Thursday, 28 September 2017

Significance of Diwali in Today's Time

All festivals, esp. the festivals of Hindus, have an underlying symbolical meaning and connotation. Though it sounds pretty frivolous to associate festivals with specific man-made faiths, there's no denying the fact that Hindu festivals have deeper emblematic ramifications and manifestations. Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan called this, ' Positive hydra-headed moments of joy and mirth.' Every festival has this streak and spirit of merriment embedded in its bowels. 


Two festivals of Hindus that vindicate the spirit of boundless happiness and auspicious aura are Holi and Deepavali.


Deepavali carries even more significance in the sense that it's a crystal clear symbol of light/brightness/goodness triumphing over the Stygian darkness of evil:


Prakasham parabhootam timiraachhanam iti devanaam vadanti (When light eclipses darkness, divine effulgence spreads in all directions).


Deepavali is goodness triumphing over all that's bad, undesirable and negative. A section of readers may be aware or some may even be astonished to know that the earliest 'Diwali', in its other avatar/s, predating symbolical connotation of present-day Deepavali, came into being even before Vedic Hinduism.


There're hoary old texts in Prakrit, a language some opine existed before Sanskrit, available at Poona's BORI (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute) which suggest that Mahavir's enlightenment (deepam mandam jwalant pragya rit, prakasham chahun disham) made the world rejoice in enlightened brightness. Classical Jainagams (Jain texts) call Deepavali, a festival of individual enlightenment and associate it with teerthankars or evolved souls; so it has a Jain origin!!



Whatever may have been the reason of Deepavali coming into the lives of our ancestors, one thing must be remembered that the coruscating power of wisdom, the brightness of goodness, the sparkling glory of beauty and the light of all that has been good in human consciousness were enshrined into this magnificent festival that is aptly called 'Festival of lights' (jashn-e-charaaghan/shab-e-charaanghan).


The enlightened Mughal prince Dara Shikoh wrote in his Persian treatise (he later translated that into his impeccable Sanskrit):


Choon adaz iften az-gizaaf ifn-unsiyaat-e-shab roshan 


(Who'll not fall in love with the divine light of lamps embellishing the night of glorious brightness?).


He elsewhere said, 'Shee astam mee nizaaf-e-bahisht/ Goyam mein aftaabam behar na 'eest' (I've not seen the brightness of heaven/But I dare say, it can't be better than the light ensued by scores of lamps on the night ofjashn-e-chaaraghan). Some scholars and historians like Muhammad Mujeeb, Gooch and Collingwood believe that this Hindu-inclined statement angered his fanatic brother Aurangzeb so much that he decided to eliminate Dara, also refer to Askari's 'Mughal Saga', 1953, Patna: Khudabakhsh Library, Ashok Raajpath) 


Let's celebrate this brightness and pure light by evolving ourselves to the point of having no darkness and prejudice even in the hidden crevices of our existence. This is the pledge we must take on the forthcoming Deepavali and also on subsequent Diwalis.


'Aao karein roshni ki hi baatein/Zulmaat se thak gaya hai insaan'


(Let's talk only about light/Man has had enough of darkness).


Urdu poet Sahir penned Deepavali so beautifully:


'Roshni se roshni badhaein/Taqayamat Diwali manayein'


(Let light enhance lights/May we be able to celebrate Deepavali till the Doomsday)


Diwali greetings and messages for your friends and family:    
·       May the beauty of Deepawali fill your home with abundance of everything that you desire and the very festival of light can prove to be a harbinger of joy and prosperity for the coming year
  • ·       A festival that symbolizes enlightenment

         Paves the Way for Progress
         And makes a heart full of ecstasy
 May this Diwali be the dawn of heyday for the rest of your life
Wishing you and your family A Very Happy Diwali!

  • ·       Diwali is the darling day for all of us

       As we enjoy the entire day with delight from dawn to dusk
        As we know that when the darkness creeps in, we have
        The all pervading illuminating lights that make us ecstatic
        With boundless of joy and the pleasure that is all-pervading and                     contagious

      Happy Diwali to You All

Happy Diwali to all the readers. May they enjoy it to the hilt and spread light of universal bonhomie everywhere. We need this all the more in these benighted times when the whole world is in the throes of pains, sufferings, intolerance and scourge of violence. 
                                                          ---Sumit Paulpaul


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