Monday, November 12, 2012


Tomorrow the world  celebrates the Hindu festival of Divali (or 'Diwali'), which in itself is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The name 'Divali' is a contraction of 'Deepavali' which translates as 'row of lamps'.

A reader sent me the following which I thought was so beautiful that I have copied and pasted it verbatim. While the words aren't mine, the thoughts certainly are:

"Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya after the end of Rama’s 14 year exile and after vanquishing the demon king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya illuminated the kingdom with earthen lamps.

"To this day, Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil; these lamps are also called ‘diyas’. Lighting a lamp is symbolic of the action required to dispel the darkness of ignorance from our lives. When we light a lamp, we make an affirmation of opening our hearts and minds to the light, calling forth qualities that bring our inner brilliance to the fore. When a person is truly happy and fulfilled, they look naturally radiant. Each one of us constantly strives for happiness; on Diwali, we recognize and celebrate light as the source of happiness, light being symbolic of inner power and strength.

"We would like to leave you with a beautiful prayer from the texts of the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that expresses the powerful yet humble intention that accompanies the age old tradition of lighting a lamp:

“Asato Ma Sat Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya”

Lead me from untruth to truth,
from the darkness of ignorance, to the light of wisdom,
from the cycle of birth and death… to eternal liberation."

Shubh Divali to everybody.

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