Each year as Diwali approaches, it calls to my mind the many stories around its origins I heard as a child in India. For many Hindus, it’s a celebration of the victory of the valiant God Rama, who rescued his consort Sita from the demon king Ravana, or the marriage of the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi.

But these were not the only stories – people from other religions, and even other regions, would have other legends as a reason to celebrate the festival. These stories would be told as diverse communities gathered on the day to share sweets and other foods and light candles.

As Indian Americans prepare to celebrate this festival of lights on Nov. 14, Texas State University’s Natasha Mikles writes that in these diverse stories there is a shared argument – that good after all will triumph over evil – something worth celebrating, especially in our chaotic times.

Also today:

Kalpana Jain

Senior Religion + Ethics Editor

Diwali is the most important festival for the South Asian community. Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The many stories of Diwali share a common theme of triumph of justice

Natasha Mikles, Texas State University

Many Indian Americans will be celebrating the festival of Diwali this week. A scholar explains what this festival of lights means – especially in chaotic times.

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