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- Eastern Religions & Beliefs
Deepavali, from darkness to Light!
Sri Rama returns to Ayodhya on Deepavali day!
The significance of Deepavali festival!
How we celebrate different festivals? People, the world over exert themselves to clean and decorate their houses and shrines, wear new cloths, prepare sweet dishes and share with their kith and kin. In some countries, lights are lit around the home, indicating prosperity and for driving away the darkness that surround in the vicinity. Deepavali is one such festival, celebrated throughout India and in some Asian countries as well as in UK, US and European countries by the settled Indian people. It is most colorful festival with colorful fireworks and crackers. There are certain important reasons found in the epics for the celebration of Deepavali from ancient days.
Narakasura, a terrible demon king was killed by Lord Krishna and the demon while dying, prayed to Krishna to give him a boon that the people should rejoice on the day of slaying him. They should get up early and take oil bath with hot water, wear new cloths, eat sweets and savories sharing with all. This is a mark of destruction of evil from the earth. The demon king Naraka has imprisoned ten thousand women and he was feared by all for atrocious acts.
It was on the day of Deepavali, Sri Rama, Lakshmana and mother Sita were returning after fourteen years of exile to forest. They returned to their Kingdom Ayodhya, after slaying Ravana and his retinue who were demons. Ravana was ruling Lanka (the present Sri Lanka) and he has abducted the wife of Sri Rama, when they were in deep forest. Though Ravana was an expert in Sastras and scriptures, well learned and expert in many arts and music, he lacked character and hence he usurped Sita from the custody of the brothers Rama and Lakshmana by a deceitful act. Their return after victory, on Deepavali day, the celebration acquired double significance.
But here I wish to point out that the affluent and wealthy may celebrate this festival joyfully spending a lot of money. But what about the poor and destitute in the street, who have none to care for them or feed them or cloth them? Hence the people who can afford even a little can present cloth or sweets or crackers to the poor boys in the streets. On that day, they can organize ‘poor feeding’ which is rightly named as “Narayana Seva” by Sri Sathya Saibaba. Lord Narayana is the in dweller of all beings. As a service, we can always undertake on such festival days, Narayana Seva by feeding the poor uncared children of the Lord. The well to do can distribute new cloths also to them.
Saibaba has clarified once, that these festivals has inner significance than the outer display! The scriptures teach us to pray to the Lord, “Lead me from darkness to Light”. Evidently all souls are in darkness due to the identification with the body/mind complex, which is the root cause of all grief and pain. Hence, they should turn their attention from the mundane to the spiritual aspect of the festivals and get illumined by the wisdom of ancient saints and sages. My greetings to all on this holy occasion!