Happy Diwali

Wish you Happy Diwali

Celebrations bring joy to life if we take them in a proper spirit. They definitely bring joy if we make them as a part of our spiritual practice. If we do not connect celebrations to spiritual practice, then often they become mechanical social activities and ultimately bring boredom and drudgery. Often celebrations bring pain. For example if one is poor and cannot buy gifts and sweets as rich people do, then for him/her Diwali brings more pain than joy. However, if we make Diwali as an occasion to do more spiritual practice, then our joy will be doubled irrespective of how much money we have and how much we spend.

Our forefathers were wise and they connected all celebrations with worship of gods and goddesses. During Diwali, as we decorate our homes and shops, the temples are also being decorated and one of the traditional things to do is to perform a special worship at home and go to temples to pray to God.

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Worshiping Mother on Diwali

During Diwali, many worship three goddesses: Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati. These are three forms of three gunas: tamas, rajas, and sattva respectively. Prakruti, the Power of God is made out of these three gunas.  All three gunas are needed in human life. Sri Ramakrishna used to sing a bhajan “Shyama Maa ki aamaar kaalo…” Is my mother Shyama is of dark complexion? People say it, but my mind does not accept it. Because my Mother manifests in various complexions like fair, yellow, brown etc. and she is also beyond all complexions or forms. When we follow right path, then Mother Kali gives us boons. But, when we take destructive paths forgetting the existence of divinity lying within, then Mother Kali appears to us as a terrible tamasik or destructive reality of life. Maha Lakshmi gives us prosperity and worldly pleasures. Maha Saraswati gives us knowledge to realize our inner divinity, Atman (Soul). People also worship Sri Rama and celebrate Diwali as a beginning of a new era of Sri Rama’s kingdom which is based on values and conducive to the well-being of all. Diwali is a time to worship and pray whatever form of God we like and thus grow spiritually.

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A lamp symbolizes Knowledge, Love, and a Purifier

Diwali is also a festival of light. Shri Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, “Those who love Me (God) and are devoted to Me, I,  who is residing in their hearts (as Atman), out of compassion destroy their ignorance with a lamp of knowledge (of Atman).”  (Gita 10.11) Lamp is used in all religions of the world. In Vedic time, Rishis and students worship only fire in their Ashramas. Lamp is a symbol of the fire.

Lamp – a symbol of Knowledge, Love & a Purifier:I always tell students that lamp is a symbol of three things: knowledge, love, and a purifier. In the light we see everything clearly. In the darkness we grope around and bumped with things and people. Thus a lamp is a symbol of knowledge. With spiritual knowledge we can live a sane life. Without it we do not know which forces of the mind are acting on us to think, speak, and behave in a certain way. As fire gives us warmth in the winter, spiritual knowledge develops  unselfish love in us. There is no warmth like unselfish love. Thus, a lamp is a symbol of unselfish love. Finally, as fire burns everything, spiritual knowledge burns all impurities of our mind. Thus a lamp is a purifier.

Lamp – a symbol of Four Yogas:  Lamp is also a symbol of four yogas.  The clay holder is a symbol of Karma Yoga (attaining perfection through action) as one has to work to make this clay holder from the clay.  Oil is the symbol of Bhakti Yoga, the path to attain God through devotion or love for God.  Wick symbolises Raja Yoga, attaining perfection through control on the senses and the mind.  To make a wick we have to roll cotton fibers and make the wick pointed at the end.  Finally, the flame symbolises Jnana Yoga,  a path to attain Self-knowledge through proper reasoning and comtemplation.  We have to remember attaining perfection, or God realization, or Self-knowledge are same things.

Now, I will share with you a childrens’ Diwali song which I had written and composed. Unfortunately we do not have Diwali songs that people can sing together. All over India people celebrate Diwali. But, Diwali songs were not developed as the Christmas songs developed in the western countries. I wish poets and musicians can write and compose many popular Diwali songs. It is a great joy to sing such songs on a special occasion.

You can listen to the song  by clicking the audio given below and read the words.  It was sung by a few of the Vidyapith teachers and students.  Here is the song.

                                      Wish you Happy Diwali

                                       We decorate our homes.

                                    We light up our lamps.

                                    We pray to our God.

                                    We greet our friends and family.

                                     Wish you Happy Diwali

                                We wish you Happiness

                                    We wish you Inner Peace

                                    We wish you good health and prosperity.

                                     Wish you Happy Diwali

                                  Happy Diwali

After celebrating Diwali with spiritual practices, one can enjoy the things associated with Diwali, like rangoli, sweets and fireworks according to one’s capacity and taste.

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It is a great joy to use creativity in doing rangoli
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Enjoy sweet according to one’s capacity -financially and physically
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Enjoy fireworks keeping safety in mind and within financial capacity

Diwali is for Daanam (charity):  It is also a tradition to give money to the poor and needy and to the people who work hard to provide our needs like maids, cooks, mail-person and others.  Diwali comes to teach us to give.

13 thoughts on “Happy Diwali

  1. It is very refreshing to read the stress on connection between spirituality and holiday celebrations- a lost tradition. Thanks for emphasizing this aspect. Prasad

  2. Uncle, reading your blog enriched my mind. Hail to the power of the lamp. One can meditate on that and on the eventual triumph of good over evil.

  3. Thank you uncle for this excellent post. I wish a Happy Diwali to all. I really liked when you related the three goddess to the three Gunas. I thought that was an excellent example. Thank you! — Khushbu

  4. This is a genuine example of a blog which encapsulates the spirit of an important Indian celebration. Thank you Uncle! It is not necessarily about donating the most amount of money to a temple or performing the most austerities, but truly understanding the meaning behind Diwali. The lamp, a hallmark of Diwali, symbolizes knowledge, strength, and purity, something I wish all of my peers and teachers cultivate. Happy Diwali to everyone; may the lamp burn within you!

  5. Diwali is indeed an important celebration where families gather and spread joy. But Uncle is absolutely right to point out the true meaning of the celebration, that is, if we all work towards developing our inner spirituality, we can eliminate some of the sorrows that exist in the world, especially during significant celebrations like Diwali. Likewise, we should treat our soul as the lamp which should always be brightly lit, to destroy the flaws and to shine the positive qualities. Thank you Uncle for the enlightenment that you have brought to us through this blog, and Happy Diwali to all!

  6. Uncle, My daughter loves this song so much .She heard it at the Diwali celebrations 2014. She was singing this song since weeknd and we were looking for lyrics and found this .Thank you for posting it online.

    1. Hi Manjeeraji: I am very happy to know that your daughter liked the Diwali Song and you could find the lyrics from this post. I believe that we should have more Diwali songs in Hindi, in our mother-tongues and in English. So, all can sing and enjoy. While thinking of this need, this song came to my mind and also its tune. Thanks for writing this comment.

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