by Br. Martin

The feast of Diwali is celebrated all over the world by the people of India. There were different reasons for celebrating this festival.

One reason was the return of Lord Rama into Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, after killing Ravana, the demon king, who kidnapped Sita.

Another reason was the killing of Narakasura, the Lord of hell, by the God Vishnu. It is the celebration of the victory of good over evil.

The word Diwali or Deepavali means a row of lamps. People placed rows of lamps on the houses to welcome Lord Rama into Ayodhya. People celebrate this festival very enthusiastically with burning crackers, fireworks. It is also a festival of friendship, family reunions and sharing with the poor and the needy. Delicious sweets are prepared and shared.

Feasts are very important as they bring people together and experience a sense of community that we are all one human family. Feasts bring us out of our routine lives and take us into communion with the sacred.

Diwali is also a feast of hope. We do not see the victory of light over the darkness of this world. We do not live in light but live in darkness. There is so much of darkness in the world. There is so much of injustice, inequalities, divisions, oppression-political, social and economical environmental and religious. And there is so much of violence going on in the world. The forces of darkness and division seem to be more powerful than the forces of light. All these divisions, oppressions and violence come from ignorance, from darkness.
Christ said,’ Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing'. Deepavali is the victory of light or wisdom or life over darkness or ignorance and death.
The Upanishad sages prayed: Lead us from the finite to the infinite, from darkness to light and from death to eternal life.
Sathyameva jayate nanrtham, says the Mundaka Upanishad. It means ultimately truth or unity will be Victorious, not untruth or divisions.
Jesus Christ said: I am the light of the world: I have transcended darkness, divisions and violence. I have entered into light, peace and unity. That is my true nature. He invited everyone to discover their true nature: you are the light of the world, he declared. Real Diwali happens when we discover our true nature, when we discover we are the light of the world.
For Christians Resurrection of Jesus is a kind of victory over the dark forces which appeared to be more powerful than the forces of light.
Resurrection is a sign of hope in the world of darkness, divisions and violence. All these come from ignorance and will come to an end one-day and the light will shine.

May we all celebrate this feast of Diwali.  Diwali is the feast of hope.


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