Diwali leading us from darkness to light


Diwali leading us from darkness to light


We’re in the middle of October. The days are short and grudgingly grant us a bit of sunlight. The gloom and dampness that surround us announce the cold of winter that will soon be upon us. Still, we must not complain because October has never lied to us. We know the drill. Brave the cold or batten down the hatches. We cope in whatever way we can.

To keep our bodies warm we need a warm coat, a heated home, soup on the stove, and rum in the cabinet. To those without these basics, there are a lot of it about and all we need to do is share them with those in need.

But what do we do about the light? The light that brightens our souls, our hearts. The light that struggled to shine through for the past 2-3 years during which we battle a nasty virus that still doggedly hangs around to this day; the brutal battle in Eastern Europe that threatens large parts of the world with starvation or worse, permanent nuclear darkness. And yet, in the midst of it all, India, an ancient land and of resilient people gives us a festival of lights, Diwali. Opening a way for us to look for personal rebirth and reach out to each other in love and brotherhood.

Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. The festival is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity and Ganesha, god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles. It’s a time when those who celebrate this spiritual journey, clean, renovate and decorate their home with diyas (oil lamps) and rangolis (colorful art circle patterns). They feast, exchange gifts and provide for the needy.

Given the rock of a dogged virus and the hard place of possible Armageddon (the Russian-Ukraine war) between which we are trapped, the gift of Diwali brought to Canada’s shore by the people of south Asia is just the tonic we need in this dark October. It allows us to eschew the excesses of life and open up space for friendship and family, beauty and art, love and community.

We need not be south Asian to light a lamp and turn our homes into a haven for peace, and our kitchens into places of sweet sustenance.

The ethos of Diwali described in Sanskrit is “Lead me from darkness to light.”

The Indian Express puts it this way: “Diwali’s essence lies in a line from Sanskrit translated means “Lead me from darkness to light.” So we are directed to light a lamp of joy, wisdom to overcome sadness, unwholesomeness and poverty.

We must fill our hearts with love and pursue Truth to repel ignorance.

“The festival of Diwali reminds each one of us to understand that life is much more than a mere journey and it’s a continuous quest for truth and knowledge.

The Divine light burns within us and all around us. Let this Diwali bring joy and happiness abound for humanity by dispelling the darkness of ignorance and many more evils that are creating havoc on mankind.”

We thank our Canadian Hindu family for a great gift and wish them all a happy and prosperous Diwali.