Happy Diwali – Essence of the Indian festival of Lights

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Diwali
is the Indian festival of lights and is celebrated on a large scale
throughout India and the Indian Diaspora. It is also celebrated in
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Guyana, West
Indies, Fiji, and of course, here in the United States. Diwali is about hope, Diwali brings light, Diwali signifies end of darkness and Diwali signifies end of ignorance and beginning of enlightenment.  You can greet your friends with any one of these phrases, “Happy Diwali”, “Diwali Mubarak”, Diwali ki Shubh Kamnayein” and the very Best of Diwali to you. 

Diwali
is spelled differently, and is called by many names. There is Divali
among others, and Deepavali, meaning the festival of lights. Although
Diwali is a Hindu tradition, many a people of different faiths
participate in celebrations – Jains, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians,
Buddhists, Zoroastrians and others of India and Indian origins.

People
decorate their homes with lights and Rangoli, i.e., colorful drawing in
the front yard of the home, sidewalks, even roads in India with
colorful powders or colorful pieces of chalk. Women and Children look
forward to expressing their artistic talent in this season. Their
surroundings filled with colorful lights to enliven the day, to mark the
dawn of a new era in one’s life.

My childhood is filled with good memories of Diwali; the sparklers, the food and everything joyous you can imagine.
A
few years ago, Jyoti and Nishi Bhatia, former President of DFW Hindu
Temple and President of Dallas Hindi Association respectively, asked me
to speak about Diwali in a dinner gathering to a group of people from
different faiths and cultures, and I cherished it, I love talking about
Diwali, as its essence reflects the ideals of pluralism, and symbolizes
hope and positive energy, victory of good over evil; a new beginning.
It is indeed seeing the light at the end of tunnel.
  
Diwali
Celebration is a part of the epic Ramayana, and the Ram Lila (enactment
of the story on stage) is played out all night long in towns across
India. I grew up watching it in front of my house, and my friends played
different roles in the show. Indeed, one of my former relatives played
Hanuman’s role.
It
was a challenge for me to teach Ramayana to a group of people who knew
nothing about it. It turned out to be a successful program. I prepared
the nearly all white audience that I will be narrating the story through
the power point and along will be reinforcing the names and roles of
the key persons in the story and will ask them for feed back at the end.
Friends, I cannot tell you the joy, the Bhatias and I felt when each
one of them answered the questions from the story. They got it! It is a
powerful story and takes about 30 minutes to narrate.
The
epic is filled with educative tales, edifying poems, and fables. It is
probably through their constant retelling in the villages over centuries
that Hinduism is most efficiently disseminated from generation to
generation.
Whenever a society rots with adharma (wrong path), where no one cares about the other, lying, stealing and dishonesty become rampant, Lord Krishna says,I will emerge among you and restore the righteousness and trust in the society to function smoothly.” Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, Nanak,
Mahavira, Confucius, Tao and others served the same purpose. it is
almost like the laws of physics ; water finds its own level, and
righteousness finds its own existence.
Rama
is one such incarnation who reestablished the moral code for social
conduct and proper relation of mankind to divinity. He was truthful and
a just king.
Diwali symbolizes hope and positive energy
  • People wear new clothes
  • Share sweets as a symbol of happiness
  • Renew the relationships
  • Strengthen the bonds
It signifies a new beginning, starting out fresh.
  • for most businesses it is the new financial year
  • An inventory of assets is taken
  • An assessment of family and relationship
  • Last harvest for the farmers
  • New things are bought
To those celebrating Diwali, I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak.”
Today,
on this blessed day, we have a blank slate to start, let’s plan on
filling it with doing good things for ourselves, to our family, friends,
community, nation and the world until next Diwali.
What
are good things? Words and actions that bring peace, Mukti, salvation,
Moksha, nirvana, Nijaat and freedom to us, yes us. There is so much of
joy waiting to be had. If we can remove hatred and anger towards others,
forgive others and ask for forgiveness (Michami Dukadam is a beautiful
phrase the Jain’s use), then a blissful year is sure to come for each
one of you and me.
  • May this Diwali purge your heart, mind and soul from hate, malice, anger and ill-will;
  • May this Diwali open your hearts and minds towards fellow being;
  • May this Diwali brighten your life, and may this Diwali mark the dawn of a new era;
Muslims
are a big part of Diwali as well, and innumerable poets have written
poetries and songs about Diwali. Here is my effort, I wrote this seven
years ago on the occasion when Diwali and Ramadan were celebrated
around the same time.
ये मेरी दिवाली है, ये मेरी ईद है
दोनों में खुशी ही खुशी है
A meri diwali hai, a meri eid hai
donon may khushi hi khushi hai –
दिवाली से नया साल शुरू होता है
रमज़ान एक नया इंसान बनाता है
 Diwali say naya saal shuru hota hai
Ramzan ek naya insaan banata hai –
दिवाली मैं एक एक बात का हिसाब होता है
रमज़ान में हर बात का रिव्यू होता है
 Diwali may ek ek baat ka hisab hota hai
Ramzan may her baat ka review hota hai –
दिवाली नए साल के लिए क्लीन स्लेट देता है
रमज़ान पिछले साल का स्लेट क्लीन करता है
Diwali nayay saal ke liye clean slate deta hai
Ramzan pichlay saal ki slate clean karta hai –
बात ही बात में मैंने एक नयी नज़्म लिख दी साहिर
दिवाली और रमज़ान से सबका अच्छा ही होता है
Baat hi baat may, my nay a sher likh diya Sahir
Diwali aur Ramzan say subka acha hi hota hai
Happy Diwali to you my friends, may this Diwali bring happiness, serenity and peace to you. Amen!
दोनों में खुशी ही खुशी है


Thank
you
mike
Mike Ghouse

(214)
325-1916
text/talk

Published at:

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  3. http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com
  4. https://www.saddahaq.com/humaninterest/EssenceOfDiwali/essence-of-diwali-the-indian-festival-of-lights

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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on
Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture,
ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at
www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are
at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10
other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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