In India the Festival of Lights, Diwali is soon upon us. It is perhaps the biggest celebration in India that people from all over India try to travel home to be with their family. Houses are painted, new furnishings and new clothes are bought, symbolising cleansing, the letting go of the old and welcoming the new. Firecrackers are heard all around. Special foods are prepared, markets are bustling and people are geared up for happiness. Most of all on the days itself lights are lit all around the house symbolising Light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance.
The origins of this festival are not so clear and differ in various regions of India. Some are of the belief that Diwali is the celebration of Goddess Laxmi’s marriage to Lord Vishnu. In certain regions, like Bengal, this festival is dedicated to Goddess Kali and in other regions, devotees offer prayers to Lord Ganesh. But in all mythology and history, Diwali marks the day that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, after being in exile for 14 long years, to reclaim his throne and fulfill his duty. It was in celebration of their King’s return, that the people of Ayodhya illuminated the kingdom with oil lamps, to light his way home.
With all the presence of Divine Light on earth in support of humanity now, less and less can stay in the shadows and it is fairly easy to see the untruth that the various media presents to us. This revealing Divine Light we can also apply to ourselves and become aware of the continuous story that we tell ourselves to keep up our illusionnary personality. This is the main obstacle we have on our spiritual path and we are all in a bigger or lesser way doing this. It is best to do this on a daily bases but Diwali might be a great opportunity to become aware of the corrupted mind to discover the Divine light in our heart.
Instead of being afraid or angry and curse the dark side it may be nice to symbolically light some candles to spread the light and love in your action. Only with the onset of Light we become aware of darkness and likewise only when wisdom takes hold in us we become aware of ignorance.
Usually in our ashrams there is no Havan’s organized for this festival. In Herakhan often lights where lit also all over the ashram, the 108 stairs and through the river bed. In India no one needs suggestions how to celebrate Diwali but for the rest of the world to celebrate a festival of Light, over victory of Light over darkness and the demise of ignorance can better not pass in these turbulent times. Several of the Devotees who came from Bombay were singing a different Aarti when they did puja to Babaji. These words explain so nicely the meaning of what we are doing when we are waving the aartilamp.
Jyot se jyot jagao,
Sadguru jyot se jyot jagao,
Mera antar timir mitaao,
Sadguru jyot se jyot jagao.
Light, Light with Light
Sadguru, Illuminate my heart with your Light,
Please remove darkness from my life,
Sadguru, Illuminate my heart with your Light
May your heart full of Babaji enlighten all hearts on your path.