Diwali – Festival of Lights


Diwali celebrates the victory of Good over Evil and Light over Darkness. Article by Kul Bhushan.

The word “Diwali” is a contraction of Deepavali, originating from the Sanskrit word Dīpāvalī (दीपावली) which can be translated to ‘Row of Lights’. Hence the Diwali Festival is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’- and a five-day festival in North-India. In South-India the festival is called “Deepavali”. It has a major religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains alike – not only in India, but also for Indians living abroad. In the western (Gregorian) calendar, Diwali falls on a day in October or November every year – just after the monsoon season in India. This date also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, and many businesses in India starting a new accounting year on the Diwali holiday.

Diwali street decorations in Jaipur

In India, people have completely forgotten
why every year on a particular amawas, no-moon night,
they celebrate Diwali, a festival of lights.
You must have seen people putting all kinds of candles,
lamps, lights in their houses.
This is the night when Mahavira became enlightened.
And this festival is in remembrance of Mahavira
but nobody even thinks of Mahavira.”

Osho, I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here, Ch 6

Light Up with Your Own Light for This Diwali

Celebration is Osho’s ‘religion’. This non-stop Osho celebration goes on all the time, every day, right through the year. So how do you celebrate much more when you celebrate major festivals?

A whole string of festivals starts this month leading up to Diwali. So how do you add the extra fizz, pump the additional zest and create more zing? You can do it externally by living it up, laughing, hugging, singing, dancing and gifting. Or, you can do it internally by meditating on your inward journey. Here you will experience stillness, silence, peace, freedom, and – a smile of bliss.

This is what Osho says when he exhorts you to become a light unto yourself. When Gautam Buddha said, appa deepo bhava or “be a light unto yourself” – he was trying to take all the slavery, spiritual and religious, from humanity. When you go inside, it does not matter whether you are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick, you have connected to your real being, your consciousness, and you are alone, not lonely.

More importantly, you are not depending on any one else – no guru or god.

Osho says,

No savior has been of any help; all their promises have proved false. That’s what Gautam Buddha is saying – be a light unto yourself. Don’t throw the responsibility on anybody else. Take the responsibility, because it is by taking the responsibility on yourself you become mature. Otherwise you will always remain retarded, childish.”

Osho, The Sword and the Lotus, Ch 19, Q 1

So when you have celebrated to the hilt with hugging, gifting, feasting, singing and dancing, there comes a time when you are exhausted. At this moment, everything falls silent as you go deeply inwards. Now the real celebration begins. This is a totally different level altogether. You are on your own. Alone. You are beyond the invisible and powerful bars that imprison you. Ah, free at last! Now you move towards your own light and as you float in this inner space, this light becomes more luminous and surrounds you. Ah, this is the real illumination, the real festival of lights!

Kul BhushanKul Bhushan is a regular contributor

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