Nov 03, 2018

Dark, Moonless Night

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When we celebrate festivals understanding their spiritual significance, a subtle transformation happens in consciousness, says MEENA OM
In the month of Kartik, on a dark, moonless night, rows of lamps flutter fearlessly, cutting through the abject darkness. This humble act represents the greatest Law of Nature; that darkness can only be dispelled by light. Darkness of ignorance and tamasic inertia are hardest to overcome. Only awareness, dhyana and action in the right direction can uplift us towards ‘enlightenment.’
Shadows appear when there is resistance to light, and these become less significant as light emerges. It is a natural law that the sun at its zenith reduces shadows.
Deepavali stands for victory of truth over falsehood. Nature supports this principle of light of truth, and states satyamev jayate, truth pervades and prevails. She imparts equal energy to truth and falsehood, so each propels the other towards growth and evolution, but in the end, truth is always victorious.
Truth also means being ‘true’ to our own self. In nature, plants and animals are connected to themselves, their nature and inherent attributes.

Plants take precise amounts of nutrients required from the soil and never anything extra. It is here that another natural law can be seen that reflects the survival of the fittest, and only those who are connected to the purity of nature’s design survive and evolve. Nature has space for all. Without Ravana, there would have been no Rama.
This too is a law of nature that negativity and positivity always coexist. Shri Rama is referred to as an avatar, not because he was born with extraordinary powers, but because he was absolutely connected to his true Self; always living the knowledge bestowed upon him through teachers and parents that empowered him to take the right decisions in pressing times and to sail through various circumstances with ease, peace, and grace.
Rituals of Deepavali are many and have profound meanings. Weeks before, a thorough cleansing of the surroundings is initiated. Clutter is overbearing and sometimes creates mental blocks and distractions, hence it needs to be sorted out.
Flowing effortlessly, exemplified by the river and wind, is another law of nature that represents gati, constant movement. A healthy circulation of assets maintains this law. Blocked resources, whether in the form of money, knowledge, or talent, lead to stagnancy, resulting in frustration. So, what is not in use needs to be passed on, distributed, reflecting generosity and compassion. That is why the goddess of wealth, Shri Lakshmi, is shown seated amidst the waves of the ocean also known as Ratnakar, which contains invaluable gems of wealth. She is flanked by elephants signifying sensitivity and strong memory; their trunks shower gold coins on those who are deserving of divine abundance.
Gifts are exchanged as an offering of love and gratitude. Everything in nature is based on the principle of ‘opening and blossoming’. It reaches its peak when beauty, grace, perfection, love, and divinity reflect in every aspect.
The maturity gained by Shri Rama through the hardships of his 14- year-exile adorned him with deep wisdom and blossoming that enabled him to work according to the requirements of time. Ma Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, is also worshipped on the day of Deepavali to seek blessings and knowledge of all arts, and get empowered to perfect these to exude grace of a siddha, an accomplished one.
Ma Lakshmi, the principle of abundance, is always seated near perfection and the sustainer, Sri Vishnu. This can be seen in the form of Sri Rama and Sita ji, who are surrounded by Sri Lakshmana’s love, concern, and sense of duty, backed by total surrender and seva, selfless service of Hanuman ji.
The collective strength of the Vanara Sena, the army of monkeys and bears in which everyone was in one thought — that of absolute karma and reverence for the commands of Sri Rama — ensured victory. This is the law of collective consciousness, which states that any thought or deed performed in unison, with the corresponding feel, is sure to manifest.
Sri Ganesha is always invoked at the start, to ignite all these energies for fulfilling every auspicious deed graciously. His symbolic representation as an elephant-headed deity exemplifies wisdom, concentration, the need to collect all information before commencing any new task and, of course, the laddus, sweets in both hands signify twin benefits, one of victory and the other of wisdom gained through failure. All these energies are essential for growth, glory and grace. When we celebrate festivals understanding their spiritual significance, a subtle transformation happens in consciousness, internally and externally, benefitting humanity as a whole.
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