Whereas Diwali, is a festival of great significance and celebrated annually by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains throughout India, the United States, and the world;Whereas Diwali is a festival of lights that marks the beginning of the Hindu new year, during which celebrants light and place small lamps around the home, and pray for health, knowledge, peace, wealth, and prosperity in the new year;
Whereas Diwali will be celebrated throughout the world for five days and is an opportunity to celebrate the faith of all people and the universal right to religious expression and spiritual freedom;
Whereas the lights symbolize the light of knowledge within the individual that overwhelms the darkness of ignorance, empowering each celebrant to do good deeds and show compassion to others;
Whereas Diwali falls on the last day of the last month in the lunar calendar and is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving for the homecoming of the Lord Rama and worship of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and bestower of blessings, at the beginning of the new year for many Hindus;
Whereas, for Sikhs, Diwali is celebrated as Bandhi Chhor Diwas (The Celebration of Freedom), in honor of the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind; and
Whereas, for Jains, Diwali marks the anniversary of the attainment of moksha, or liberation, by Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras (the great teachers of Jain dharma), at the end of his life in 527 B.C.:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali; the festival of lights, and expresses its deepest respect for Indian, Indian-American,, as well as fellow countrymen and members of the diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion.
(2) Supports a strong relationship between the people and governments of the United States and India, based on mutual trust and respect that will enable the countries to more closely collaborate across a broad spectrum of interests, such as global peace and prosperity.