This is the Diwali season!
Aum Shubh Labh Aum!
For Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs – as well as our friends, loved ones, and supporters – this is one of the biggest and most important holidays of the year, if not THE biggest. During Diwali, we celebrate the triumph of Light over Darkness, of Good over Evil. Except in the most metaphoric contexts I don’t actually believe in Good or Evil, Light or Darkness, although I sometimes employ the terms for linguistic clarity. Nonetheless, Diwali holds immense significance for me. For me, instead of light versus darkness, it’s a bit about “I am not” and “I won’t.” I’ll see if I’m able to briefly marry am not & won’t to light & darkness.
When considering light in relation to darkness, you instantly enter into polarization. You go for one, or you go for the other. Same with Good vs Evil. With “am not” and “won’t,” however, things are more about potentiality, and not nearly as automatically polarized. And the tricky part, to be honest, is in determining what lies you’re telling yourself while you attempt to discern.
During the Diwali season we talk about the triumph over evil and darkness. We light diyas and deepas and make rangoli designs in front of our homes. We worship Lakshmi to bring prosperity – prosperity being perceived as a symptom of Good winning over Evil. For me, however, this season is more about looking within and seeing That light. It’s the same light within myself that is at the heart of every being. This light, truly, is neither good nor evil and it doesn’t actually dispell darkness because it’s not actually light. It literally transcends all of those qualitative descriptors.
If you ever feel you are not That, you are mistaken. You may be confused. You may be submitting to misleading ideologies. You may be many things, but there is never a time when you are not That. This leads to something else important to remember: Since you are That, you must help. You must know your part, and just as importantly you must do your part. You have a role in dharma, in fact your role is dharma and is the maintenance of it. This is where the won’t comes into play.
Whenever you find that you won’t, you’re expressing an option. Many times a person will think they can’t (or shouldn’t, which is a WHOLE other ball of yarn!), when they actually can and they’re simply not willing. Many times we become unwilling on account of the stories we tell ourselves and subsequently recycle within ourselves.
Often, when circumstances or situations make us unsure or uncomfortable, we become unwilling, although that’s not how it feels at the moment. Through our ego we convince ourselves, “It’s not my place” or “I’m not capable of making that thing happen” or “Someone else’s dharma covers this best.” And truth be spoken, there are certainly instances when this is true enough that the avoidance serves a purpose down the road.
Celebrate Diwali and all that it might mean; light a diya for your Self. You are the only and all the light there is. You are the only one who can keep adharma held in its place – the only one who can contribute to the promotion of prosperity and sustaining dharma. My Diwali hope is that you do the leg work necessary for you know and understand your place (your swadharma) as completely as possible and confidently play your role in dharma’s maintenance so that others in life can learn the same from you. Shubh Diwali!
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha