Whenever any philosophy or community faced persecution anywhere in the world, they only had to reach the shores of India to be accepted as worthy guests by the ruling kings and princes and bestowed with Diwali Gifts, cattle, land and wealth because taking good care of all human beings and all guests is one of the central tenets of Hinduism. Traditions are eclectic and people who practice Hinduism have, over the millennia, welcomed people of different thought streams from across the world to come and settle in India and become a part of the Indian soil, its varied cultures and traditions. Therefore, the current population of India is perhaps the most ethnically and linguistically diverse in the globe because almost all the people who came to India to seek refuge in her bounteous wealth and her fertile land, stayed on and inter-married with the local population and became part of the soil of the nation.
Also, Hinduism celebrates the acquisition of wealth and material prosperity through fair and legal means without harming one’s fellow inhabitants of the planet. Poverty is not considered a virtue and people are encouraged to better their prospects in life by dint of their hard work and intelligence. In such a practical culture which is not divorced from the day-to-day realities of life, it is natural that a festival be dedicated to the propitiation of the Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi. This festival – Diwali – is the most popular festival in the Hindu calendar and Bhai Dooj marks the start of Diwali festivities.
It is said that Goddess Parvati had gambled with Lord Shiva – who is one of the three Gods in the Hindu Holy Trinity – and Parvati blesses anyone who gambles and plays cards on the occasion of Diwali. The professional, business and trading classes of India make it a point to gamble on these occasions and consider it auspicious to do so. People are invited to one another’s houses in the evening for a game of cards accompanied with music, food, refreshments and revelry.
Material prosperity is not the only thing that is prayed for and celebrated on Diwali but overall well- being of our families – material prosperity, good health and physical well-being as well as wisdom and spiritual attainment and enlightenment, in other words spiritual wealth is also sought. On the day of Diwali, people go out with their families and shop for gold, silver, jewelry and precious or semi-precious metallic objects. It is considered auspicious to purchase metallic objects on Diwali.