Tomorrow India starts to celebrate Diwali, a famous festival of lights. All streets and all homes will be filled with the warmth of oil lamps, to attract the blessings of the Divine Mother into their homes, to attract all auspiciousness and dispell all the darkness and negativity.
Diwali is a very beautiful and joyful festival. It’s a time when everybody is dancing, singing, gifting their family members and gathering together. But it is not only about lighting the symbolic oil lamps on the outside. It has so much deeper meaning.
Diwali is to remind us to be grateful, for what we have in life and to celebrate. But above all it reminds us to keep the flame of our soul and its good qualities burning inside our hearts. During Diwali whole family keeps vigil to make sure that the light will burn whole night. But its deeper meaning is to remind us, that in similar way, we need to be attentive, every single day, to bring light of our positiveness into each of our thoughts, words and actions, and to stay vigilant about what we think, speak or do at all times.
Diwali is all about reminding us how to be more conscious human beings.
The earthen lamps that we light on Diwali symbolize our bodies; they remind us about our eternal connection to nature. They remind us that in fact our bodies are just a little bit of dust borrowed from this Earth, and as we came here empty-handed, so we will leave empty-handed at a time of our departure. The oil symbolizes our effort in life, as well as devotion, while a cotton thread symbolizes our soul’s eternal connection with the Divine.
There are many lamps lighten up on Diwali. Similarly, there are many people, yet the light of our consciousness, our inner Divinity, is the same. If it doesn’t shine so brightly, maybe some more “oil” is needed. But the potential is the same in each one of us.
And similarly like one lamp can be lighten up from the other, if we nurture our inner light, it starts to shine through us and lightens up the lives of others as well. This is what Diwali truly stands for: to nurture our inner light and to spread it all around. Because life is far too short to spend it just on nurturing worries, fears and other “dark” things.
Paramahamsa Vishwananda, my spiritual master, spoke nicely about Diwali once:
“So on Diwali we light the lamp everywhere, no? People light the lamp outside but forget to light the inner lamp. And the inner lamp is not a lamp which is visible to the outside, but by concentrating on your good qualities the inner lamp lights itself.”
“So, on this Diwali, like all the Diwalis that will continue from now on which you will celebrate, let all your negative qualities be burned by your inner light. Nobody can take that away from you. You see, your negative quality, your good quality, it’s yours, but whichever one you give power to, that will be the one which will carry you. So if you give power to your negative quality by concentrating on it, by feeding it, it will carry you, it will drag you down. Whereas, if you put more concentration on the inner light which you have, like that it will burn all the negative qualities which you have and it will shine the light what you have inside of you.”
So, find some time today to nurture your inner light.
Year ago Paramahamsa Vishwananda gave a really beautiful and really simple meditation on Diwali, which in fact reveals Diwali’s true meaning.
This is the most beautiful way to celebrate Diwali:
“As we all light the lamps in our houses today, do spend some time today to light a few lamps inside of you, and sit in silence with your eyes closed.
Light the first lamp inside of your heart and let it burn any anger or jealousy that you may have for anyone until today. See how it is melting away.
Light the second lamp and let it burn away all unwanted greed and desires… Feel happy and contented with what you have been blessed with.
Light the third lamp and let it fade away all insecurities that you may have in your mind related to anything (or finances); just believe that God has given you life and he will surely give you enough to survive.
Then light the fourth lamp and carry that lamp to each part of your body. Let it burn away all your diseased cells or any disease on the way. Feel healthy as this lamp travels to each part of your body and illuminates each organ.
The fifth lamp is a miniature of the Sun – nothing but the Divine light. Light it in the center of your body and let it fill your whole body with the warmth and love. Feel oneness with the Divine. Let the love and warmth fill you inside and ooze out of you through your smile, eyes, speech and body carry this love with you through out the day. You will find that everyone who meets you is happy and elevated. This is the biggest blessing: that whoever meets you becomes happier after meeting you. This will also make you happier in return.
Light these five lamps each day and each morning, and carry the positivity wherever you go.”
Wishing you a blessed Diwali.