View: Enlightening our hearts this Diwali

Published 17 October 2009  |  
There is full of excitement in the air. Millions of Hindus celebrate Diwali, one of the largest festivals in India. The five-day festival is an occasion of joy and euphoria as families light up diyas, burst crackers, wears new clothes and share sweets to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

The "Festival of Lights" signifies the victory over darkness and the era of Light. But, like every year, is this all about lighting up our houses, exchanging sweets, and all this outward glitter and pomp, while our hearts continue to be steeped in darkness, calling for serious contemplation.

Have we yet found the Light that can make us perpetually happy, that which can lead us from our vilest acts, and render in us a joyful and tolerant spirit? Has our ritualistic practices, self-righteousness and austerity freed us from the dominion of sin and sorrow? Isn't this reality still being concealed by the darkness within us, and the Light that can expose and escort us to the truth being kept at bay?

India is traversing through a chaotic period. There is violence and abuse fueled by extreme chauvinism and intolerance. The poor and weak continue to be beleaguered. Religious as well as sectarian violence continues to sully the country's secular credentials time and again. And the government as like others continues the relentless pursuit of realpolitik that is both coercive and amoral. We are without question in need of Light to illuminate our hearts, cleanse our minds and bestow peace upon us.

There goes this famous ancient Sanskrit hymn - a prayer said by thousands of religious people in India.

Asatho Ma Sath Gamaya (Lead me from Untruth to Truth)
Thamaso Ma Jyothir Gamaya (Lead me from Darkness to Light)
Mrithyorma Amritham Gamaya (Lead me from Death to Life)

We indubitably need to be led from untruth to truth, darkness to light and death to life. The Bible places before us a concrete option, a clear-cut answer to our questions. In John 8: 12 Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." In fact in two months, Christians across the world is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Thousands of years back, Kings and Kingdoms tried to conceal this Light from the world. But, the truth could not be concealed. It came as flesh and dwelt among us. He spread the message of love and forgiveness. He taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. This is so unlike the philosophies of this world. Till his death it was love what he preached and practiced.

Today, again this message of truth is being subdued and confined. The modern world and its substances have replaced this Light with manmade traditions and false doctrines. The world needs God more today than ever. The rejection of God's ways has only compounded our pain and suffering. It is so needed to really revive our lives, ask God to take center and radiate in us forever the Light of life. Let us prayerfully ask Him to lead us from untruth to truth and death to life. A Happy Diwali to all!


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