The ancient Hindu traditions have profound relevance to human existence and well-being. These age-old practices create faith and reverence in one’s heart for they are associated with the stories of the Avatars. It is because of this reason that people in India participate in and celebrate these traditional festivals with fervor and gaiety.

Deepawali, the gala festival of lights, has subtle significance in our lives, however, over the years, this festival emanated as a source of fun, enjoyment, and get-together only. As per my knowledge, Deepawali finds its expression in two renowned historic scriptures, the Ramayana and the Mahabharat. Dhanteras is the day when the Deepawali celebration begins and on this very day, people engage themselves in purchasing gold, silver, utensils, etc. because they presume it to be a celebration of Dhan (wealth). Lord Dhanvantri is the deity of well-being and happiness and celebrating Dhanteras and Deepawali has subtle connotations with human welfare. On this day onwards, there is a shift in the season due to which, days start declining and humans become less functional. Because of this very fact, it is said that people used to lit-up earthen lamps and burn firecrackers to maintain their well-being, and keep themselves spirited for carrying out their regular chores.

The epic of Ramayana tells us that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of forced exile, and to welcome him home, the people of Ayodhya lit up countless earthen lamps (Diyas) as a token of love and reverence for him. The other saga, Mahabharat, mentions that Lord Krishna conquered Narkasura one day before Deepawali, symbolizing victory over evil and that is how people celebrate this festival of lights. The people are familiar with Lord Rama’s and Lord Krishna’s anecdotes and their relevance to light but how many are aware of another imperative aspect of light remains the question. 

There lies an obscured subtle reality in these stories, symbolizing the essence of light in human existence, however, to discern the subtle connotation requires an inquisitive mind. Fortunately, with the advancement of technology. we have the privilege to google anything and get answers in just a fraction of a second but how many people strive to know about the subtler aspects of life is a matter of concern.

A large number of people are struggling with their personal, professional, financial, or health issues, living a compulsive or circumstantial life. The other set of people doesn’t pay heed or can’t think of exploring life beyond their limited circle or finite conditioning, such people live a coincidental womb-to-tomb life. Very few have an inquiring mind and go after their logic till they find refuge in the light of wisdom. Curiosity sometimes is a blessing in disguise as it navigates you to an unknown destination of transcending awareness. 

Light has multiple benefits; however, the paramount significance of light is that it vanishes the darkness. Human ignorance is equal to darkness and it can only be conquered through the light of wisdom. The paradoxical fact is that most humans are unaware of their ignorance and so the question of vanquishing it never occurs. When we enter a dark room, the first thing we do is switch on the light. Likewise, one needs to strive to kindle the lamp of knowledge and dispel the darkness of ignorance but for this, one must be able to recognize the cobweb of ignorance first.

In Hinduism, there is a profound significance of having a Guru in one’s life.  The word Guru is a combination of two words, Gu means Darkness, and Ru implies Dispeller, therefore, a Guru is someone who dispels the darkness of ignorance. He kindles the light of knowledge and vanquishes the darkness of ignorance from one’s life, helping one to live a fulfilling, peaceful and purposeful life. But the irony is that most so-called humans presume that they know everything and they don’t require anybody’s guidance no matter how perplexed and painful their life is.

Usually, we humans presume that shouldering our responsibilities towards our families and loved ones, rendering obligations towards our work, and participating in all worldly transactions is the goal of life. We live in a conditioned cocoon and barely pay attention to the other dimensions of life.

Seldom do we sit with ourselves and enquire about the following aspects of our life to take a stock of our inner kingdom-

  • Am I happy with my life?
  • Do I feel peaceful from within?
  • Am I feeling contented with what I am doing?
  • What is happiness and how can I attain it?
  • Is there any hobby or passion that I want to learn or pursue?
  • What is the quality of my thoughts?
  • Are my feelings agitating or pacifying?
  • Is there harmony in my relationships?
  • Is my family happy with me?
  • Is my life sorted or chaotic?
  • What would be my legacy for the generations to come?
  • What is troubling me when I am alone?
  • What am I doing for the welfare of society?
  • Who am I apart from what I know about myself?
  • What is the purpose of my life?

Self-reflection is a powerful tool to seek and untangle the mysteries of life but it requires solitude. Being in one’s own company allows you to check the quality of your life and also if you can stay in your own company effortlessly and pleasantly. Those who enjoy their own company and the company of others with peace in their heart and clarity in their mind live a contented, and fulfilling life, symbolizing the Light of Wisdom. On the contrary, people who fear being in solitude and feel inner chaos, dilemma, and melancholy, exhibit the darkness of ignorance. For such people, the light of knowledge by learned Gurus is the only way to dissolve their ignorance.