Story of Diwali

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This story has a lot to teach but the most important teaching is how Ram wins by fulfilling his duties without worrying about the consequences or benefits - "Karmyogi". It also shows Ravan who is an arrogant scholarly king who is defeated in the end. We all have elements of both the characters in us. Goal is to be like Ram. Keeping Ram's story in our heart and mind guides our daily life and we will never be destroyed due to false pride like Ravan did.

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Story of Diwali

  1. 1. Story of Diwali Author: Shashi Bhutada Date: Oct 28, 2012 Happy Diwali to us all!Heres a story I want to share with you all ... Note: Valmiki wrote the story of Ramayana. He used to be roadside robber before he had a transformation. After the transformation he witnessed a hunter killing a bird and the wailing of the bird just moved him so much that he uttered his first poetry. It is said he wrote it while Ram was still alive and appears in the story.
  2. 2. Life of Young Prince• The whole kingdom of Ayodhya is in joy and festivities. Their beloved prince, Ram, is to become a king today. King Dashratha had four sons Ram being the eldest. Dashratha was once saved in a battlefield by a young princess with whom he marries and grants her 3 wishes. She was Rams step mother. She had plans for her own son, Bharat, to become the king of Ayodhya.
  3. 3. Young Prince in Exile• So she asks the king to banish Ram to the forest for 14 years. Dashratha is heartbroken for Ram and suggests Ram to rebel. But Ram wants to fulfill his fathers promise and wants to keep the kings word . He fulfills his duty smilingly without disappointment. So starts the heros journey into the forest into the unknown filled with adventure. Ram is also accompanied by his wife, Sita, and younger brother, Laxman.
  4. 4. Chasing Desires• One day Sita sees a golden deer and wants the deer as pet. Ram explains that the deer looks unreal and not worth chasing, yet Sita insists. Ram asks Laxman to look after Sita while he goes to get the deer. Ram is gone for few hours and has not returned yet. This worries Sita and she asks Laxman to go look for Ram. Laxman reluctantly agrees to go. (Lesson: Chasing unreal golden deer is not wise!)
  5. 5. Tragedy Strikes• Sita is left alone in her hut. There comes a monk at her doorsteps asking for some food. As Sita offers some food, the monk turns into the King Ravana. Ravana was a great scholar and ruler of Lanka. Ravana was said to have ten heads - meaning as powerful as ten scholars. Ravana had fell in love with Sita and wanted her as his wife. So he kidnaps her away. (Lesson: Do not covet thy neighbors wife!)
  6. 6. First clue• Ram comes back but Sita is gone. Both brothers look for her desperately but in vain. In their search they meet Jatayu, a vulture, who tried to rescue Sita but got his wings cut. Ram learns about the abduction. (Lesson: Vultures are not always vultures!)
  7. 7. More help arrives• Ram is traveling through the forest heartbroken and sad for Sita. One day he meets Hanuman, a monkey. Hanuman learns about Sita. He vows to help Ram get her back. Hanuman introduces Ram to Sugriv, a monkey king who had lost his kingdom to his older brother Vali. Ram fights Vali, helps Sugriv get his kingdom back and in return Sugriv offers his own army to get Sita back. (Lesson: You will find when you are not looking!)
  8. 8. Resolution• Ram along with the monkey army head south to Lanka to get Sita back. They fight an epic battle with Ravan. Ravan uses all his smarts (his ten heads) but he is defeated in the end. Ram meets Sita after 12 long months.
  9. 9. Demons• The defeat of Ravan is celebrated as the festival "Dussehra", the defeat of ten- headed Ravan. This is understood as defeat of ten vices - intellect that causes anger, pride, jealousy, happiness, sadness, fear, selfishness, passion, and ambition. (Lesson: Unwise Intellect hurts!)
  10. 10. Follow your path• The story has a lot to teach but the most important teaching is how Ram wins by fulfilling his duties without worrying about the consequences or benefits - "Karmyogi". It also shows Ravan who is an arrogant scholarly king who is defeated in the end. We all have elements of both the characters in us. Goal is to be like Ram. Keeping Rams story in our heart and mind guides our daily life and we will never be destroyed due to false pride like Ravan did.
  11. 11. Light at the end of tunnel• The 14 yrs are coming to an end. Ram, Laxman and Sita are about to return to Ayodhya. The night they return is a night of new- moon. It was pitch dark but the whole kingdom was waiting for this occasion. To welcome Ram, their beloved king, the kingdom is lit with decorated oil lamps "Diwa". And that is celebrated as "Diwali". That’s the story.
  12. 12. Diwali• To this day every year Indians celebrate the day of "Diwali" by lighting oil lamps, and decorating houses and streets to welcome Ram. India follows Moon-based or lunar calendar (currently 2068) and Diwali falls on the night of a new-moon in November and doesnt always coincide the same date on the Gregorian calendar we all follow. In India its the time of festivities. We share the joy by sharing sweets with friends and light firecrackers. We forget the past and start fresh. Its our New Year Celebration as well.
  13. 13. Face self• Final lesson: Rams adventure is necessary else he would not have encountered Ravan and other adventures that taught him important life skills. We all have to take the journey many times into the dark unknown, sometimes literally but mostly symbolically. Unknown darkness is where lie our monsters (pride, anger, fear, etc which happen without our awareness) and facing them leads us to our kingdom of light.
  14. 14. Happy Diwali• So heres wishing us all a very Happy Prosperous Diwali!
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