Friday, November 5, 2010

Lighting of the lamp of love (source:The Speaking Tree).

Our  " Raath Ki Rani" tree looking so pretty

Oil lamps and candles
Pretty, pretty candles

One doesn't have to spend much in lighting up the house
Simply lighting the house  with candles and earthen diyas makes all the difference
The traditional breakfast
An antique mirror we got it cheap from Ooty
Our house glittering with lights

Ram, Sita, Lakshman,and Hanuman: the victory of good over the evil
A colorful festival that is celebrated by all Hindus worldwide is Deepavali, which is also known as the festival of lights. This festival usually falls around late October and November. One important practice that the Hindus follow during the festival is to light oil lamps in their homes on Deepavali morning. By lighting the oil lamps, the Hindus are thanking the gods for the happiness, knowledge, peace and wealth that they have received. The Hindus consider Deepavali as one of the most important festivals to celebrate.
Rangoli
There is even an interesting legend behind this festival. The story goes that Narakasura, a demon, ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. Under his rule, the villagers suffered a lot of hardship as the demon tortured the people and kidnapped the women to be imprisoned in his palace. Seeing his wickedness, Lord Khrishna set out to destroy the demon and the day Narakasura died was celebrated as Deepavali, the triumph of good over evil!

If there is one occasion which is all joy and all jubilation for one and all - the young and the old, men and women - for the entire Hindu world, it is Deepavali - the Festival of Lights. Even the humblest of huts will be lighted by a row of earthern lamps. Crackers resound and light up the earth and the sky.

In northern parts of Bharat, (India) Deepavali is associated with the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after vanquishing Raavana. The people of Ayodhya, overwhelmed with joy, welcomed Rama through jubilation and illumination of the entire capital. Well has it been said that while Sri Rama unified the north and south of our country, Sri Krishna unified the west and the east. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna together therefore symbolize the grand unity of our motherland.



In Hindu philosophy darkness is compared to ignorance and lighting the lamp has significance of driving away ignorance and gaining knowledge. Hindus begin their prayers and rituals by first lighting an oil lamp.



For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be in the oil, yet out of the oil. If the wick is drowned in oil, it cannot bring light. 


Life is like the wick of the lamp; you have to be in the world yet remaining untouched by it. If you are drowned in the materialism of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. By being in the world, yet not drowning in the worldly aspect of it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate this profound truth. 

Every human being has some good qualities. Every lamp that you light is symbolic of this. By lighting the lamp of wisdom in you, you light up latent values and by acquiring knowledge; you awaken all the facets of your being. When they are lit and awakened, it is Deepawali. Don't be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand, for you need to light many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. 

Another profound symbolism is in the firecrackers. In life, you often become like a firecracker, waiting to explode with your pent-up emotions, frustration and anger. When you suppress your emotions, cravings, aversions, hatred, you reach a bursting point. Bursting crackers is a psychological exercise to release bottled-up emotions. When you see an explosion outside, you feel similar sensations within you as well. Along with the explosion, there is so much light. Let go of these emotions, so serenity dawns. You can experience newness when you discard these pent-up emotions. Deepawali means to be in the present, so drop the regrets of the past and the worries of the future and live in the moment. 

Sweets and gifts symbolise the dispelling of the bitterness and renewal of friendship. Deepawali is a time to throw light on the wisdom you have gained and welcome a new beginning. When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration. But don't let celebration make you lose your focus and awareness. To maintain awareness in the midst of celebrations, the ancients created rituals: puja brings sacredness. For the same reason, Deepawali is also the time for pujas that add depth to the festivities by infusing the spiritual aspect. 

Celebration includes the spirit of seva or service. Share. In giving, we receive. Celebration also means dissolving all differences and basking in the glory of the atman. Happiness and wisdom have to be spread and that can happen when all come together and celebrate in knowledge. 

Deepawali is the celebration of the wisdom thus born. For the one who is not in knowledge, Deepawali comes only once a year, but for the wise, Deepawali is every moment and every day. This Deepawali, celebrate with knowledge and take a sankalpa (intention) to serve humanity. 



Our Cashew tree is glowing with lights.
It is making her blush with all the attention...

  
Happy Deepawali To One And All!

33 comments:

  1. What a great and educational blog today, Rama!
    Our President is visiting India soon. His vist is reposted to cost $100,000,000 dollars! Don't you ave any place a little less expensive?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jerry: It is of no use dwelling on the expenses of our countries. Such expenses are all part of the big game.
    Let us not get lost in such debates and lose the meaning of this festival of lights. Let the light of knowledge, goodwill, love and friendship spread all over the universe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My goodness!!! I loved all your pictures. You have a gorgeous home. The breakfast reminded me of Diwali in India as a kid.

    I thought the pictures were the best part of your post until I read your message, its beautiful and meaningful. I am sharing that with my kids today. Thank you for sharing that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Geeta. Happy Diwali to you and your family.
    More than the celebration it is the meaning behind it that so important. One thing I like about our culture and customs is the deep meaning behind each and every thing, we never follow anything blindly.
    I can understand how you must be missing India, although these things can be prepared there too, still, nothing like eating them cooked by your mother.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your wishes Rama. Wishing you and your family a very happy Deepavali. You have a wonderful house and I just loved all your lightings and yummy breakfast. I am going to invite myself over to your place, when I come to India

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved what you said about the oil and wick--Such a beautiful way of putting across a profound thought!!

    Wishing you and yours a very happy diwali, filled with light and joy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely post and beautiful pics. Wish you a very happy diwali too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely post. I am a first timer here and will be coming regularly

    Happy Diwali to you and family..

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Diwali to you too Stranger. You are most welcome to visit my blog. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. beaytifully written rama."lighteing lamps"for awakening our self and shedding our darkness was avery nice thought.The most i liked was your perception of relating "bursting out emotions"with the bursting of crackers.very true,we all have compresses emotions within us.wish you a happy diwali.

    ReplyDelete
  11. happy deepavali!

    what a beautiful house...

    and how lovely the lamps and the candles look.

    wow!

    ReplyDelete
  12. woww colourful and sweet post as usual..cheeers buddy

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures. Happy Deepavali to you and your family. Please excuse my tardiness.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What tardiness SG, it is not mandatory to write comments for each and every post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. nice pics
    like the narration
    only one point -
    Bursting crackers - As per my knowledge not a single Indian religious book say about bursting crackers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. sm, Yes it is there,of course due to various reasons, most of us have stopped buying crackers for bursting.This narration is itself is not my own,I had read it and reproduced it. That is how I came to know about the meaning behind the bursting of crackers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a visually pleasing AND spiritually instructive post; happy diwali to you too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful pics Rama,whats your e mail id???

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very beautiful pictures Rama. How come I don't see your posts on Blogger?

    ReplyDelete
  20. nice and colorful pics :)
    i love your beautifully lit, cozy house :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. hi rama ji..here's sending all the positive vibes of laughing buddha virtually...hope to receive some pleasant news from you soon..best wishes always buddy..keep the cheers:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ok come to dubai..or wait until i reach mumbai....LB is LB wherever v get...god willing i ll get u one if n when v meet..cheers until then...just tell me what good news u r getting soon..ok? take care buddy

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Rama!
    Thank you for visit my blog, I don't use to update many times, anyway, destiny made you visit me :)
    By the way, I also enjoyed to see all the lights in your home, especialy the candles,all colorfull! beautifull table and beautifull home!
    take care, Nanci

    ReplyDelete
  24. Orange indeed seems to be a universal favourite :)You have a beautiful home and a beautiful blog. Thanx for visiting mine or I'd have not been able to see this space.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh wow!! Happy Diwali to you too.. I know its a bit late...:-)

    Your home is gorgeous.. gorgeous!! I simply love the orange wall.. and all your lovely interiors... So simple, serene, calm and yet so warm and inviting... Your blog is lovely too..

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you Patricia, for your lovely comment.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Rama, I liked your rationale behind lighting the lamp,especially "life is like a wick of the lamp", and the reason for bursting crackers was new to me and the last few lines are great!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Rama Ananth madam

    Namaste. Happy Diwali wishes to you, to your family members and friends.

    Rama Ananth madam beautiful Deepavali images. They are amazing.

    Rama Ananth madam best wishes for your projects.

    Rama Ananth madam this is my Diwali message "Lamps of India" which i shared in my Heritage of India blog.

    http://indian-heritage-and-culture.blogspot.in/2013/09/lamps-of-india.html

    Rama Ananth madam please look into my Lamps of India message and share your inspirational comments.

    Rama Ananth madam i hope you like my blog and join as a member to my Heritage of India blog.

    ReplyDelete