Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Festival of Lights

Happy Diwali!

This wonderous and blessed holiday celebrates light and goodness. Occuring on the darkest night (the new moon) during the Fall equinox, Diwali or Deepawali ("array of lamps") focuses on personal victory from spiritual darkness and embraces all beings with light and brightness.

I recently learned about the dark, very dark, Goddess Kali, who is one of the many representations of God according to some Hindu's beliefs. She is also one of the most misunderstood of all the gods, as she can appear quite scary. To me, she represents the duality of the good and the bad in all of us. She brings death to the ego, which can be painful, but absolutely necessary, as then and only then can the real divine self emerge, illuminated and full of light and goodness!




Diwali takes place during the Fall equinox which is significant as this time of the year is marked with great change and is a crossroads not only for climate and tilt of our planet towards the sun, but also to all of us individually as we experience transition in our lives. This month, I find that I often take time to observe and reflect on not only personal change but dramatic global changes (including this volatile economy) that affect all beings.

We always attend a particular party hosted by our dear friends on this evening surrounded with family and loved ones and of course plenty of Indian outfits! Many families attend this party after pooja ceremonies. I love the symbolism of light with all the glowing candles during this joyous festival.

Oh, to be in India during the festivities. Can you imagine the magic of thousands of floating candles on the River Ganges!? What a sight...now that would be a photo. Perhaps you've been? If so, indulge me...please tell me all about it!




A Poem By Kumud Biswas

...................................................The autumn has covered with her veil
...................................................All the lamps of the sky of this winter night
...................................................She has sent her call to every home,
...................................................‘Light up all your lamps, your Diwali lamps
...................................................And dress the earth with light.’

...................................................There are no flowers in the garden
...................................................The singing birds do not sing
...................................................Along the banks of the river
...................................................The reeds have shed their flowers
...................................................Sweep away all shadows and sadness
...................................................Light up your lamps, your Diwali lamps
...................................................And sing of the victory of light.

...................................................The gods are looking on
...................................................Wake up O ye children of the world
...................................................Wake up the night with your light
...................................................When the day is done and darkness comes
...................................................Light up your lamps
...................................................To win over the darkness with your light.

9 comments:

IndianDreams said...

Great blog! I have read some in your blog now and it gives me so much inspiration! Happy Diwali!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Superb post; informative and inspiring...
Happy Diwali!
I love the photos and poem.
I've dreamt often of being in India at this time of year but have, so far, never managed to make it - too much work on at this time of year; I live in hope though..!
Friends who've shared photos and tales of the festivities all speak of a unique experience that is just beautiful beyond words and spiritually uplifting..:)

shuma.rani said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family :))

Elisa Day said...

Thank you for the lovely comment om my blog, Im glad you likes the photos. I like this post. Happy Diwali to you.

srk Nair said...

Hi Shireena,
Good photographs
Here is some Indian pictures:
http://picasaweb.google.com/sreeraj75/

Manasa said...

That was a nice explanation and lovely pics :)

Shireena said...

Hi IndianDreams, Thanks for visiting! I'm looking forward to checking out your blog now.

Hi Here, There, Elsewhere, You are too kind! Your friends are lucky. You and I will also be too one day.

Hi Shuma,
Thanks! Stay well.

Hi Srk Nair,
Thanks! I'm on my way over to look are your pics! I can get enough of Indian pictures.

Elisa,
Thanks! Nice to hear from you.

Hi Manasa, Thanks so much for your comments. I'm now headed over to your blog.

Take care, all.
Shireena

Angel.Pearls said...

Hi there! I'm so glade I found your page..So many beautiful and exotic photos, all so interesting..Take care// Eva

indian yarn said...

happy diwali shireena.
anrosh.