his enlightened preachings "Atha Deepa Bhava".

Why to remember the darker side of the day.. Can add a condolences to the great souls.. https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/o-meditation.com/2010/05/21/appa-deepo-bhava-osho/amp/


I am a buddhist but i grew up among hindu friends.Even now I married to a hindu guy. I dont like to worship hindu god by following all hindu rituals like havan and all, but as married to hindu family i need to do it. I am still confuse if i am doing wrong or right but i do what i feel is right to keep family happy. I play holi and i celebrate Diwali with my hindu friends.

  • I'm also Indian even my family does celebrate diwali and other festivals. But as a Buddhist we shouldn't do. All the festival in hindu religion has hiddent truths. And they hide truth most are about Buddhism. Cause declined Buddhist with their mythological stories and festivals and because that we don't know truth and so Indian Buddhist walk on that false path.
    – Swapnil
    Sep 10, 2019 at 16:14
  • If you don't like to worship and all. Don't do. Rituals are just rituals (KarmaKand) so no meaning doing it. You can still practice Buddhism. Thank you. May Buddha bless you
    – Swapnil
    Sep 10, 2019 at 16:14

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