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How To Celebrate Diwali 2022 Swami Mukundananda

Program Updates / November 07, 2022

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How to Celebrate Diwali by Swami Mukundananda – in his 2022 Diwali address Swamiji dispels Diwali cliches and misconceptions about “victory of good over evil”.

The Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas, celebrated Diwali Mahotsav from Oct 21-25, 2022. The glittering 5 Day celebrations inspired and uplifted devotees worldwide with the beautiful Poojas, Diwali cultural programs, Ram Leela presentations and above all Swamiji’s divine presence, kirtans and lectures. The celebrations culminated in worship of Krishna Swaroop Govardhan, with the central message of exclusive devotion or Ananya Bhakti to God. RKT Dallas united the DFW Indian community yet again with its efforts to spread Indian culture and spirituality for the benefit of all. Several key community members from diverse backgrounds participated in the festivities. Allen City Mayor Ken Fulk declared October 2022 as Diwali Month. You can read more about the spectacular event HERE.

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

JKYog Founder Swami Mukundananda’s 2022 Diwali Message was one of the most eagerly awaited aspects of the festival for the worldwide devotee congregation. Hearing the glories of any festival from a Bhakti saint united in God consciousness, is immensely beneficial. It helps us to truly understand the spiritual significance of the festival and implement it in a transformative way in our lives. That is what makes it a true celebration.

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

Swamiji’s Diwali Message struck a chord deep down not just with devotees but also people from different religions and cultures who attended the festival. The DFW audience applauded his central message of the spiritual victory of divine wisdom in our hearts over material ignorance to achieve divine perfection. We share some key takeaways below

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Kill the Inner Demons

People all over India burn effigies of Ravan, light candles, burst firecrackers, celebrating the oft repeated, cliched symbolism of Dussehra and Diwali - the victory of good over evil. However, Swamiji highlighted the deeper significance of the festival through a divine pastime that took place between Shankar ji and Lord Ram when Lord Ram killed Ravan. Shankar ji offered his obeisance and pleaded for protection from Ravan, despite Ravan having already been killed. Upon being asked for the reason by Ram, Umapati Mahadev, cried out to his Ishta Dev Shri Ram, saying, “This Ravan will be killed hundred times over, but I am begging for freedom from the inner demons of anger, greed, and lust.” In Satya Yuga, God and demons resided on different planets (Lord Narasimha and Hiranyakshipu), in Treta Yuga on the same planet (Ram and Ravan), in Dwapar Yuga in the same family (Krishna and Kauravas), and in Kaliyuga, the same person! So, the capacity for evil and goodness both lie within us. Recognizing this we must strive to choose our higher nature - this is what it means to embrace light over darkness.

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Understand the True Purpose of God's Actions

Swamiji boldly highlighted that Ravan was good! He was a descended saint and servant from Lord Vishnu’s abode, the guard Jay, who along with the other guard Vijay, was cursed by the four Kumars (Manas putras of Brahma, Sanat, Sanatan, Sanak, Sanandan) to be separated from the Lord for several lifetimes as he denied them entry to Vaikuntha. Upon Lord Vishnu’s request to cut the curse, Jay and Vijay were given the option to return after 7 lifetimes as good persons or 3 lifetimes as demons. Not wanting to spend too much time in the chicken coop of the material world away from their beloved Lord, they elected to return after 3 lifetimes as demons. Jay and Vijay were incarnated 3 times as Hiranyakshipu and Hiranyaksh, Ravan and Kumbhakaran, Shishupal and Dantavakra. Not wanting to leave his servants alone to their fate, Lord Vishnu consequently descended alongside them 4 times - one more than them - as Lord Varaha, Lord Narasimha, Lord Rama, and Lord Krishna. As a selfless service to the Lord, his servants offered to be maligned for eternity by ignorant masses as demons - to fulfill the roles of villains as powerful as the Lord in His divine pastimes - because after all who can do this to perfection other than a saint of God. Swamiji highlighted that the most interesting part of the Ramayana with the most divine pastimes for our spiritual elevation, is the 14-year period where he left Ayodhya and underwent various trials, coming back after his hero’s journey, victorious with Mother Sita to be crowned the king of Ayodhya. Kaikeyi’s ill-advised actions and Ravan’s kidnapping of Sita revealed the glory of Ram and various devotees such as Hanuman, Shabari, Kevat, Bharat, Lakshman, Guharaj, Angad, Vibhishan and others, that inspire and motivate us to this day to develop deep devotion for God. Subsequently came the heart melting Ramcharitmanas, written by Goswami Tulsidas, one of the greatest devotional literary works upon Ram’s pastimes that inspire and guide millions today. Lord Rama represents the ideal for humanity due to these pastimes.

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Demons Can be The Biggest Devotees

Ravan was a bigger devotee than Hanuman! This statement blew the minds of listeners! Swamiji explained that while Hanuman did not recognize his Lord upon encountering him for the first time in Kishkinda, Ravan upon hearing from Surpanakha that the demons Khar and Dushan had been killed by Lord Ram, immediately recognized His divinity.

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Even Saints Can Get Angry if it Facilitates God’s Work

God Realized Saints Can Become Angry! A question in the minds of many devotees arises that if the four Kumars were divine beings, then why did they become angry and curse Jay and Vijay? God is the supreme controller of Maya. Anger is under His control, and while saints do not do His work of creation, due to being enriched with Yogmaya Shakti of God, they are still like God in the sense that anger is at their command and not the other way around. The answer lies in the fact that when God, through his pastimes, wants to bestow His infinite grace on thirsty, ignorant souls seeking bliss in the material world, He can reverse the intellects of even realized beings!

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Our Ego Stands in the Way of Our Happiness

We try so hard to become free from our inner demons, but despite our best efforts we fail. This is due to three types of ignorance which cause us to develop pride and turn away from the light of God towards darkness of Maya. This has been the case since eternity.

  1. The first intellectual misconception is the illusion that our material possessions will always remain with us.
  2. The second intellectual misconception is that we look on our material body as the self.
  3. Our third intellectual misconception is the belief that in sensual pleasures, we can find the happiness that will satiate our soul. (Source: 7 Divine Laws to Awaken Your Best Self)

Maharshi Patanjali states: viparyayo mithyājñānam atadrūpa pratiṣhṭham (Yoga Sutras  1.8) ‘Viparyaya is erroneous understanding of the self, which is not based on accurate Knowledge.’

"How To Celebrate Diwali"

  1. How To Celebrate Diwali : Divine Knowledge Dispels Ignorance and Bestows Happiness

Due to our pride arising from ignorance (as described previously), we forget God and become overcome by the demons of desire, anger, greed, lust, and envy. The antidote for this is divine knowledge, through which we understand our true nature as the soul, a part of God seeking happiness that can only be fulfilled in humble service to God. Through such service our heart gets cleansed, and we experience divine bliss by God’s grace when our surrender is complete. We then become perfect like God, as He destined us to be. This is the consummation of Diwali. Then every day becomes Diwali, living in the spirit of Karm Yog, deriving joy from working for the pleasure of God alone.

Happy Diwali!

Volunteer Note: We hope that you liked this blog about the significance of Diwali. Share it with your friends and family so they too can benefit. If you missed Swamiji’s lectures on key festival days or simply want to refresh your memory of beautiful event glimpses, check back on jkyog.org/blog to catch up.

PS: We recommend attending festival celebrations IN PERSON or online at radhakrishnatemple.net/LIVE, so you don’t miss out on these valuable gems of wisdom from Swamiji.