— Anantanand Rambachan Hindu studies scholar 1951
Context: For the Jains, Diwali is celebrated as the joyous day on which Mahavir, the great Jain teacher, attained the eternal joy of liberation or nirvana. It is an occasion for rejoicing and gratitude for a life spent in rigorous religious search, realization and teaching centered on non-violence.
For the Sikhs, Diwali is a "day of freedom," when the Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, freed the sixth Sikh Guru (teacher), Hargobind, from prison. Guru Hargobind refused to accept his freedom unless the emperor released detained Hindu leaders. Guru Hargobind is celebrated as seeing his own religious freedom as inseparable from the freedom of others.
Even for the Hindu community, there is a confluence of many traditions connected with Diwali. Some celebrate Diwali as ushering the New Year and others as the triumph of Krishna over the evil, Narakasura.