[Excerpts from letters and articles by Swami Chinmayananda]
DEEPA – AVALI means rows and rows of light. A readiness to make sacrifice and win over the lower nature is to light up the Lamp of Knowledge, Wisdom and Beauty in yourself. So DEEPAVALI is a reminder to the community that there is a greater way of cultured living than the mere animal level. That means you have to conquer your own selfish immediate demand for the sake of the others. This is what DEEPAVALI really stands for. Whenever thus, the lower nature in us is conquered and we maintain the higher values of life and come to live them, there is a glow of beauty in you – that is DEEPAVALI. To tune our minds to divinity and start new, we welcome the new year with an evening of soulful bhajans by our very own families welcoming the Festival of LIGHTS! Let us remind ourselves at least on this great day that we can be victorious over our impulses and come to illumine for the world around, the Lamp of Wisdom from the Land of Spiritual Light.
On this sacred day of DEEPAVALI, at the dusk when darkness gathers round, all homes are illumined by lights in tiny mud pots with oil and wick. This indicates a society wherein each member is a LAMP of piety, goodness, love and mutual understanding – and in such a society alone, real goodwill and enduring prosperity can come to stay – victoriously. This day is a day of prayer and expression of love; a day dedicated to inner purity and noble character. Get out of your homes in the evening and embrace every other individual in society…. because they too are small flames of the same Light Divine. May all your thoughts be trimmed to light up in cheer and joy, and burn steadily dipped in the oil of devotion. Once a year we must check up our thoughts – some must be smoky, some gone off. Refill with oil and re-light with the Light of all Lights. May this day be considered a day of peace and cheer, reassuring man that he is essentially divine. When the veiling vulgarities in us are cleansed, the pure Divine Light can impart a joyous sense of PERFECTION.
The lamp fed by the oil of peace that comes to the heart of devotion — lit by the consistent mental pursuit of one’s own Real Nature — placed in an inner equipment full of detachment — a detachment that arises from an intellect treated with the practices in self-control, an intellect devoid of all sensuality — sequestered from the blowing winds of likes and dislikes, love and hatred, shedding the light of true perception, born out of daily practice in concentration, is the LIGHT of KNOWLEDGE.
In the house of an intellect, the Lamp of Discrimination is to be lighted up, and when it is fed with “faith” it bursts into a blaze. In its light alone will the subtle Essence of the Self then become easily recognisable.
In our bosom, the WICK of the mind is maintained by the OIL of vasanas. When the oil of vasanas is over, the distinct FLAME of Existence flutters to become one with the elemental Fire. Remember this significance when you light the little clay saucers, which our bodies are. Keep in mind, the significance of the oil and the wick! As you stand in wonderment at the beauty of the rows of lights everywhere, learn to feel elated at the Light of the Divine Consciousness that flutters in the hearts of all living beings around. Harm none; respect life everywhere; and when one by one the lights disappear, teach yourself not to weep, but to reflect, how the manifested light disappears into the unmanifested Fire Divine!
The lamps are different but the Light is the same; it comes from beyond. If you keep looking at the lamp you are lost; for from it rises the appearance of number and plurality. Fix your gaze upon the Light — and you are delivered from the dualism inherent in the finite body.
When a lamp is lit, it throws concentric circles of light of lessening intensity around it. The farther circles have the least light. As we slowly move our eyes nearer to the centre we find more and more light, until at last in the flame is all LIGHT: the FLAME is the source of all the LIGHT. From it the light has come. In it the light exists. And into it the light will finally merge when the flame is extinguished! So too, God or Reality. The external Universe, the Jagat, comes from Him alone — but the Jagat is the farthest removed. It has the least manifestation of His Divinity. The seeker through Sadhana is seeking Him — the FLAME. Slowly he has to move his gaze from the dim distant circles of light to the nearer points (as body, mind or intellect) and then lastly the Soul, the Atman, the Essence.
In the Darkness of Ignorance we attach ourselves to the unreal and the fleeting world; in the Light of Knowledge, we identify ourselves with the Real and the Permanent. Knowledge is a lasting inner wealth with which all can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. The Light, by whose power all luminaries get illumined, by whose Light the whole universe is lighted up, may this Light enlighten us all !!
On this sacred day of Deepavali, may the Light of all lights illumine the noble path for us to follow. Which else shall beautify our home but the flame of a lovely lamp? Which else shall adorn the mind but the Light of Wisdom-Deepa?
“The lamp is lit. Hearken, Ye Devotees! It is for you to keep the light as a never-dying flame! Be yourself a SANDEEPANY: one who lights the Lamp of Truth in the hearts of all!”
For updates of posts on Telegram join the group : https://t.me/BharateeyaSamskruti
On whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/CoAP8prf6DmG3lqu8sg5GS
Follow us on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd0vr9MMps7/
Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 4 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-4-SHREEDARSHAN/dp/9393029547/
Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 3 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link:https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-Shreedarshan-K/dp/9390640946/
Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 2 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-2-Shreedarshan/dp/9390640199/
Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 1 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-1-Shreedarshan/dp/9390011663/