Beautiful messages for Deepavali
There is a time to sow and a time to reap, and when it comes to the festival of lights, it is the time when good triumphs over evil.
Deepavali is a five-day celebration by Hindus in southern India, Diwali in the north, by the Jains and by all Hindus across the globe.
According to Wikipedia, “Diwali”, celebrated by Jains, marks the attainment of “moksha” or “nirvana” by Mahavira in 527 BC. Also known as Nigantha Nataputta in the Buddhist Pali Canon, Mahavira is revered for his establishment of the central tenets of Jainism.
Besides being significant in southern India, “Deepavali” also marks the thanksgiving ending of the harvest season in most parts of India. The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities commence their financial year.
According to Indian folklore, the second day celebration marks the vanquishing of demon Naraka Chaturdasi by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama and on the third day, the worshipping of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.
The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj) whereby sisters would invite their brothers to their homes for the celebration.
Religious rituals and prayers also known as “puja prashad” mark the celebration, which is noted for its unique lighting of small clay lamps (divas or dipas) filled with either oil or ghee (diyas) placed in rows of 20 to symbolise “light over darkness”, the triumph of good over evil and in legendary tales, to welcome back Rama after 14 years of banishment.
In the “Bhagavad-gita”, Krishna laid down ideals for his disciple (chela) Arjuna, mentally preparing him for the divine spiritual path. Krishna advised his disciple to cultivate endurance to physical discomforts like matter of heat and cold, pleasure and pain.
Perhaps, the greatest subtle message in Deepavali conveyed to us is that the material world and all the people within it belong to, as what Shakespeare had described, “the passing show.”
All physical things are but a momentary interest in life; they are not really our own and the attachment to them is only temporary.
But the greatest difficulty is detaching our “Ego”. The battle within us is the fight between the “goodness” and the “evil’ in each of us.
I like to share this beautiful symbolic message on this battle within the Ego, taught to me by a Hindu yoga master. It says:
“Chela, sit in the darkness of war. Sit and wait and look for the silence to bloom. Look, Chela, look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm.
“Then will come a calm like the calm of a tropical countryside that follows the storm. Study it. Enjoy it. You are now torn and bruised.
“Then out of the silence, a voice will say, ‘It is not good, Chela, you must sow again for you have reaped’.
“Knowing it to be the voice of your (own) spirit, you shall obey, the battle begins. Stand aside in the battle to come. Let the warrior within fight. Listen and take his advice, for it is the advice of the King (Divine Spirit).
“Fight and yet not fight. Just as the battle begins, it ends.
“March on, Chela. March towards the victory for thou art the victor. Drink from the fountain of (spiritual) power. Enter the Hall of Learning and eat at the Table of Knowledge. Now you are able to stand and run side by side with the Master, for your heart has bled.
“Now the path to the Heart is revealed but it is covered with the growth of gaint weeds. Kill them all – only the strong can do it. The weak has to wait for its growth, its fruition and its death.
“Go Chela. Destroy the weeds and clear the path to your heart for you have proven yourself a warrior. When you have entered your heart, you will die many deaths. Then the song of life will be sung by the Gods.
“Listen to the song of life – store it in your memory. And learn to look intelligently into the hearts of Men. For it is the hearts of Men that makes this world in which you live.
“Look around you and learn. No one is your enemy and no one is your friend. Your enemy is a problem to be solved. Your friend is an extension of yourself.
“Only one thing that is hard to know. That is your own heart.”
Desire and the human Ego are often the offspring of the senses and evil wrong-doings. When these senses lust or greed for something, their power can overwhelm the mind and goes on creating karma.
Indeed, even Lord Krishna told the world of his divine duties. Says he: “Wherever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and there is an exaltation of unrighteousness, then I myself come forth.
“For the protection of good, for the destruction of evildoers; for the sake of family establishing righteousness, am I born from age to age.”