This presentation is dedicated to those who were killed by bomb blasts on the eve of Deepavali on 2005
From the unreal lead us to the real From the darkness lead us to light From mortality lead us to immortality
Deepavali : The festival of Light This is the festival of Sri Rama’s return after He destroyed the evil of Ravana. Ravana – by birth a Brahmin and by deeds a Demon- was liberated from his evil form by Sri Rama who as an individual in exile with the help of a monkey brigade destroyed the military forces of a demonic state. It is symbolic of the power of the divine within the individual against the forces of oppression and darkness. It also depicts the organic unity of humanity with all existence through the bonds of innate divinity. Deepavalai is the occasion to remember this. And celebrate this
Deepavali : The festival of Light This is the festival of Sri Krishna with His divine consort Sathyabama destroyed Narakasura – his own son for the sake of humanity. Narakasura was born when Divinity touched the earth to establish peace. He became a demonic force wanting to control all the universe. Hence he was destroyed by Sri Krishna aided by Sathyabama who was the personification of Earth Goddess. Perhaps there is a lesson here for us all – the children of Earth who want to control all Earth through monocultures. Deepavali is the day to celebrate the fall of control and triumph of Earth Mother
Deepavali : The festival of Light This was the day when eons ago Sri Krishna made the shepherds of India venerate the natural phenomena and made them understand how human existence is interdependent with seeming inanimate nature like the mountains. He made them understand that humanity is but part of the web of life which also includes mountains and streams. When gods of the sky who want humans to worship them for fear of punishment and hell fire, tried to punish the shepherds, Sri Krishna protected the shepherds by lifting the mountain. Deepavali is the day Sri Krishna taught humanity to venerate Nature.
Deepavali : The festival of Light In Hindu mythology which offers an inner map to deeper reality, this was the day Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth emerged when forces of good and evil jointly churned the cosmic ocean. Thus Lakshmi symbolizes wealth that emerges before the emergence of spiritual immortality. The poison that emerged through the churning was consumed by Siva – thus protecting the Universe. Any technology of wealth that emerges from the churning of knowledge can also lead to poisonous evil like pollution or nuclear holocaust. One needs divinity to make humanity to overcome such phenomena. May wealth for us come without pollution and destruction through the grace of Lakshmi
Deepavali : The festival of Light Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthankaras, attained Nirvana or Moksha on this day at Pavapuri on Oct. 15, 527 BCE, on Chaturdashi and Amavasya. Lord Mahavira attained his pari-nirvana at the dawn of the Deepavali day. Mahavira taught absolute non-violence not only against enemies or believers of one’s own religion or race but towards all existence – even towards poisonous animals and organisms. On Deepavali let us meditate upon His life and teachings also.
Deepavali : The festival of Light In Sikh Dharma third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Dhas made Deepavali the day Sikhs would gather together and get the blessings of Guru. It was also the day on which the foundation for Hari Mandir Sahib was laid. That was the day when the spiritual power of Guru Hargovind humbled the tyranny of Moghul emperor that he was forced to liberate Guru and through the grace of Guru other 52 Hindu kings he had imprisoned. Guru Amar Dhas Guru HarGovind Liberating prisoners from Mughal prison on Deepavali day
Deepavali : Lest we forget the sacrifices In 1737 celebrating Deepavali was banned by Mughal rulers. Bhai Mani Singh a Sikh saint protested against this. He organized Deepavalai celebration in Golden Temple for which he was arrested. Later he was tortured by cutting each of his fingers and joints and was forced to convert. But he refused and became a martyr for Dharma. Every Indian should remember this martyr for Deepavali when he or she celebrates the festival. We today celebrate Deepavali because they sacrificed and suffered tortures. Bhai Mani Singh
Deepavali : Lest we forget the sacrifices YES! Deepavali was the pre-cursor to Mahatma Gandhi in fight against discrimination in South Africa! Long before Mahatma Gandhi came, Deepavali became symbolic of fight against racism.Indentured Indian workers in South Africa fough for almost 50 years (1860 – 1907) for their right to celebrate Diwali. Authors Ashwin Desai and Goo- lam Vahed reveal this in their book ‘Inside Indenture’. Desai says: “ Being the 100th year of celebrations, we need to recognise and pay homage to those indentured labourers and many other Hindus who sacrificed a great deal to convince the white colonial authorities that Hinduism was a religion and that they had a right to celebrate Diwali ” Before Mahatma there was Deepavali For the Fight against discrimination in South Africa Indentured Indian laborers in Africa in 1880s: They fought for the right to Deepavalai
So Celebrate Deepavali <ul><li>The festival of light </li></ul><ul><li>The festival of liberation </li></ul><ul><li>The festival of pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>The festival of sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>The festival of freedom </li></ul>Happy Deepavali to You and Your family. -s. aravindan neelakandan