Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali

The night may be dark,
The path may be difficult,
Light lamps of love and affection
Then it will be Diwali of heart.

Diwali lights the temple of heart; it opens the sky of inner heart. It is Diwali which soaks every living beings with love. This festival has been celebrated for quite a long time. But why do we celebrate it?

Indians of all religions celebrate Diwali. In many parts of India, it is the homecoming of King Rama (of Ramayana fame) of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest. Southern India marks it as the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.

But specifically, why do Jains celebrate Diwali? Diwali is the day that Lord Mahavira attained nirvana at Pavapuri. Lord Mahavira attained nirvana at the dawn of the amavasya (new moon). According to the Kalpasutra (a pictorial description of Lord Mahavira’s life and past lives) by Acharya Bhadrabahuswami, written during the 3rd century BC, many Gods were present, illuminating the darkness of the dawn.

The following night was pitch black without the light of the gods or the moon. To symbolically keep the light of Lord Mahavira’s knowledge alive, kings and Gods lit lamps. They said: "Since the light of knowledge is gone, we will make light of ordinary matter." This day is the 'New Year Day' in worldly sense. It can also be called the 'New Year of Your Life'.

This Diwali, take the time to reflect upon the meaning of Lord Mahavira’s message of non-violence and compassion towards all living beings.

Have a Happy Diwali and prosperous new year!

Got this from YJA.

No comments: