Diwali is a great time of celebration in the Hindu calendar, and this spectacular event will be celebrated on 3rd November throughout the world.
In reality its true significance is something that touches all of our lives. It is often described as the festival of lights, and the idea of light as a symbol of enlightenment and new life occurs in many cultures and religions the lights on the Christmas tree, for example, or the festoons of light, which are an integral part of the celebration of Ramadan. There may be darkness all around, but the lights offer hope, happiness and joy.
Likewise, it is sometimes in the darkest times of our lives, when the soul is looking for inspiration and hope that enlightenment can come.
Festivals such as these punctuate our lives and serve to remind us of the deeply spiritual in a life that can sometimes be overtaken by the ordinary. They awaken meaning and purpose in our lives and teach us to look towards greater, higher and nobler things. They remind us that even when it feels that the light of the soul is almost extinguished, God can come into our life and re-light our lights, reawaken the spirit and renew our spirit.
In Hindu mythology, it is said that the celebration restored light and life into the kingdom, ushering in a new dawn, a new age of truth and righteousness. Although these festivals have been celebrated for thousands of years, it seems that there has been no time in history when the significance has been so relevant as it is today. In this time of extreme corruption, greed, warfare and human violation, it is truly a dark time for the collective souls of humanity. All of us are touched in some way or other by negativity, and we are yearning for the light, to be free once more of the mental and spiritual prisons that we have created for ourselves. We long for the light of truth once again.
But just as day always follows night, invariably darkness is followed by light. And in this time of darkness we are also witnessing a revival of the true values of the self the soul. The people of the world are ready and waiting to come back to real peace, truth and happiness. This is the real lighting of the lamps enlightenment of the soul after having lived in exile, the dark night of the soul, away from its own truth.
Before the advent of extravagant electrical displays, the lamp or Deepak was a clay vessel with a white cotton wick. The wick is fuelled by oil, and for as long as the oil is replenished, the wick will keep burning brightly. In the same way, we are reminded that this body of mud is simply a container for the soul. More important is what it contains, the real self the soul. The Almighty lights our light, but it is up to us to keep it burning by maintaining the fuel our spiritual practice and our effort in bringing truth, goodness and compassion and service for others into our everyday lives. If we forget the importance of the fuel and become too focused on the vessel itself, (the consciousness of the physical and material, and becoming absorbed in the ego self) then our light will go out.
In reality there is no darkness, only the absence of the light. This is why in life importance is given to gathering knowledge and wisdom through scriptures and science. Yet the authentic power lies in the implementation of our real values and the way to the light is not to be out there, but to go within. This is silence power!
When the end is reached, there is a new beginning. Diwali is an auspicious time, the confluence of the old and new. It is seen by a businessman as a time to close old business accounts and to open new ledgers. It reminds us to finish the old and useless, and instead look forward with optimism, hope and with an attitude of newness.
Its Time... to light our light. It is not simply enough to strike a match in order to light the wick of the soul. One needs to continuously immerse oneself in spiritual wisdom and practice and maintain a steady awareness of soul consciousness and ones eternity and not just be focused on the vessel of the body! So whether its 3rd November or not, let us all take the time to light the light of the soul by seeing ourselves in a new light!
'It's Time...' by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK