Diwali “The Festival of Light” – A Deeper Understanding
Diwali or the “Festival of Light” is joyously celebrated by millions around the word. In the modern times it becomes even more and more important to retain the ancient tradition and philosophy for the present and future generations. Vedantic Philosophy offers the purest lifestyle that is time tested from thousands of years and remains applicable to everyday life in the modern times.
In the Home:
By tradition we light “ghee lamps” or the “Dia” in every room of the house to invite auspicious light, health and wealth into the home. For many the home is Laxmi Devi Herself, therefore cleaning the home, chanting mantra, cooking healthy food, singing devotional songs, and keeping auspicious energy in the home brings the Divine Attributes into the home and blesses the family. The Ghee Lamps should stay lit throughout the night to symbolize our triumph over darkness and Healing Divine Light over evil.
The Light and the Light of ALL Lights:
Ghee Lamps are used in many different traditions. When Ghee is burned through the combustion process 100s of pounds of purified oxygen is pumped into the immediate atmosphere. Therefore the lighting of a Ghee Lamp while meditating or practicing pranayama is highly regarded because of the vast intake of purified oxygen. During the auspicious Vedic Fire Ceremony, “Homa” or “Yajna,” Ghee is offered to the Sacred Fire thus cleansing the atmosphere and creating a “High Pranic” energy field all around. We well know that sound can travel a great distance. When Mantra is chanted along with the purifying fire the Mantra is lifted with the purified oxygen into the atmosphere creating an “unseen” Divine Energy that grants blessings for all beings. Coming full circle to the Dia! The Sacred Light of the Ghee Lamp represents the “Light of the Eternal Soul,” the light of the Divine Source that cannot be quantified or explained. We honor the Dia the Light of ALL Lights, which also exists as our individual soul. Diwali is a Sacred Tradition of unifying our individual light (the soul) to the source of ALL SOULS, the singular light to which all beings merge, the Paramatma (the eternal soul). Aham Brahmhasmi (I am that Eternal-Divine Soul). This is the greatest blessing of taking birth in the human body. We have the ability through meditation and pranayama to connect with the Ultimate Divine Source! Therefore Diwali is an auspicious time to reconnect with the light within and set affirmations on the path of meditation, pranayama, saadhana (spiritual practices), and Seva (service to the greater good). (Note: Ghee is best if home made or from a completely organic source of non-homogenized milk).
Maha Laxmi Devi:
Diwali is considered a festival for Maha Laxmi Devi, the Goddess of Divine Wealth, Health and Prosperity. Laxmi Devi is also considered Kamala Vasinyai Devi (the Divine Mother Birthed from the Lotus Bud). The symbolism is that the Divine Spirit of Wealth and Prosperity emerging from a flower that grows out of murky mud water, is the very essence of growth and prosperity. Laxmi Devi is often depicted showering golden coins from Her palms to symbolize the source of the highest wealth, the granter of auspicious boons. Furthermore, the golden color of the coins represent the attraction of Solar and Cosmic Energy. The Divine Radiance of the rising sun purifying the heart of the seeker! Laxmi Devi also offers the Pink Lotus Flower as a symbol of pure thoughts, enlightenment, and a transformation of the seeker from the murky water of tamas (negative attributes) to sattwa (auspicious attributes). Like the seed of a Lotus Flower Laxmi Devi’s large black eyes show compassion, love and the infinite bliss granted by the energetic presence of such Divine Radiance. Chanting Sri Suktam is a special way of connecting with the prana-shakti of Maha Laxmi Devi. Each verse of Sri Suktam not only connects the seeker to the Divine Sound Vibration of this wealth-giving energy, it also has deeply coded language of taking in deeply the energy of the Sun and the Moon. Therefore Laxmi Devi is seen as a Divine Energy that radiates from the Sun and the Moon. As with all Deities in Vedantic Traditions there is a deeper symbolism to the physical or material form. Studying such topics and imbibing the spirit of the teachings brings peace through higher wisdom.