By Swati Sharan
TORONTO: Diwali is known as the festival of lights. It reflects both the light in front of us as well as the one inside us. All religions have light as a common theme.
The significance of light in the East can be implied on many levels. But one is that a flame removes one’s thoughts and signifies purity. Besides flames, flowers and salt also remove negativity.
So it’s no wonder that I should remember my guru on such an occasion because guru, as a literal definition, means one who removes the darkness or sheds light.
So I can’t help but feel like sharing some different quotes to reflect that.
At the time of birth, we assume a body. During this time, we have the body, soul and life force (or kundalini as it’s also known). Your body can be likened to a wick whilst the kundalini is akin to oil and the soul is the flame or light of the wick. You have everything- a wick, oil and light/flame. But the wick is not reflecting light.
In this world, thousands of wicks go unlit. Those wicks never encounter the flame. Displaying a photo or picture of a flame is not enough to light a flame on a given wick. In order to light a flame, you need a live flame from which it can be lit. So until such a live flame does not come into the picture, a wick will continue to remain unlit – Swami Shivkrupanand, Satya Darshan
And that light flame is the living guru because he not only sheds light on our ignorance, but he also tunes our antennas towards energy that may otherwise go unnoticed. In fact, when I first heard this, some of the scenes of the Ramayana at once became vivid. I immediately knew why all the monkey force in the Ramayan would travel with Ram as a group.
Swamiji often illustrates this idea with a story about a Jain disciple who had been visiting a temple in Palitana for years. She never felt anything extraordinary about the temple until she went with Swamiji in a group. Then for the first time in years, she could feel the tremendous vibrations and energy of the temple atmosphere. Swamiji attributed this to the guru’s energy being like a TV switch because the energy was always there but like the TV, it just needed to be turned on for us to tune in.
So this Diwali, I pray for the following: Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from death to immortality. (Sanskrit Prayer)
Because as Swamiji would say, “Don’t look until where the darkness extends. Light your own wick.”
(To learn more about samarpan meditation, visit www.samarpanmeditation.org or call/text 416-893-8418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org about monthly meditation workshops. Members can also travel for special workshops if you or your group request it).
(Swati Sharan is a journalist based in Toronto)