Of Goethe, the great world-poet of the eighteenth century, it is said that when he lay on his death-bed, surrounded by his friends, he asked one of them to open the windows of his room. As the windows were opened, the great poet exclaimed: "Light! More Light!"
The world today is passing through a period of darkness. That is why every day we hear reports of murders and suicides and thefts being committed in broad daylight. The world needs light, more light!
Every human being has a centre of light within him. This light is veiled within many veils. The Deepavali returns, year after year, bearing the great message: Drop the veils and let the light shine.
The man of light does not live for himself alone. He is not selfish or greedy. He has realised that life and all the bounties of life are given to him to be shared with those that are in need. He prays the prayer which I call the "Deepavali prayer":
May I be a light to dwellers in the dark!
May I be the strength of the weak, the courage of the timid, and the patience of those who cry and suffer in this world of tragedy and tears!
May I be a friend of the friendless, the forsaken and the forlorn!
May I be to the poor, a treasure untold!
May I give food and drink to those that starve and go thirsty!
May I be a lamp that holds the light to those who have lost their way!
May I be to those, who long to cross the sansar sagar, a boat and a bridge!
The man of light prays this prayer and is careful to see that in deeds of daily living he bears witness to every word of this prayer. For him every day becomes a Deepavali Day and every night he hears the mariner's song: "Nearer, my Lord, to Thee".
*November 12 is Deepavali.
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader