A very Happy Diwali to You All
~* Kindle a flame & lighten the dark *~
Fill the Heart with the oil of Love.
Place in it the wick that is a single-pointed Will.
Light it so with the fire of Knowledge
& Shine bright and strong with the Spirit of Truth.
Cleave away from, and Remove
The darkness of ignorance around You.
And Just as one can light so many;
Let each Heart kindle this..Eternal Light
And its Eternal Life
Unto All Your Hearts and Souls.
May the light of Love
And endless Devotion
Burn bright with strength, perfection & passion,
May this Light of infinite Knowledge
And understanding shine within
The core of your Being,
May the Light of harmony and peace glow in your home this Diwali,
May the bright rays of service shine forth ceaselessly from your hands,
May your smile, your words, and your actions be as sweet as the sweets of this festive season,
& May the Lord bring you True wealth..
A treasure rich with Peace, Health, Happiness, and Eternal Love
Give as You Will. But give with Faith.
Do not give without it.
Give unto me this Sacrifice
but Give with sensitivity.
Give with a feeling of abundance.
Give with the right understanding,
with True & pure intentions..
Give with the right meaning,
marked by the right purpose,
Give with All Your Heart and All Your Soul.
..As You Give unto me with Love.
~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan
~* An Auspicious Time *~
A Season replete with Endless & Timeless Victories
" Even though scolded by the wicked or insulted, ridiculed, calumniated, beaten, bound, robbed of his living or spat upon or otherwise abominably treated by the ignorant-being thus variously shaken and placed in dire extremities, the man who desires his well-being should deliver himself by his own effort through patience and non-resistance.
The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.
No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.
He alone sees truly who sees the Lord the same in every creature...seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others.
Reshape yourself through the power of your will...
Those who have conquered themselves...live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame...To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same...Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.
It is better to perform one's own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.
Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve...Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then, you will achieve your destiny. "
~ Jai Shree Krishna
~* Days of Diwali *~
The celebration of the four-day festival commences on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdasi and concludes on Kartika Shudda Vijiya. The first day of the festival Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.
'Puranas' have it that Naraka, son of Bhudevi, acquired immense power from a blessing given by Lord Brahma after a severe penance. He soon unleashed a reign of terror in the kingdom of Kamarupa, harassing celestial beings with his invincible might. Unable to bear the tyranny of the demon, the celestial beings pleaded with Lord Krishna to save them from his torture.
But Naraka could not be easily killed as he had a boon that he would face death only at the hands of his mother Bhudevi. So, Krishna asks his wife Satyabhama, the reincarnation of Bhudevi, to be his charioteer in the battle with Naraka.
When Krishna feigns unconsciousness after being hit by an arrow of Naraka, Satyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly. Later Lord Krishna reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhudevi. The slaying of Naraka by Sathyabhama could also be taken to interpret that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they stray on to the wrong path. The message of Naraka Chaturdasi is that the good of the society should always prevail over one's own personal bonds.
The second day is Amavasya when Lakshmi puja is performed. It is believed that on this day Goddess Lakshmi would be in her benevolent mood and fulfill the wishes of her devotees. One version says that it was on this day that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagara (Ocean of Milk) when the Gods and demons were churning the sagara (ocean) for nectar (Amrit)
The other version is that when Lord Vishnu in the guise of Vamana, sought three feet of land from the generous demon king Bali, the latter had to surrender his head as Vamana had conquered the earth and the sky in two strides. Lord Vishnu banishes Bali into the Pathala Loka (netherland) by keeping his third stride on Bali's head. Later, pleased by his generosity, Lord Vishnu grants him a boon and he in turn requests the Lord to guard his palace at Pathala Loka.
Meanwhile, the Goddess is unable to bear the separation and her grief affects the functioning of the entire universe. Brahma and Lord Shiva offer themselves as guards and plead with Bali to relieve Vishnu. So, on the Amavasya day, Lord Vishnu returns to his abode and Goddess Lakshmi is delighted. It is believed that those who worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day would be bestowed with all the riches.
The third day is "Kartika Shudda Padyami." On this day Bali would come out of Pathala Loka and rule Bhuloka (Earth) as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is also known as "Bali Padyami".
The fourth day is referred to as "Yama Dvitiya." On this day, sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
However, in the northern part of India it is celebrated as the return of Ram along with Sita and Lakshman from his 14 years of exile after killing Ravana. To commemorate his return to Ayodhya, his subjects illuminated the kingdom and burst crackers. For the Gujaratis, Marwaris and other business community Diwali marks the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and also the beginning of the new financial year.
For Bengalis, it is the time to worship Goddess Kali or Durga. The Goddess Durga continued her "Vilaya Tandava" even after killing demon Mahishasura.
~* More About Diwali *~
~* Mythical Observances and Historical Reasons *~
*And there are good reasons not just for Hindus but also for all others to celebrate the significance and auspiciousness of this great Festival of Lights.
1.Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.
2. Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi: On this very day (Diwali day), Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.
3. Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.
4. The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was ‘Kartik Amavashya’ when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.
5. The Victory of Ram: According to the epic ‘Ramayana’, it was the new moon day of Kartik when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.
6. Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well.
7. Special Day for the Arya Samaj: It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.
8. Special Day for the Jains: Mahavir Tirthankar, considered to be the founder of modern Jainism also attained his nirvana on Diwali day.
9. Special Day for the Sikhs: The third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalized Diwali as a Red-Letter Day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali. In 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir, was released from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings.
10. The Pope’s Diwali Speech: In 1999, Pope John Paul II performed a special Eucharist in an Indian church where the altar was decorated with Diwali lamps, the Pope had a ‘tilak’ marked on his forehead and his speech was bristled with references to the festival of light.
And off-course most importantly, like so many other native Eurasian cultures, Diwali, timed around the Lunar calendar has always historically been a harvest festival associated with the blessed transformational powers of this auspicious time of change and renewal. I hope we can add many more illuminating and triumphant legends to this endless and timeless tale of welcoming lights.
I'd like to Add & Conclude with this personal Note to mark the occasion.. this year :)
CREATE A VISION WITHIN
TO DISPEL CHAOS, OPPRESSION & CONFUSION.
With all the conveniences and facilities we have because of science and technology, humanity has still remained as an absolute confusion, an absolute mess. Most people in the world live their lives without even understanding what it is that they really want for themselves. Or even if they know what they want, they neither have the will nor the vision to create this. Most of the time they settle for anything that they feel is easy or for whatever is within their reach without even seeing whether they really need it in their lives or not.
We are always trying to create our life based on the current reality that exists around us at this moment. What we want as the highest in life need not have anything to do with our present situation. If we enslave our visions to current situations, then it is once again settling for what is attainable, what is easy, what you think is possible or not possible. It is just in terms of seeing what is your vision, what is the highest that you can seek in your life.
If man has a vision of what he wishes to do with himself and the world around him, it is not beyond man’s capacity to create it. It may happen in this life time, it may take a couple of lifetimes but what we want will definitely come. For that person whose vision of life is clear and he just seeks it every moment of his life, the highest things will come and fall at his feet. But man is most of the time a bundle of confusion and is seeking what he does not want. This lack of vision and will in his life is fundamentally because of a distorted understanding of the world around us.
What you know as the highest, you just seek that. It does not matter whether it is going to happen or not going to happen, simply living with the vision itself is a very elevating, liberating and joyous process. Whether it is going to happen tomorrow or after a hundred years is not the point. You are not concerned about the result in the end. It is just that you have a vision and you give all your life towards it.This is one of the easiest ways to attain the highest also.The whole Gita is just about this – to simply give yourself to what you want, not caring whether it is a spiritual process by itself.
Vision is an important way of transcending limitations within and outside ourselves. If what you want is very clear to you and if you are set on it, what seems to be impossible today, tomorrow it becomes a normal part of your life. Without any fuss it falls at your feet. But at every moment, if you logically question this and think in terms of, ‘is it attainable or not attainable?’ then the confusion that you create in your mind and in the world around you makes the world itself into a big confusion. It is time to really create a vision within ourselves as to what it is that we really care about.
Brightest Blessings & Love to You All this Diwali.
I wish You All Happiness, Peace & Prosperity ,
Jai Krishna Ponnappan