Sadhguru, Isha Foundation
Diwali is celebrated for various cultural reasons but historically, it is called ‘Naraka Chaturdashi,’ because Narakasura, a very cruel king, was killed by Krishna.
He requested that his death anniversary should be celebrated.
This happens to a lot of people.
At the moment of death, they realise their limitations.
The story of Naraka
If they realise now, life could be improved but most people wait till the last moment.
Naraka was one of them.When he was put to death, Krishna saw that if you let him live, he will continue the same way. But if you bring him close to death, he is capable of realising.
At the time of his death, he suddenly realised how he had been wasting his life, so he requested Krishna,“Make sure my death is celebrated.Today that you are not killing me,but all the wrongs that I did.This must be celebrated.”
Because of that, this celebration happened in such a big way.
The celebration is auspicious in so many different ways. On this day, it is said that if someone needs money, Lakshmi will arrive. If someone wants health, Shakti will arrive. If someone wants education, Saraswati will come.
These are all dialectical ways of expressing that it will lead to wellbeing.
Diwali is the Festival of Lights. On Diwali, you will see every town, city and village is lit up with thousands of lamps everywhere. But the celebration is not just about lighting lamps outside – an inner light has to come.
Light means clarity. Without clarity, every other quality that you possess will only become a detriment, not a gift, because confidence without clarity is a disaster. And today, too much action in the world is performed without clarity.
The Rookie Policeman
On a certain day, a rookie police man was driving for the first time through a town with his experienced partner. They got a message on the radio, which said that there was a group of people loitering on a certain street, and were asked to disperse them. They drove into the street and saw a group of people standing at one of the corners. As the car came close by, the new policeman rolled his window down with great enthusiasm and said,“Hey, all of you. Get off that corner!” The group looked at each other in confusion. Then he yelled louder,“Didn’t you hear me? I told you to get off that damn corner!” They all dispersed.
Then, pleased with the effect that he had on people when performing his first official task, he looked at his experienced partner and asked,“Did I do well?” His partner said,“That was not bad at all, considering it was a bus stop.”
Importance of Clarity
Without the necessary clarity, whatever you try to do will be a disaster.
Light brings clarity to your vision – not just in a physical sense.
How clearly you see life and perceive everything around you decides how sensibly you conduct your life. Diwali is the day when the dark forces were put to death and light happened. This is also the predicament of human life.
Like the dark clouds which brood in the gloomy atmosphere, not realising that they are blocking the sun,a human being does not have to bring any light from anywhere.
If he just dispels the dark clouds that he has allowed to gather within himself, light will happen. The Festival of Lights is just a reminder of that.
In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a Festival every day of the year – 365 Festivals in a year.The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration. Today, maybe only thirty or forty Festivals remain.
Even those, we are not able to celebrate now because we have to go to office or do something else daily. So, people usually celebrate only around eight or ten Festivals annually. If we leave it like this, the next generation will not have any Festival.
They will not know what a Festival is. They will just earn and eat, earn and eat – they will go on and on with just this. It has already become so for many people.
A Festival means they give you a holiday, and you wake up only at twelve noon. Then you just eat more, go for a movie or watch television at home. And only if they take some external stimulants, will these people dance a little. Otherwise they will not sing or dance.
It was not like that before. A Festival meant that the whole town would gather in a place, and there would be a big celebration.
Festivals of Isha Foundation
A Festival meant that we got up at four in the morning, and very actively, lots of things happened all over the house.
To bring back this culture in people, Isha celebrates four important Festivals: Pongal or Makara Sankranti, Mahashivaratri, Dussehra and Diwali.
If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is that if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it.
If they think it is not so important they will become lax about it – they do not show the necessary involvement.
The Secret of Life
You know, when someone says,“He is in a very serious condition,” that means his next step is you know where. A lot of people are in a serious condition. There is only one thing that is going to happen to them which is of any significance. The rest will bypass them because with anything that they think is not serious, they are unable to show involvement and dedication towards that. That is the whole problem.
The passage, the secret of life is in just this – seeing everything with a non-serious eye, but absolutely involved – like a game. That is the reason the most profound aspects of life are approached in a celebratory way so that you don’t miss the point.
Diwali, the Festival of lights, heralds the arrival of the darkest part of the year. We are now entering that phase of the year when the northern hemisphere receives the least amount of sunlight. Even in terms of spiritual practice, the period after the summer solstice was seen as the half of the year to be dedicated to Spiritual Sadhana, and the period after the winter solstice as the time to flower. Later, this came to be interpreted in terms of work and harvest by agricultural communities.
The quality of your life does not depend on how much you harvest. It depends on how joyfully you live. A Festival just provides you with an excuse to celebrate.
The idea of Diwali is to bring that aspect of celebration into your life – that is why the fire crackers, to set fire to you a bit! So the purpose is not just to have fun on this one day and go. It must happen like this within us every day. If we simply sit, our life energy, heart, mind and body must be exploding like a live cracker.
If you are a damp squib, then you need a cracker from outside every day.
Isha Foundation New Zealand conducts Isha Inner Engineering and Hatha yoga Programmes. It also conducts free Isha Kriya and Isha Upa Yoga practices for the General public regularly.
For more information Pls contact: 022-4637811 orvisit: www.ishayoga.nz
Sadhguru is a Yogi, Mystic, Visionary and Best-selling author. He is ranked amongst the 50 Most Influential People in India. Sadhguru was conferred the title of ‘Padma Vibhushan,’the second highest civilian honour by the Indian Government in 2017.
Sadhguru, who has millions of followers all over the word