Illuminating the Path to Clarity and Celebration of Life
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a vibrant and culturally rich festival celebrated by millions of people around the world. It is often referred to as the “festival of lights,” and its significance goes far beyond the illumination of oil lamps and fireworks. Diwali is a time for reflection, renewal, and rejoicing, and its symbolism holds profound meaning in the lives of those who celebrate it.
At its core, Diwali is a celebration of light, and light represents clarity. In the human experience, light is not merely a tool for seeing; it is a symbol of new beginnings and profound understanding. For many other creatures on this planet, light primarily serves the purpose of survival. But for human beings, it transcends mere vision; it signifies the emergence of clarity in our lives.
The festival of Diwali is not just about physical illumination but also about kindling the inner light within us. It serves as a reminder to dispel the darkness that can often cloud our minds and hearts. In a world filled with distractions and complexities, the pursuit of clarity becomes increasingly vital. Without clarity, other virtues we possess, such as confidence, become a hindrance rather than an asset.
Clarity is of supreme importance in the human journey. Our unique capacity for intelligence can be both a blessing and a curse. The creatures of the animal kingdom operate on instinct, with little room for confusion about their purpose in life. A tiger does not ponder whether it will become a housecat; it thrives by instinct. However, for humans, the path to becoming a “good” human being is far more complex. We must make choices, take action, and constantly question our place in the world.
Our intelligence, if not organized properly, can lead to confusion and misery. The suffering we experience, whether labelled as stress, anxiety, depression, or other forms of distress, often stems from our intelligence working against us. When we find ourselves in a state of suffering without external provocation, it is a clear indication that our minds are creating our agony.
Diwali offers a path to clarity by symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. It’s a reminder that life should not be overshadowed by murkiness and confusion. Instead, it should be a celebration of the radiant clarity that emerges when we dispel our inner darkness.
One of the historical narratives associated with Diwali is the slaying of Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Narakasura, whose name is derived from “narak” (hell), was a tormentor of the people. When Krishna vanquished Narakasura, it brought a sense of relief and joy to the masses. This event is said to have led to the tradition of lighting lamps in every household as a symbol of the victory of light over darkness.
While the story of Narakasura may have happened in a different era, the culture of lighting lamps during Diwali has persisted for thousands of years. It has become a way to awaken people from a state of inertia that can often grip them. The idea is that if individuals are not living with the vibrancy and enthusiasm of a firecracker, the firecrackers around them will ignite their spirits. Hence, on Naraka Chaturdashi, well before dawn, people all over the country burst firecrackers to wake up, to come alive, and to symbolize the defeat of inertia.
Inertia, often likened to hell, is a state where life loses its vigour and becomes a burden. It is the source of stagnation and unhappiness. When people succumb to inertia, life ceases to roll forward at its natural pace. Time, the great equalizer, flows consistently for all of us, but our perception of time varies with our emotional state. In moments of joy and ecstasy, twenty-four hours can feel like a fleeting instant. Conversely, in times of depression, those same hours can feel like an eternity.
For humans, the potential for a meaningful and vibrant life is immense. Yet, when inertia settles in, life feels interminable. Amid misery, the craving for entertainment surges as people seek to escape their torpor. Joy, on the other hand, consumes all available time. When people are joyful, they immerse themselves in life, and time slips away unnoticed. The culture of eagerly awaiting the weekend, epitomized by “Thank God it’s Friday,” underscores the prevalence of misery in daily life. It’s as if we tolerate five days of suffering in exchange for two days of fleeting relief, often accompanied by intoxication or other external stimulants.
The rise of inertia can be attributed to the modern lifestyle and various factors that create a sense of stagnation within us. However, Diwali reminds us to break free from this inertia. It symbolizes the defeat of inertia and the rekindling of our inner light, which radiates clarity and joy. Just as the darkness was dispelled on the day Krishna defeated Narakasura, we can dispel the darkness within us.
Diwali’s significance goes beyond the physical act of lighting lamps. It calls for the illumination of our inner selves, urging us to embrace clarity. Clarity is not just about seeing the physical world more clearly; it’s about understanding life with greater wisdom and perception. It’s about making sensible and informed decisions.
An amusing anecdote about a rookie policeman highlights the importance of clarity and involvement. When confronted with the task of dispersing a group of people loitering on a street corner, the young officer’s lack of clarity led to humorous confusion. He yelled at the group to move away, only to realize later that he had been instructing them at a bus stop. This amusing story illustrates how important it is to approach life with a non-serious yet wholehearted involvement.
In a world where people often vacillate between excessive seriousness and indifference, finding the right balance is crucial. When we deem something important, we become overly serious, and when we perceive it as less important, we become apathetic. This imbalance affects our ability to fully engage and dedicate ourselves to any endeavour.
The wisdom of Diwali lies in its emphasis on a celebratory approach to life. It encourages us to view life with a non-serious eye while being completely involved, much like playing a game. Profound aspects of life are often best approached with a celebratory attitude to avoid missing the essence of life itself.
Diwali serves as a reminder that life should be a celebration. In traditional Indian culture, there used to be a festival for every day of the year, totalling 365 festivals annually. The idea behind this was to infuse every aspect of life with celebration and joy. Today, however, most people celebrate only a handful of festivals due to the demands of modern life.
To rekindle the spirit of celebration, organizations like Isha celebrate important festivals such as Pongal or Makar Sankranti, Mahashivratri, Dussehra, and Diwali. These celebrations aim to instil a sense of festivity and vibrancy in people’s lives, encouraging them to approach life with a non-serious yet deeply involved attitude.
Life should be approached with a sense of celebration, even amidst the challenges and complexities. This celebratory perspective can help us navigate the ups and downs of life with grace and joy. It reminds us to view life as a game and to find joy.
Authored By Mool Raj
Note:- The writer is an EVS Lecturer At Govt Higher Secondary School Khellani Doda. Views are his email@example.com