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Light the lamp of self-knowledge to dispel darkness of ignorance: Spiritual message of Diwali
Diwali - the festival of lights is celebrated on the 14th day of dark lunar fortnight of Ashwina month on the Hindu calendar. This year it falls on November 7.

Diwali celebrations this year will draw awareness about pollution and poor quality of air caused by bursting crackers. The Supreme Court has imposed partially ban on fireworks through time limit and urged for use of green crackers.

Many spiritualists also link the festival with self-awakening and celebration of victory of good over evil. They urge that celebration of Diwali should be filled with tranquility by lighting earthen lamps.

Traditionally, Diwali, as festival of lights, was celebrated with lighted earthen lamps filled with oil and having cotton wicks. The Diwali illuminations were earlier done for rekindling hope of dispelling darkness with light and achieving self-knowledge where there was ignorance.

Now, tradition has given way to modernity and earthen lamps have been replaced by candles of various colours and forms and electric pea bulbs, lED lighting of different shapes and designs get marketed to illuminate dwellings.

However, the spiritual message of self-illumination through true knowledge should not be forgotten during festivities.

"Our life is like a lamp. Just like a lamp needs oxygen to keep burning, the same is with our life. If you were to be locked up in a glass cage, then you would be able to survive only as long as there is oxygen in the cage. In the same way, if you cover a lamp with a glass, then the lamp will burn only as long as there is oxygen. So there is definitely some similarity between a lamp and our life. That similarity is fundamental to the celebration of Diwali. It is to remind you that you too are a lamp," says spiritualist Sri Sri Ravishankar.

Here are two Diwali haiku to clarify real meaning of festival of lights.

Outer dash and dazzle

enhance our inner darkness.

Self-shine dispels it.

~*~

We're deep in darkness

Enticed by web of desires.

In-lamp light redeems.

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