dispel the darkness within

Today, Diwali, the festival of lights, will be celebrated by millions of people all around the world, regardless of whether they are a part of the Indian diaspora or not. 

It’s a great opportunity for us to not only light the lamps — the diyas — in our homes and offices, but to also light the lamp within ourselves. We have to work towards dispelling the darkness within. The darkness of ignorance, the darkness that breeds due to lack of self-development and self-awareness.  

Now, we are all ignorant about a lot of things. We can’t be an expert in everything under the sun, it’s just not humanly possible. There’s an abundance of information right now in the modern world, it’s vast and easily accessible. On one hand, this is a blessing, but at the same time, it’s a bane as well for our day to day human existence.

We have become habituated with consuming content and information, but a key question that we need to ask is that is it making us more knowledgable and wise? Is it dispelling the darkness of ignorance within us and getting us closer to the light of the Infinite Intelligence, the Divine Self within?

Because I’m your guide on the side and I want to see you win, I’d like to give it to you straight, ignorance of the stats of your favorite football team, the latest news in CNN or Fox, the details of upcoming movies and shows, and all the gossip and meaningless conversations that float around you, may make your life slightly inconvenient and “boring”, but it does not engulf you in the darkness that I previously mentioned. And just to be clear, I’m with you in this. I’m not an exception by any means; I go through the same struggles as you, and I have to constantly remind myself this again and again, and design my life and my lifestyle based on this.

We have to intentional about our consumption of media, the associations that we choose to be in, and what we put in front of our eyes, our ears and our mouth. Junk is like weeds, it’s everywhere and we have to protect ourselves. Otherwise, we’ll squander our time and our attention.

There’s too much mental, physical and spiritual noise that we constantly face every single day that paints this world in a negative light and takes us away from our true essence and potential, and puts us in the darkness of ignorance. And that’s where I come in. My objective is to help you dispel this darkness and get you reacquainted with the truth, most importantly with your truth.

I’d like to share a few lines from the website Art of Living related to this, “Central to Hindu philosophy is that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman, the soul. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (inner joy or peace).”

So, I’d like to wish you a happy, prosperous and safe Diwali, no matter who you are or where you are in the world right now. Let’s work towards dispelling the darkness within and awakening ourselves to our inner light and our true nature.