Excerpt from Sri Swamiji's discourse on November 12, 2012 in California --not surprising, still relevant now.
Sri Mahaganapataye namaha
Sri Saraswataye namaha
Sri Padavallabha Narasimha Saraswati
Sri Guru Dattaya namaha
Today, what a beautiful day -- a very precious and very powerful day. Deepavali, the most important day, not only hindus, human beings. Deepavali. I think when you, Hindus, are putting so many candles, lights, this is what is the special meaning about this? There was two, three stories in our scriptures, puranas. Mahabharata, Ramayana. I think you know Mahabharata, Ramayana is most important scriptures, like a Bible, like a Quran, but little bit different, this Mahabharata and Ramayana. There is different kinds of stories about Deepavali, one is happy new year and Deepavali, some north side of India. This beginning year, 5000 years before, before 5000 years. There is one story. But anyway, the story meaning like this, "darkness to light, leave darkness go to light, oh my God."
And also, you remember when Swamiji singing so many times in bhajans, one bhajan. And if you go on the internet, that bhajan meaning, that is a Deepavali: Faith in God. Follow the master, follow the master means Guru. We want teacher, for any education. We must follow the first teacher. Normally our first teacher is Mother Goddess in our mother, and then slowly, Sadguru. There is knowledge Guru, and also liberation/ Atma Guru. There is a bhajan, "Follow the master, faith in God, God means yourself, atman. Faith in God, face the devil." So many bad things is coming, face the devil. Those bad things are self devils. Satans, you face, fight till the end. That human beings is always fighting, fighting, fighting, struggling. Mind and our indriyas- sense organs, with mind always struggle. Fight, finish this game, that is a Deepavali. It brings from darkness to light, it leads from darkness to light. The Rama stories are important today, and the Mahabharata also, is very important today and Lord Krishna’s story. Even Shiva purana and Lord Shiva is giving knowledge to Parvati on the same day, so that’s a very important day in Deepavali. Not only crackers is boom boom boom, there is only happiness. They’re showing for happiness with crackers, with lights and the people is giving gifts to each family, family, friends, friends. Anyway, the happiest day is Deepavali. We forget about all the problems and misunderstandings, you must begin for good, good. That is Deepavali, happy Deepavali to everyone. Happy Deepavali knowing and unknowing about this meaning.
So many pundits, different pundits and different scriptures they say about this Deepavali. They’re giving so many different but good statements.... We need for protection, for lord hanuman, I think he will give protection, Lord Hanumanta....
The Indian culture is so many different different different cultures, but no confusion. We are going to one step, one way, but looks different way. Finally, our goal is the same, atman, Paramatman. So this kind of festivals, a Rama festival, Deepavali festival, Lord Ganapati festival, Navarati- Mother Goddess festival and Shivaratri, there are different different different festivals, each festival gives a different meaning, about good teaching for our human beings, so we are all lucky people on the earth. They are all angels selecting their own avataras, their own different different formations, different different incarnations they took, they choose for this earth. So once again, I bless you, I bless all my devotees and so many people looking from internet today, I bless you. Happy Deepavali! Jaya Guru Datta, Sri Guru Datta