Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Diwali - Deepawali

Diwali or Deepawali is a festival of lights; celebrated on a dark moonless night, traditionally illuminating the inside and outside of the houses by burning ‘diyas’; small clay lamps or candles. 

All ancient religious and cultural traditions or rituals started for a reason and they convey some deeper message that we tend to forget during the celebrations. For most people, it is simply a joyous festival, but for the Gyanis; for the wise and thoughtful observants, the message of Deepawali is very clear: 
“Andhkaar say Prakaash ki oar” 
(From darkness towards the light)

Deepawali reminds us a famous and very meaningful Vedic prayer: 

“Tamaso Maa Jyotirgamaya”   तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय

(Not to the Darkness, but towards the Light may we go)

Diwali is also time for cleaning; discarding the old useless things and getting new clothes and other useful things. 
However, for most people, it is simply a joyous festival along with certain rituals and just cleaning the house, discarding the old clothes and things and getting new ones and illuminating the in and outside of the house and surroundings.  But for the Gyanis, for the wise and thoughtful people, it is more than just a festival, and more than just cleaning the house. It is cleaning and illuminating of the inside; the mind as well. 
And to do all this, not only for illumination, but even for cleaning, we need light. Can we clean our house in total darkness… and place everything in its proper place where it belongs? 
Since Jyoti or Light is the symbol of Gyana, the knowledge, therefore, we need the light of Gyana to clean the mind; to discard the old useless concepts and to learn, accept and adopt the new useful ideas.
And new garments of ‘oneness’, the virtues of tolerance, acceptance and open-mindedness in place of narrow-mindedness, should be brought into life. It is time to accept the change and move on the path of real ‘Spirituality’ - that leads to the ‘Formless, Limitless and Timeless’, and discard the mentality of ‘Naam-Roopa’; the concept of limited and transitory ‘name and form’. 
However, to do all this, we need to put our sincere efforts. 

The outer darkness eventually goes away and the light prevails when the sun comes out. No matter how dark the night is, eventually the day breaks and everything lightens up. But it doesn't happen automatically with the inside - with the mind. 

On the dark ‘Kartik Amaavas’ night, Deepawali reminds us to put our effort to get rid of the darkness by burning clay lamps, candles or bulbs - not only to illuminate the houses and surroundings, but to illuminate our minds with the “Gyana-Jyoti’ or the ‘Light of Knowledge’ as well. 

                     ‘Rajan Sachdeva’


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