सब राज़ी खुशी हैं? (“Is everyone happy?”) यह भी कोई पूछने की बात है? (“Is this even something to ask?”) Accha! बाबा याद हैं?
It’s Deepavali. It’s that time of the year when families come together to welcome a
new year, a new beginning. Deepavali literally means a “row of lamps”. The celebration involves the lighting of lamps (“Diyas”) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one’s house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. And of course no Deepavali celebration is complete without fireworks which are meant to drive away evil spirits.
So while it is in fact true that Deepavali marks the triumph of good over evil, do we
really think that the lighting of a lamp or that bursting fireworks is what wards off evil? Baba helps us understand that in fact the triumph of good over evil happens now through the effort of us souls, His children and that these rituals are but memorials of that effort.
The diya itself represents the soul and the wick the intellect. Baba comes to fill the
lamp of the soul with the oil of knowledge. He finds us at a time when the lamp is nearly empty of oil leaving a weak flickering flame at the end of the wick. He comes and pours in life itself by giving us the knowledge of the Creator, the Creation and the cycle of time. He reminds me of who I really am and what I am about to become.
Just as in a lamp, it is only when my intellect is completely saturated with the oil that
the flame is robust, stable and beautiful. In other words, it is when I am ManManaBhav,
constantly in His remembrance, churning His knowledge, my intellect filled with His elevated versions that my soul’s lamp will also be beautifully ignited. It is then that I will be “serviceable” because only if I am such a lamp can I be used to light other lamps. If I were instead a weak flickering flame myself, could I expect to be chosen to support another lamp?
Baba reminds us that there is more than one advantage of being ManManaBhav. It helps me keep my home (my mind) clean by preventing any waste (in the form of waste thoughts, manmath or parmath) from sticking to it. Imagine a lamp that was once full of oil but is now empty. All the dust and other waste settle in it and stick to the sides making it dirty and practically useless. While in some cases, it a laborious process to clean it which Baba had to go through when He found us, in others one pretty much needs to do away with the lamp because it’s not worth salvaging. On the other hand, if I am full, all the dust that tries to settle on the oil is burnt away in the heat from the flame- the flame of the remembrance of the One.
Of course, we live in the age of electricity, an age more to do with bulbs, less with
diyas. Regardless, the same concept applies. Just as with a lamp, what kind of a bulb am I? Am I that weak flickering bulb that barely lights up a corridor? Am I one that lights up a small room or a big auditorium perhaps? Or I am a Light House that shows the way to ships and steamers that are so far away that one can’t see them with the naked eye. Am I the light that shows the way home to all those other souls (represented by the ships) that aren’t as lucky as me to have God Himself come and guide them home. Some of these ships or souls are lost in the middle of the ocean of life, caught up in its turbulent waves
searching and calling out for help to come back home. Some others have come to a standstill, too numb from the travel so far to even search anymore and then there are others that are headed in the opposite direction from home because they don’t know any better. They, every single one of them, are my brothers, the children of that same Father. Am I the soul that is so bright that I become that light house that brings all these children home to be reunited with their Father? In other words, can I be that lamp that ignites other lamps?
To be such a lighthouse means to be a pure, clean, unadulterated, highly focused beam of
light that is constantly aware of her aim, her duty. That comes in part with staying light by keeping my house clean of any waste and staying saturated in the oil. But the other part is about might or power. I need to be one that has no ties with the world, one who is willing to be cut away from all bondage while being right in the midst of it. I need to be one that discards all the old clothes of my old sanskars, sensitiveness, weaknesses etc. and adorns the new clothes or rather the armor of the eight spiritual powers. Without this armor, I certainly cannot imagine being situated in the middle of the ocean, withstanding the rough waves hitting me from all sides and yet be that stable, source of light to guides lost ships home. But on the other hand, if I do have my armor on, the same waves “break” against my strength. Waves don’t break against pebbles, they wash them away. Waves only break against huge rocks that have enormous strength. In other words, I cannot be a lighthouse without also being a mighthouse.
And when I do become a lighthouse, I can proudly give myself the tilak of victory of
having achieved liberation in life, sweeten the mouth for having triumphed over the waves of my own sanskars, of having conquered the demons of my own fears and weaknesses while showing others the path to do the same. I then find myself seated on Baba’s own Heart throne and I experience His love more than I ever have for I have now become like Him. Baba tells us that Deepavali is in fact the celebration of the coronation of Lakshmi and Narayan in the Golden age, marking the beginning of the reign of Ram and the end of Ravan’s. The occasion sees both Lakshmi and Narayan given the tilak of sovereignty and seated on the world throne embedded with diamonds and other precious jewels.
But then that doesn’t hold a candle to the tilak and throne I receive right now in the
Confluence age. All I need to do is remember to always be a brightly lit lamp, wearing my spiritual armor. Hey, right here in the confluence age, its Deepavali everyday!