DEEPAVALI – A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND LOVE
MY SINCERE PRAYERS ON THE PIOUS OCCASION OF DEEPAVALI
In essence, before wishing all well, I extend my sincere prayers to Lord Rama, who is embodiment of peace and prosperity to bestow peace and harmony in the war-torn Ukraine. The deaths and destruction which has been caused should stop forthwith and sanity may prevail on the warring countries as war does not solve any problem but it makes the problems more complex at all fronts.
When we discuss about wars, it makes it amply clear that the guns and missiles including the SWARMS OF DRONES (With huge maneuverability and precision) wrecks havoc on both the sides. These weapons of destruction not only kill humans but also humanity thus turning us worst than enemy, insensitive !
LESSONS FROM DEEPAVALI
On Physical Plane
We all should adhere and obey the Nature (Prakriti), otherwise Mother Nature would be unsparing. We should also obey the Laws of Nature and should not pollute it.
On Aesthetic Plane
Lord Rama personified beauty in his character in all forms and formulations. There was a rare attraction in him which endeared him to all his subjects in his RAM RAJYA.
On Mind Plane
Lord was the master of his mind and senses. We should also make concerted efforts in becoming master of our mind.
On use of Head & Heart.
Lord Rama showcased compassion for his subjects and met the needs of his subjects as and when needed. If we follow this trait then there will not be any differences in any society.
On LOVE Plane
He loved all his subjects and his relatives alike from the inner recesses of his heart. Also love ignites the feeling of unity in diversity. This trait we all should follow and ensure amity and fellow feelings in the society.
An epitome Fair-play in awarding justice
While awarding punishment and reward, he was very judicious and forthright For knowing the pulse of his people, he used to visit Ayodhya’s streets in disguise in the darkness of night so as to know the real state of his subjects. When he heard a washer-man scolding his wife and telling that he suspects her fidelity / loyalty and tauntingly informed her that he is not the person who can keep her after knowing about her disloyalty to him. He quoted the example of Sita Maa’s stay at Lanka, therefore, suspicion could arise! Hearing this, Lord Rama felt very sad and decided to send Sita Ji to jungles.
On physical grace and power to eliminate evil from the society
He showcased his prowess by killing ferocious demands who used to kill the human beings and spoiled the sacred fires of the hermits while they were performing havan rituals. We should also try to cultivate good qualities and remove the evil tendencies which may make residency in us.
Sincerity and Righteousness to the core
Lord Rama epitomized the traits of sincerity and righteousness in his life which could be proved from his way of ruling his subjects and dealing with Sadhu Samaj and others with compassion.
On fighting Evil
As the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he annihilated ferocious demons who created mayhem and disharmony in the society.
An epitome of sincerity and honesty
His hallmark of honesty and sincerity is well-known in his words and deeds and in this he followed the principles of his ancestors – Raghukul reet sadha chali aaie paran jaye par bachan na jaye (It is the custom of the Raghukul to fulfill the promise made even at the cost of life.
On being obedient
Lord Rama was an obedient son and obeyed the orders of his father King Dharashtha without any reservation. Our youth should follow this Lord Ram’s example to lead their lives.
Lord Ram followed spiritual existence throughout his life
Lord Rama had a constant spiritual growth and development which ensured purity in his thoughts and deeds thus leading a truthful living besides being enlightened soul. We all should follow Lord Ram example for leading a spiritual oriented existence, full of spiritual way of living.
Lord Ram on mental plane
Lord Ram showcased his exemplary attributes through experimentation with wisdom and forthrightness. We should also have such attributes in our life.
Lord Rama was upright in his demeanor in his attitude and behavior. We should also follow these traits.
Deepavali means row of wicks or divas
A festival of lights
And with it all knowledge
Thus removing darkness
Which remain hidden within
Willy-nilly stops our march into inner domains
Thus coming in the path
Of our self-realization
A roadblock to our spiritual realization
Spiritual realization is a supreme intelligence
Within all of us for evolution
To ignite the spark of Divinity
And making our life a web of contradictions
Preventing our life to become a real celebration.
Whence we reflect on the life of Lord Rama
He personifies obedience, loyalty & discipline of highest order
He obeyed the orders of his father Ayodhaya King Dhashratha
To go on exile for fourteen years long!
Spent these many years in the jungles
Enduring all the sufferings
Posed by the elements in the jungle so hostile
Infested with demons and animals so vicious
Away from the life’s comforts of palace.
Does the brood of this generation have the same sort of traits?
Of exemplary obedience, tolerance, patience, perseverance
And all the noblest ideals
These righteous ideals spring from sound upbringing
Under the care of competent master and exceptional parenting.
Thence, so our children can learn that our life is a roller-coaster
Of good and bad experiences
They should learn to live & adjust in any environs they are put
Which Lord Rama, Lakshmana & Maa Sita faced
Who together challenged the challenges head-on
And came out as a winner at last
After killing Demon King Ravana
Who though was Shiva’s ardent Bbakta
Possessed huge knowledge yet did not use it at all
But was drunk with pride and egocentric tendencies
Ultimately proved to be an epitome of evil in all forms.
Our youth just wilt under pressure while facing challenges
They should learn to be adaptive to change
Rather change should not change their determination
Lord Rama’s example shows us the pathways
We’ve only to follow his footsteps with utter earnestness.
The way Lord Rama set an example
As to how best to respect the voice of his subjects
while he was crowned as a King of Ayodhya
There is a clear message to us all
That is why rule was termed as Ram Rajya
He commanded huge respect from his subjects
And thus was known for his justice and impartiality
Treated his subjects and his close relatives equally
While administrating justice as and when situation arose
Where everybody enjoyed respect and freedom to air their views
Bereft of any fear or coercion
There was no instance wherein he had shown discrimination.
On coming to know that there was
A whispering campaign going on
About the purity of his consort Sita
Staying in Lanka of demon king Ravana
While he came to know of this all
He ordered that Sita Maa be sent to jungles
Though he suffered much pain for doing so
Our justice system too should learn
From the justice and fair-play during Rama Rajya.
Then one of the finest lessons which we get from his life
Is about fulfilling promises made while living our life
He believed in the dictum:
‘Ragukul Reet Sadha Chali Aayi Pran Jaye Par Bachan Na Jaye’
Meaning, There is a tradition in Raghukul
They prefer death rather than not fulfilling promise given
We should also fulfill all the promises made
And lead a righteous existence.
The Diwali day begins with fond prayers
To Lord Rama for his bounties and graces
Along with blessings of peace and prosperity.
Shri Ram, Maa Sita with brother Lakshmana
Had come back to Ayodhya
To their own subjects and relatives so close
After 14 years of exile
After finishing the evils
In the form of Demon King Ravana.
A lesson for us who with everything
Graced by our Creator
We all should be thankful to Almighty God for His graces
And live a life of satisfaction
Difficulties will be there in our existence
But these are to be surmounted with determination
And not swept under the carpet
We live a life without any expectation
From others, with abounding satisfaction.
While celebrating Diwali festival
Let’s pray for peace and prosperity for all.
HAPPY DEEPAVALI TO ALL
Literally, the word DEEPVALI contain two syllables meaning; deep – Wick light and vali means a row, put together it means a row of lights of earthen wicks.
After the end of Lord Ram’s 14 long years of exile, winning over the ‘Sone Ki Lanka – GOLDEN LANKA’ and killing the demon King Ravana; with it all his evil Karmic deeds; Lord Rama, accompanied with his brother Lashmana and consort Sita and all his followers including Hanumanji .
CONTRIBUTION OF LORD HANUMAN JI IN BATTLE AGAINST DEMON KING RAVANA IS UNIQUE IN EVERY WAY
Lord Hanumanji has a exceptional reservoir of strength, knowledge and intelligence, courageous but without even a touch of pride, an epitome of Bhakti and Shakti. Despite all these traits, he considered himself to be the humble servant of Lord Rama,
LIFE OF LORD RAMA
In essence, we should always keep in mind the most compassionate and benevolent life of Lord Rama while he ruled Ayodhya or while he was told to spent his 14 years ,on the bidding of his father King Dhashratha, in exile with simple and austere lifestyle, living on forest fruits and herbs; bereft of any palace comforts. It is all very unique and worth emulation.
HE SUFFERED HARDSHIPS OF JUNGLE LIFE WHILE IN EXILE
Following Lord Ram’s life, we can also imbibe humility, compassion and above all humane touch. We should also learn from his adaptive lifestyle – from palace life to jungle life while in exile.
He along with Lord Hanuman Ji and his monkey forces fought a battle with demon forces of Demon King Ravana. Killing demon king Ravana , who characterized evil in all forms and manifestations, is a moot point in Epic Ramayana which should serve a lesson for us humans that evil cannot survive indefinitely. Whenever evil crosses all limits, Lord Vishnu incarnates to annihilate the same and ensures writ of justice and fair-play amongst the humanity.
LORD RAMA’S WELCOME ON ARRIVAL AT AYODHYA
When Lord Rama reached Ayodhya, he was accorded a rousing reception/ welcome by the happy populace there. They welcomed all those who accompanied Lord Rama by lighting their homes and streets of Ayodhya with earthen wicks. The emperor Bharata, coroneted Lord Rama as the king of Ayodhya which proves his credentials as the righteous and virtuous one.
A STERLING EXAMPLE OF OBEDIENCE
The king of Ayodhaya Dhashratha, had made a solemn promise to his wife Kalkkeyi to ask for two boons or promises whenever she felt a need of the same. She had saved him from a certain critical situation. While there was a confirmed news that the king wanted Ramji to be coroneted as the king, Manthra the maid servant of Queen KaIkeyi poisoned the ears of the queen Kaikeyi and exhorted her to ask for realization of two promises made to her by the king.
PROMISES MADE BY KING DHASHRATHA BE FULFILLED
First the coronation for Bharata (Kaikeyi’s son) and second, 14 years’ exile for Rama (the son of Kaushilya). As there was the motto in the family since ages together: – Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi Puran Jaaye Par Bachan Na Jaye (There is a tradition in Raghukul that their members will prefer death rather than to break a promise), so Ayodhya king had to concede the demands of Kaikeyi though with heavy heart/resentfully.
LIFE OF BHARATA
After hearing about the turn of events (Coronation for Bharata and exile for him), Rama did not say even a single word. Contrarily, he put on the simplest dress to depart for exile, thus obeying the directive of his father without raising objections or reservation. Sitaji (consort of Ramji and Lakshamana (his brother – the son of Sumitra) too accompanied Ram Ji. This is a fine example of obedience of the orders of elders in the family. We ought to imbibe this fine trait of Lord Rama and thus follow a righteous path in our lives too.
FINE EXAMPLE OF COHESION IN THE FAMILY
When Bharata came to know about the 14 years’ exile for his elder brother Rama and coronation for himself, he felt very disappointed. He flatly refused to be crowned as a king of Ayodhya in the absence of elder brother Rama and Lakshmana. No arguments of any sort could consol him. He thought this act of being emperor as adharam (irreligiosity). He even went to the jungles in order to persuade Rama and Lakshmana to come back to Ayodhaya but Rama did not agree to this because of the promise of his father. The meeting between Lord Rama and Bharata is termed as Bharat Milap. He could not convince Lord Rama to come back to Ayodhya and rule.
LOVE BETWEEN BROTHERS
Finally, Bharata extracted a promise from Ramji that on his return back from 14 years’ exile, he will take the reigns as an emperor. Such was the love between the brothers – an unparalleled one. Rama’s love for Bharta was also an example that ought to be followed by brothers now for ensuring goodwill in our families. Wealth or any other consideration should not be an impediment for a good relations in our families.
IF KNOWLEDGE IS NOT USED WITH WISDOM IT WILL NOT SERVE ANY PURPOSE
DAWN OF JOY ARISES WHEN WE IMBIBE ALL THE LESSONS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Ravana, the Demon King, was most learned Demon King. Ravana, the son of Vishwashrava (A Brahman Rishi) and his mother Kaikasi (from a demon family) was a scholarly person who had the knowledge of Vedas and other scriptures at his finger tips but he is taken in negative light because he did not make use of this knowledge for the benefit of demon clan.
But there was a demonic trait in him that he was intoxicated with his prowess and knowledge. So much so he was influenced by his egocentric traits that he stooped to the sordid act of abducting Sita Mata the consort of Lord Rama – by deceit, an evil act by any reckoning. It goes to prove that if we do not use the knowledge with sagacity, we sure will fall prey to unethical karma leading to our sure downfall.
KUBER PUJA – THE BEARER OF WEALTH
Kuber is the step brother of Ravana and is considered as the treasurer of wealth. It is believed amongst the devout that worship of Lord Kubera, especially on the auspicious day of Diwali, brings affluence and progress in business. Just as we can have fresh water from the fresh water reservoir, we can have Lord Kubera’s blessings for wealth and prosperity. If we pray with sincereity and work hard for that we can get Kuber’s bounties. Meaning, he bequeaths wealth if we sincerely do our karma as per the natural laws. He graces those who resort to righteous karma and possess right attitude in life. Kubera pooja is done on Diwali Day so that there is sufficiency of everything for meeting the needs of our family.
GODDESS LAKSHMI & LORD GANESHA POOJA
Diwali is considered incomplete without first inviting the Lord Ganesha because He is an embodiment of good beginning and removes obstacles besides being the Lord of Wisdom. Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth and well being. On the auspicious day of Diwali, both the deities share a single altar thus ensuring blessings of the both. The former is taken as Lordess of wealth and the latter as the giver of prosperity.
GAMBLING ON DIWALI DAY
A legend has it that on Diwali Day Goddess Parvati played dice with Lord Shiva and He ordained that anyone who gambled on this day, prosperity will smile on such a person. This tradition continues even today. But some unscrupulous / unethical people just gamble away their homes and hearths on this day and have to fend for themselves. This is bad. Tradition is alright, but excess of everything is bad should be kept in mind.
TRADITION MARRYING WITH MODERNITY
It should never be forgotten that when tradition marries with modernity, the celebration is double whammy. It may be the celebration of festivals or any other day important individually, it gives us feeling of wellness for our fellow beings. But this celebration should never be individualistic in nature. There is more credence to celebration when all feel happy and satiated. May it be celebration of Diwali, Christmas Day, Eid or any other religious day – when all accompany us, celebration becomes more meaningful and eventful in true sense of terms.
NO CRACKERS PLEASE THIS YEAR TOO!
Due to the extreme pollution caused due to heavy smog cause due to burning of rice stubble and its waste. This pollution in the atmosphere becomes the cause of lung related diseases.
There are several ways of celebrating Deepvali. It is lighting our home with candles, earthen wicks etc. But cracker bursting and spoiling the atmosphere is too bad. Therefore, care ought to be taken that we should not all use crackers since these results in pollution which becomes cause for lung related diseases.