Diwali – Bringing the Light into Our Lives
It’s interesting that nearly every spiritual tradition sees God as Divine Light in one way or another. Diwali is one celebration of that Light, which is really in each one of us, and not just ‘out there’ somewhere. Swami Kriyanandaji wrote a ceremony celebrating that Light, called A Festival of Light. While he wasn’t directly addressing Diwali, he was recognizing that same Divine Light that we celebrate every year during Diwali season.
How can we use Diwali as a catalyst to bring that Light into our lives every day, not just once a year?
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The “Spiritual” and “Social” Celebration of Diwali
In 1936, right after his return from a year long trip to India, Paramhansa Yogananda had an inspiration to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas in a unique way. On Christmas Eve, he held an eight-hour meditation commemorating what he called “Spiritual Christmas”: He and many of his students meditated deeply and invited the Christ Consciousness to be born in the cradle of their devotionally stilled hearts. And on Christmas Day, he celebrated what he called “Social Christmas”: a gala-feast and gift sharing that included uplifting events and music with friends and family. This tradition, inspired by his India-trip over 80 years ago, is preserved to this date: all over the world disciples of the great Master gather, in big meditation centers and smaller meditation groups, to celebrate “Spiritual Christmas” with the eight-hour Christmas meditation and also “Social Christmas” with spiritual merriment and sharing.
In beginning this tradition, Paramhansa Yogananda shared with all his students the key teaching that Spiritual Festivals ought to have a two-fold celebration.
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