We have gone through first world war, second world war and many more fights all over the world.  No politician's picture has actually gone in the altar where we put a lamp, light incense stick and say a little prayer like we do for Lord Rama and other forms.  Some years back, when they brought the Ramayan for the television sets, people were so much moved that they even broke coconut and did aarti in front of the T V as they watched Ramayan.  Such is the faith and respect even now.  I salute and live for such people who did not even see Lord Rama.  We are so lucky to have Baba walking on earth with us today and who teaches us to respect such people.  He is Lord Rama back in another form.
The birth of Lord Rama was a divine birth in answer to the united prayers of the people.  He came as An Avatar.  We have Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the one who looks after and Mahesh, the destroyer of evil.  For simplicity, we can say that from the time of creation, it has been agreed that whenever there is problem on earth, the united prayers of the people will make them qualify for an Avatar.  Ram was such an Avatar and gave us that inner meaning of life where we have to fight the daily war with ego, jealousy, greed etc.  That is our daily Diwali only after we win.  The other Diwali which we celebrate is given by Lord Rama as an example for that inner meaning.
It was on Diwali day that Sri Rama's coronation took place after his victorious return to Ayodhya from Lanka after the war with Ravana and his Rakshasa brood.  This was in answer to the prayers of the people.  For a long period Ayodhya had been plunged in darkness when Rama was in exile in the forest.  In the absence of Rama, Ayodhya was a city of darkness.  The forests were filled with light.  The return of Rama was hailed by the people of Ayodhya as the return of divine and hence they celebrated the event by the lighting of lamps everywhere.
In many parts, the businessmen get together on Diwali day and close the account books and do Lakshmi Puja as they open new account books.  They stick a coin on the first page of the new book.  This is actually done. The idea is to make a living in righteous manner and only for what is needed and the rest can help others in need.  The old books are closed and new ones set up.
Diwali celebration has something for everybody.  For children, we have the fireworks, new clothes, sweets and gifts.  All this helps to keep that faith going while we celebrate and grow into an adult.  As the child grows into an adult, he/she understands the inner meaning of Diwali.  For adults, we have that deeper meaning from all this.
This is what Baba has said:
"The inner significance of Deepavali is to lead man from darkness to light.
Man is perpetually plunged in darkness.
Every time he is enveloped in darkness, he should light a lamp that is ever shining within him.
Carry that lamp wherever you go.
It will light your path wherever you may be. "
-Sathya Sai Baba
As we celebrate the festival of lights, let us understand the deeper meaning of "LIGHT"

We say:  Lead me from darkness to light.

Fear is darkness, LOVE is light.

Revenge is darkness, Forgiveness is light.

Division is darkness, Oneness is light.

Reaction is darkness, Action is light.

Selfishness is darkness, Broad-mindedness is light.

Prejudice is darkness, Objectivity is light.

Time is darkness, Timelessness is light.

"I am a failure or success" is darkness, "I AM" light.
Thamasomaa jyotirgamaya" (Lead me from darkness to light) is an Upanishadic prayer.  This means that where there is darkness light is needed.
When the darkness of ignorance caused by the ego feeling is dispelled by the light of Divine knowledge, the effulgence of the Divine is experienced.
If the darkness of ignorance is to be dispelled, man needs a container, oil, wick and a matchbox corresponding to what an external lamp needs.  For man, the heart is the container. The mind is the wick.  Love is the oil and sacrifice is the matchbox.  When you have these four, Atma_jyothi (the Divine flame of the Spirit) shines.  When the light of the Spirit is aflame, the Light of Knowledge appears and dispels the darkness of ignorance.
Carry that lamp wherever you go.  It will light your path wherever you may be.
Dilip UK




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