In mid-November, I celebrated Diwali or Deepawali – the festival of lights. Which is essentially a celebration of the light overcoming the darkness. As part of this tradition, there are prayers and rituals. I am not going to go much into the traditions of this time of year, as I really want to focus on the symbolism and relevance instead. There is value in the ritual, if you want to learn more about how to use rituals for connection and flow, read about it here.
Traditions and Evolution
As a first-generation American, I have adapted the traditions to suit my lifestyle and my own evolving beliefs. Over the years I have become a spiritual person and don’t focus on the religious aspect of my faith. But regardless, I want to give my readers some background on Diwali
Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the new moon at this time of year. Since the lunar cycles are variable so is the date it is celebrated.
Diwali marks the Hindu new year and is considered the most auspicious time of year for the Goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth and prosperity.
There are many rituals and religious ceremonies associated with this time of year. Homes and businesses are cleaned, people wear new clothes and engage in prayers as well as celebrations. Although the main celebration of Diwali is held on one day, it is actually a 5 Day festival.
Like other festivities this year it is being celebrated differently.
This is traditionally a time of parties, get-togethers, and celebration. For many Hindus, it marks the beginning of the party/holiday season. Of course, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, social unrest, a difficult American presidential election, and economic uncertainty for many. This year has been challenging which can be used as a time to reset and refocus on what is really important.
When we have the festivities and holidays it is time to reflect and pause on life.
This year we celebrated Diwali with a focus on gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for and it can be so easy to focus on what isn’t working or what could be better in our lives. It takes an intentional effort to focus on the good things. If you want to learn more about how gratitude impacts you, check out my Vlog.
By saying that, I do not mean that we aren’t working towards being better human beings, a better society, a better community, or that we just hide in our bubbles. However, it does mean that we can be grateful and show deep caring for all that is happening even during difficult times. When we are in a sad/depressed state, we are not in a place where we are able to make changes. But, when we are in a higher vibration it is easier to see possibilities and to ignite hope.
During the Diwali festivities, we also took some time to pray for everyone in our families, our friends, community, country, and global population. With these prayers, we are able to send out positive energy.
Light can Overcome Darkness
This year seems to be a time focused on the darkness. There is so much divisiveness, anger, you vs. them mentality has become so apparent and public for so many. I have had personal experiences of hypocrisy and just plain childish behavior from those I trusted, just as many others have. Even though difficult, this is part of the cleansing that must occur. The people that can’t stick around, don’t belong in our lives.
- We don’t need judgment, we need understanding.
- We don’t need self-righteousness, we need acceptance.
- We need to deeply understand that each human being is doing the best they can in their own way.
- We have to understand that each individual has their own perspective and their own lens that they view the world through.
If you believe in Karma then you believe that all our actions and thoughts are energy. What we put out into the world is what we will receive.
Triumph over darkness, the light bringing forth the healing. My hope is that the healing for our society is beginning.
It isn’t an overnight process but the movement towards the light is a positive step. The connectedness vs. the separation. Love vs. hate. Understanding vs. judgment, and self-righteousness vs. Acceptance.
We each can take responsibility to triumph over the darkness. As Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes wealth, she also symbolizes joy, happiness, abundance.
I want to end this with a metta prayer. A prayer that is designed to open the heart and cultivate a friendly and loving attitude towards oneself and towards others.
I leave you with this, friends:
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy
May all beings be safe
May all beings awaken to the Light of their true nature.
May all beings be free