It has been so long since I’ve made a post in this blog. Therefore, I would like to start today, especially when it is such an auspicious day like Deepavali. There are many stories behind Deepavali. The general theme of them all, however, is the inevitable victory of good over evil. This assumes that there are two opposing poles called good and evil. This is a wrong assumption because evil is just the absence of goodness. So in essence, there is only goodness, but when it is absent in someone or something, we call it evil.
There is a wonderful short story I came across from one of my friend’s email. It says:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil (Adharmic) – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good (Dharmic)- It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Therefore, victory of good over evil simply means the victory of Dharma over Adharma. By deeply analysing the above story for just today, just for a few minutes, let us all try to recognise the “evil” in us, and let us try to uproot it. Let us make a promise to ourselves today that by the next Deepavali I would try to conquer one of my “evil” qualities. Be it anger, jealousy, false pride or laziness. Anything. Let us make this promise quietly to ourselves and change ourselves for better. If there is no “evil” in you, then let us try to cultivate one of the good values like truth, generosity, compassion or humility.
The one who protects Dharma, that Dharma will protect him. The equation works like this. When you protect Dharma, meaning when you do Dharmic actions, you earn merits or punya. More punya can counter the sins or paapa you gathered so far. So during dire times, the punya that you have earned by doing Dharmic actions will save you. This is what it means by “dharmo rakshati rakshata”.
Such being the value of Deepavali festival, I hope you now realize that you can actually wish anyone a Happy Deepavali, be it someone of another race, religion or nationality. This is because the value of this festival applies to everyone. And as we celebrate the festival today with our family in any way possible, just remember Ishwara who is the reason behind all your happiness. Pray to Him, get His blessings and live Happily! 🙂