Good afternoon friends!
Long time, no see. Bad internet connection, a broken phone and an illness can set one back a few days. But that doesn’t set one’s thoughts back, especially not mine!
So, last Wednesday was Diwali, the Festival of Lights, one of the largest Indian festivals, celebrated across the globe. It marks the return of Lord Ram after defeating Raavan. Basically, the triumph of Good over Evil; Humility over Egoism; Knowledge over Ignorance.
I’m not an expert on the subject, but it is one of the festivals that makes you feel really good and positive – Lights all around, new clothes, freshness everywhere, Rangolis and smiles all around (albeit the cacophony of firecrackers, which is increasing significantly nowadays) The Lakshmi puja and festivity is all so heartwarming.
Alas today, Diwali is as far from the original idea of it, as it possibly can be. The original idea was that, to welcome Ram back, the people of Ayodhya lit up millions of lamps which turned the New Moon night into day! Today, the idea is simple – crackers, crackers, and crackers.
I live in a hostel and even here a week before Diwali, one could hear random bursts of crackers, across the hall and in the stairwells, and wonder if it was Ram’s festival or Raavan’s!
Enough about my Diwali rant. At the end of the day, what matters is not how many crackers you burst or how you celebrated Diwali. What matters is what values you learn and take in yourself. What matters is not whom you pray to; what matters is which God is in your heart. Good and Evil. The battle is within. And it’s not over yet.
There’s another, albeit lesser-known festival celebrated by Sikhs on this day —Bandi Chhor Divas. This festival celebrates the release of Guru Hargobind Ji, along with 52 other princes, from the prison of Jahangir. Jahangir imprisoned them to crush the rebellion of the Sikh forces against the Mughal tyranny.
It is a celebration of the Rise of the Oppressed. When the Guru pleaded Jahangir to release the 52 Princes who’d rebelled, Jahangir said that he could take as many Princes as could hang on to his cloak. Guru Hargobind got a special cloak made which had 52 pegs, and carried all of them. This shows that no matter how big the problem might seem, there’s always a solution. And the biggest problems usually have the simplest solutions.
One thing we’ve learnt from both stories is-
No matter how tough the opponent is, the key is to never give up, keep going, and sticking to your principles. That’s how Good can triumph over Evil.
It has happened before. Make it happen again. Defeat your Evils.
Will be writing soon now.