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Heading out in a little while to a Diwali celebration at a friend’s place – someone I met through the various kirtan groups I’ve been hanging out with.

Diwali translates as “row of lights” and it’s a beautiful tradition. Basically, it’s about bringing people together and sharing food, activities and fun. Many lamps are lit to create a beautiful illumination over the five days of Diwali.

Diwali also ties into the Ramayana, as a celebration of Rama and Sita returning from Sri Lanka after Rama (and Hanuman) defeated the demon Ravana. So your basic triumph of “good” over “evil” or light over dark. I always like to consider these sorts of stories as inner work: we all have our demons, our inner hero and that part of us that needs to be protected. And when we accomplish a triumph or two over the “darkness”, or those things that would pull us down and away from our essence nature, there is a sense of illumination – hence all the lamps.

He who Himself sees all but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon and the stars and the whole universe but whom they cannot illumine, He indeed is Brahman, He is the inner Self. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.

The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
~Swami Satyananda

And hey – this year has been full to overflowing with my own inner battles. In fact, life’s kind of been like that for the last five years! So I’m very much looking forward to this evening of honouring the light in myself and other people.

So what does a private Diwali celebration look like in Australia? Well, first of all, our hostess is originally from India, so it will be a hybrid Indian/Australian festival. We will make rangoli, get our kirtan and mediation on and later, eat together. I’m contributing some Indian desserts and organic wine, and a whole mass of tea lights.

And I hope that you take a moment to reflect and appreciate all that you’ve achieved this year. All the demons you’ve battled and defeated, and remember that all of us are none other than Essence Nature.

Even the “demons” we encounter – they are too, are just working through their own perceptions of this life.

Om Shanti!!

~Svasti

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