The Divine Light is within you. It is the Divine Light of the soul manifesting as life and consciousness. This Light is from the source that we call God. No other light in the universe can be compared with it.

This is the season of Diwali which is the celebration of light. This celebration indicates overcoming of ignorance and awakening of spiritual knowledge. Externally, Diwali is celebrated by lighting earthen lamps and placing them in rows at different locations in the house and in the yard and other places of choice. This can be likened to Christmas lights. It is the time of joy, family get-togethers, feasting, gift-giving, attending temples, house cleaning, sharing sweets and other gifts and, in general, making the whole occasion one of mirthful celebration. There are also many public performances, especially of music and dance. It is the time when people convey messages of peace and goodwill to one another, and send positive vibrations and blessings to others. Love for one another and forgiving the faults of others are prominent features of Diwali.

On the more spiritual side, Diwali is a celebration of the return of Lord Rama after fourteen years of exile to his home city of Ayodhya. Lord Rama is held to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, so there are many millions of worshipers of Lord Rama throughout the world. There is also the worship of the goddess Lakshmi who blesses people with prosperity. (There are many other religious-cultural legends about Diwali and they can be found in reference sources on the Internet.) Many people go to their respective temples bearing gifts and praying for their welfare, and the welfare of others. People wear new clothes and merchants start new accounts indicating a new beginning in life.

For our spiritual self-growth Diwali is a good starting point. Realizing the fact that God shines within, one ought to make the effort to realize that Light of God on a personal level. One needs to sit comfortably in a quiet place, close the eyes and withdraw the thoughts from all things that are external. Focus the mind internally and, in the silence of the Self, become fully aware of your own consciousness. Feel the serenity, harmony, peace and sense of freedom that are attributes of the soul. Sant Kabir said that in the deep silence (void) of the Self, kindle the divine light and be awakened to the Ultimate Reality that resides in you. If we can celebrate Diwali in this way, then we can see it’s Light manifesting in our life.

A few points from the teachings of Sant Kabir will help us be on the spiritual path this Diwali:

Absolute non-violence towards all living beings
Universal love and brotherhood for all.
Compassion for all beings
See God in every being
Truth is a great virtue.
Seek God within
God is Nirakar (formless) and Gunateet (beyond attributes)
Meditation is the way to realize God

Happy Diwali and a blessed year ahead!

Dr. Jagessar Das

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