For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be in the oil yet out of the oil. If the wick is drowned in oil, it cannot bring light. Life is like the wick of the lamp; you have to be in the world yet remain untouched by it. If you are drowned in the materialism of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. Thus by being in the world, yet not drowning in the worldly aspect of it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge. Lights are lit on this day not just to decorate homes but also to communicate this profound truth about life.
Every human being has some good qualities. Some people have forbearance; some have love, strength, generosity; others have the ability to unite people. And every lamp that you light is symbolic of this. By illuminating the lamp of wisdom in you, you kindle these latent values in you, and by acquiring knowledge, you awaken all the facets of your being.
Don't be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand, for you need to kindle many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. Light the lamp of wisdom and love in every heart and bring a radiant smile to every face.
Sweets and gifts, we share, symbolise the dispelling of the bitterness of the past and renewal of friendship for the times to come. Deepawali is a celebration to forget the bickering and negativities that have happened throughout the year. It is a time when you throw light on the wisdom you have gained and welcome a new beginning.
When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to a celebration. Often in celebrations, you tend to lose focus or awareness. To maintain awareness in the midst of celebrations, the ancient rishis brought rituals to every celebration; puja being one of these rituals, brings sacredness to life.
For the same reason, Deepawali is also the time for pujas. The spiritual aspects of pujas and prayers add depth to the celebrations. Any celebration has to be spiritual since, without spirituality, the celebration has no depth.
Celebration is also incomplete without the spirit of seva (service); whatever we have received from the Divine, we should share it with others – for it is in giving that we receive. That is true celebration. Celebration also means dissolving all differences and basking in the glory of the atman.
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