Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | Kindle wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face


Diwali is the festival of lights and joy. It is an occasion to forget all the bickering and negativity in your life that has happened throughout the year. It is a time when you throw a light on the wisdom you have gained over the years and welcome a new beginning.

Diwali is essentially celebrated to kindle wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face. We light up our houses on this day not just to decorate them, but also to communicate a profound truth about life. A room may have been in the dark for 20 years. All that it takes to dispel the darkness is a small lamp. When the darkness within is dispelled through the light of wisdom, the good wins over the evil.

For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be partially immersed in the oil yet not entirely so. If the wick is drowned in oil it cannot bring light. At the same time, if there is no oil in the lamp the wick cannot burn. Same is the case with human life. If you are drowned in the materialistic things of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. Life is like the wick of the lamp, you have to be in the world yet be untouched by it. By being in the world, yet not drowning in it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge.

Every lamp that you light is symbolic of a good quality. There are good qualities in every human being. Some have forbearance, some have love, strength, generosity; others have the ability to unite people. The latent values in you are like a lamp. Don't be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand for you need to light many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. Everyone in society has to become wise. Happiness and wisdom has to spread and that will happen when everyone comes together and celebrates knowledge. Diwali is that festival of celebration of wisdom.

Another profound symbolism is related to the firecrackers that go off during Diwali. For the sake of reducing environmental pollution, we have to avoid them now and stick to green crackers. But we can still learn from them. In life, you often become like a firecracker, waiting to explode with your pent-up emotions, frustration and anger. When you keep on suppressing your emotions, cravings, aversions, hatred, it is bound to reach a bursting point. Along with the explosion, there is so much light. So when you let go of the suppressed emotions, then serenity dawns. Unless and until the pent-up emotions do not clear, you cannot experience the newness in you.

And Diwali is to be in the present, so drop the past and live in the moment.

Any celebration is incomplete without the spirit of seva; whatever we have received from the Divine we should share it with others. That is a true celebration. Celebration means dissolving all differences and basking in the glory of the atman.

For the one who is not knowledgeable, Diwali comes only once a year, but for the wise, Diwali is every moment and every day. This Diwali, celebrate with knowledge and take a sankalpa to serve humanity. Light the lamp of love in your heart; the lamp of abundance in your home; the lamp of compassion to serve others and the lamp of Knowledge to dispel darkness.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace. The views expressed are personal.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | Kindle wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | Kindle wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face
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