- Religion and Philosophy»
- Eastern Religions & Beliefs
Deepavali, the Festival of Light!
Deepavali, illuminating light festival!
In India, one of the major festival that is celebrated in almost every state is "Deepavali", the festival of Light. The origin of Deepavali dates back to more than 5000 years. There was a cruel demon named "Narakasura", who got a boon from the Gods for his longevity. Hence he has become arrogant and conceitedness and started harassing all the people on the earth. Unable to bear the torture of the Demon, all people started praying the Lord to protect them from the atrocities of the demon Narakasura. Lord Mahavishnu has consoled them and said that the demon will be killed soon. The demon has imprisoned around 16000 woman in his kingdom. Hence Sri Krishna, who is considered as an incarnation of Mahavishnu, engaged the demon in war. At that time, he took his consort Sathyabhama also to the war. It so happened that a missile has hit Lord Krishna and feigned unconscious. His consort Sathyabhama took the bow and aimed an arrow at Narakasura. By the grace of God, he fell down on the ground unable to bear the arrow. Even while he was dying, he prayed to the Lord, "Let this new moon day be remembered and celebrated as a "great festival day". Let all the denizens of earth wear new cloths, partake sweets and savories, and fire crackers. Hence this day is being celebrated all over India with new cloths, sweets etc. In North India this day is celebrated as "Lakshmi Puja"(goddess of wealth). Lights are lit and kept alround the home and interiors, new business accounts are opened being a day of the goddess of wealth. Essentially, the festival is celebrated with Lights. Lights illumine and drive away darkness. Hence this day is considered best for spiritual activities. Realization is achieved when ignorance is removed. Darkness flee in the presence of Light. Our Conscious is Light but that light is hidden by the six demonic qualities of "Lust, Anger, miserliness, attachment, Pride and jealousy. Hence every one has to remove the bad qualities and cultivate human values such as "Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence. A human being should possess above human qualities. Then only he is entitled to be called a 'human'. If we cultivate demonic qualities, we are fit to be called as 'demons' and not human being. Hence we should shed animal tendencies and cultivate human qualities. The ancient scriptures mention a beautiful prayer to God. "Lead me from darkness to Light". Hence this festival rightly points out the Truth that Let the Light drive away all darkness from our Heart. We can love others when we shed 'selfishness and Ego'. As long as these qualities present in us, we can not love others in true sense. One quality of Light is "It never diminishes even if many lamps are lit from the same light. It will always remain the same. Other materials in the world deplete when some quantities are removed. But Light remains the same. All festivals in the world carry a spiritual message be it Christmas or Id ul Fitr or Deepavali. But nowadays people forget the spiritual implications and celebrate those festivals with feast and drinks. The body has been given to us to realize our identity with the Divine spirit within. But we give more importance to the outer cover rather than the inner treasure. Present age of man is bereft with many calamities consequent to the focus on 'materialism'. Man should divert his attention from material to the spirit. All religions teach the same Truth. The body is ephemeral and the mind is a mad monkey. Why should we rely upon these impermanent things. We should focus on the SELF within rather than the world outside. That way lies our emancipation and relief from this miserable world. All the sensual pleasures are momentary and do not last more than a second. The sweet that is put on the tongue is kept hardly for a second and it is pushed into the gullet. Hence the taste lasts for a moment only. The music we hear gives us happiness as long as the song last. The pictures we visualize also is momentary. Hence do not focus the attention on all these evanescent things. Realize that you are the share holders of the Bliss of God. Attach yourself to the Almighty. Then you can reap all the benefits of Divine heritage. Rest in next hub.