The God of Light
God is Light, within and without. When there’s a synergy between the two, we have peace and happiness. Then denomination and nomenclature don’t really matter. What really matters is oneness and the fact that the Light is above all divisions, ego, religion, class, and culture, says OSWALD PEREIRA
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Diwali, the Festival of Lights, brings with it the hope of an end to the darkness of the virus that has caused unprecedented deaths and suffering, across all social strata, wrecking livelihoods and the world’s economy.
The human race is fighting the coronavirus’ trail of destruction, with the help of the Divine Light that is deep within each one of us. It’s an eternal Light that is indestructible and will never die as long as we keep our faith.
During Diwali, we celebrate the victory of good over evil, the triumph of light over darkness and the emergence of knowledge as our guiding force against ignorance. We also regard Diwali as the harbinger of prosperity.
To many of us, Diwali commemorates or celebrates Lord Ram’s return to his legendary kingdom of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after defeating the demon king Ravan and serving 14 years in exile.
In parts of India, especially in the South, Diwali is celebrated to mark the victory of Krishna over the demon Narakasura, who is considered the embodiment of evil and ego. Krishna killed Narakasura, the evil king of Pragjyotishapura, near present-day Assam, and released 16,000 girls held captive by him. The festival is also associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.
While it is true that Diwali has its origins in India, over time it has come to be regarded and accepted as a universal festival celebrated the world over. Light that Diwali is all about has no allegiance to region and religion. Light belongs to God. And God, in return, has bestowed us humans with the gift of Light.
In dark times, in times of trials and tribulations, and in the present context, in these Covid times, it is God’s light that is manifesting itself, so clearly and visibly. This light shines without blinking. It is a beacon of optimism, of a future beyond the darkness.
Paramhansa Yogananda had a profound experience as a child one day when he was meditating. “What is behind the darkness of closed eyes?” he asked inwardly.
An immense flash of light appeared before his inner gaze, and took on the form of saints meditating in caves. The forms dissolved, but the silvery beams expanded outward to infinity.
“What is this wondrous glow?” he asked. A voice answered, “I am Iswara. I am Light.” Yoganandaji goes on to write: “Out of the slow dwindling of my divine ecstasy, I salvaged a permanent legacy of inspiration to seek God.”
And God. Who is He/She? According to me, forgive my impertinence, he is neither Hindu, nor Christian or Muslim. She or He is Light and Love. As simple as that.
And Ram or Krishna? Are they Hindu? Did they ever say so? An emphatic No, according to me.
Indisputably, Diwali is the inner transformation of all of our darkness into divine consciousness. It is a reminder to us to continue to seek God always.
God is Light, within and without. When there’s a synergy between the two, we have peace and happiness. Then denomination and nomenclature don’t really matter. What really matters is oneness and the fact that the Light is above all divisions, ego, religion, class, and culture.
So, Diwali, quite simply, is a reminder of our oneness, accentuated and perpetuated by the Light, which is God manifesting Himself.