Living life in totality is the first step towards consciousness, towards celebrating Deepavali every day, writes Pratiksha Apurv in the Speaking Tree. Published on October 26, 2019.
Deepavali reminds me of St Augustine’s words: “You will light my lamp, Lord. And the thought of people not having the celebration of this festival of light every day takes over.” Existence celebrates Deepavali every day and the festivity doesn’t stop even for a moment, so why can’t we rejoice like new buds that are bursting forth each morning? Deepavali symbolises triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, and once in a year we wait for the day to celebrate it with great fervour.
Light signifies consciousness, which theologian Roger Marston calls “eternal light to illuminate the human mind.” It is good that we have a day to remind ourselves that Deepavali’s celebratory invitation arrives at our door every day. Then why are we not able to accept this invitation? Perhaps because our life is a chaos, but it ought to be! Life consists of light and darkness, bliss and misery, and if sometime sadness follows joy, one should not worry. Living life in totality is the first step towards consciousness, towards celebrating Deepavali every day. What happens becomes irrelevant because totality brings gratefulness, and a person in deep gratitude can light the inner core every moment.
Just like life, Deepavali is eternal. It has no beginning or end. It stays forever, transforming energy and guiding us towards the very peak of consciousness. This journey is illuminated by diyas, symbolising the victory of bliss over sadness, compassion over greed and love over jealousy. The diya is a window, not just a flame, and one can look through it and the beyond as it opens to illuminate our true Self. Our scriptures talk about the inner light through which eternal reality in the form of continuous celebration is revealed.
Deepavali is the gateway to awakening, an occasion for deeper insight into the inner journey. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says, ‘Asato ma sadgamaya, Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma amritam gamaya,’ meaning, ‘From unawareness, lead me to truth, from darkness, lead me to light and from death, lead me to immortality.’ This journey is not external but internal, moving towards the light within.
This mantram is significant. Godliness is hidden inside us. Within us, God is pulsating every moment, but our unconscious living prevents us from having a glimpse of Him. The journey Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is referring to are steps that we need to take to realise that the Absolute is hidden inside us, but we hardly give it a second glance. Although, nothing is stopping us from moving towards the Truth, crossing the dark world may take just a moment. The minute one realises that he is part and parcel of the whole and that purity is our intrinsic nature, the journey begins.
That’s why the day before Deepavali is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi, to celebrate Krishna’s victory over demon Narakasura and to bring the world back from darkness and oppression. In the unconscious state, one cannot differentiate between the meaningful and meaningless, between flowering shrubs and weeds. When the darkness is gone, one realises that consciousness exists in the whole and is not attached to something outside.
The Bhagwad Gita goes on to observe: ‘Jyotisam aapi taj jyotis, tamasah param uchyate, jnanam jneyam jnanagamyamhrdi sarvasya visthitam’ – Krishna says he is the source of light in all luminous objects, beyond the darkness of matter and the unmanifested, and resides in everyone’s heart. The painting You Can See While I Am Here conveys that there is no other way to get rid of darkness except by light. Darkness, as we know, is nothing but the absence of light within. To disperse darkness, we have to create the presence of light. The painting conveys it in a similar way.
Unconsciousness in our lives is the absence of consciousness. To dispel the unconsciousness, we need to become more aware. One can use the body, mind and being as a tool to become more aware. While walking, take every step consciously and breathe consciously. This simple method will ensure that the energy that was being wasted in dealing with the clouds of thoughts hovering all the time, will suddenly turn into total awareness, as if light has entered a dark room, making us more loving, meditative, alert and aware.
Kabir says, ‘Jab main tha tab Hari nahin, Ab Hari hai, main nahi, Sab andhiyara mit gaya, deepak dekha maahi,’ meaning, ‘I could not see God as long as I was driven by ego but when the lord came, I vanished. The darkness of ignorance was gone and I saw the light.’ This ignorance will disappear with surrender, with finding one’s true Self. If my room is filled with darkness, I can either light a candle or open the doors and windows for sunrays to enter. Katha Upanishad says, ‘Eko vasi sarva bhutantaratma ekam bijam bahudha yah karoti, tam atmashthan ye nupasyanti dhiras tesam sukham sasvatam netaresam,’ meaning, ‘True happiness belongs to the one who realises the inner Self.’
Osho says we need to become receptive to dispel darkness; we need to surrender to let the light of consciousness enter and transform us. “I just open my doors, and my house becomes a host to the divine guest, to the sun, to its rays. Then I become receptive and darkness disappears. On the path of will, you have to create the light. On the path of surrender, light is there – you just have to be open. Be vulnerable. Don’t depend on anyone. Be ready, whatsoever happens. If you are ready, no matter what may happen, then darkness itself becomes light. With that readiness, nothing can remain dark. That very readiness transforms you totally.”
The fragrance of meditation that unites us with our inner self is Deepavali. It is our mirror that reflects the functions of body, mind and being. It is the intensity of consciousness that we call light. And this festival of light is eternal.
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