Monday November 5, 2018
Diwali, also called ‘Deepavali’, is derived from the word deep i.e. "lamp" and avali i.e. “row”, to mean “the row of lamps”. Every Diwali, we light small oil lamps (deepak) and illuminate our worldly home, our house. This Diwali, come, let us light the real deepak within, and illuminate our real home (the Self)!
The stories related to the celebration of Diwali vary within different traditions of Hinduism. Yet, each one explicitly marks Diwali as the festival of light and joy, celebrating the victory of light over darkness. In every story, people light the ‘deepak’ to symbolise the light that dispels the darkness and illuminates the path. So what is this light, which darkness does it dispel and which path does it illuminate? Come; let us try to understand this, on the auspicious day.
As children, on the occasion of Diwali, you, along with your siblings and cousins, must have surrounded your grandparents; and eagerly and attentively listened to them narrate the legends about the battles between good and evil, light and darkness. Do you remember how joyous you felt, when at the end of it all, Lord Rama, Lord Mahavira, the Pandavas, Guru Har Gobind, Nachiketa or Goddess Lakshmi finally triumphed and returned back home?
However, at that tender age, little did we know, what are our ancestors were trying to make us learn through the medium of these wonderful stories. Diwali is actually the celebration of the triumph of the inner light over spiritual darkness, of knowledge over ignorance, of love over attachment and hatred, of the right belief over various wrong beliefs, of permanence over impermanence.
These stories of the enlightened Souls try to kindle within us the importance of knowledge, self-inquiry, self-improvement and seeking the right path. So for how long will we wander around in darkness? We have been walking in darkness for countless lives, but have not been able to see the light. And this darkness prevails because of the layers of ignorance over our real Self.
Say, a glowing 1000-watt light bulb is placed in a clay pot with its lid tightly closed and numerous layers of thick dense cloth cover it, would we be able to see any light coming out of the bulb? No. This is exactly the case with us. Within us, there is infinite light of real Knowledge (the Pure Soul), but the darkness prevails because of the layers of ignorance over the Self. With the grace and special powers of the Gnani Purush, the enlightened One, a tiny hole is made in the clay-pot covering the light bulb (our ignorant Self), therefore filling the whole room with light.
In Akram Vignan, when the Living Gnani graces us with Self Realization (Gnan), the light appears. All it takes is for a lit lamp to light our lamp. So, come, let us celebrate this festival of lights by getting our lamp lit from a lit lamp, and thus fulfil the real purpose of our life!
With an earnest heart-felt prayer that, ‘This Diwali and every Diwali thereafter, may the light of the Self glow brighter and brighter within You’, Dada Bhagwan Parivar wishes you and your loved ones a very Happy Diwali!