This is the 5-day Hindu / Sikh / Jain festival of LIGHTS! Diwali is a celebration of the LIGHT overcoming the darkness!! As it is always celebrated on the New Moon in November, the darkest day / night of this month, we are reminded how important the LIGHT really is!
As we turned back the clocks an hour this week, the darkness is felt evermore present in the early afternoon hours up here in the NE of the USA! (where I am currently, in case you were wondering or trying to keep track of where I will be next! hahaha.)
Diwali also sometimes to referred to as Deepavali (deep - lamp, vali - array). These "lamps" are traditionally made of clay which is formed into a small pot and filled with ghee, and lit with a cotton wick.
Thousands of these lamps are lit worldwide on this day to remind us that the LIGHT ALWAYS WINS over any dark times! That purity can wash away the impure, and that the goodness will ALWAYS prevail over evil!
In Hindu mythology, which I absolutely adore, Diwali marks the victory of Lord Rama, who had been exiled from his kingdom for 14 years and forced to live as an unknown beggar in the forests of India, over the evil demon, Ravana, who had stolen the Goddess Sita, Lord Rama's beloved wife off to the island of what is now referred to as Sri Lanka. It was Rama's beloved, Hanuman, the Monkey God, representing the ULTIMATE DEVOTED SOUL, who rescued Sita from Ravana's evil intentions!
Hanuman, the Son of Vayu, god of the Wind, took a great leap from the east coast of southern India over the Indian Ocean (This is where the Yoga Pose Hanumanasana comes from! This pose is the splits!) Hanuman sneaks are around the island looking for Sita. When he finds her, he climbs the tree above where she is sitting deep in meditation and he drops Rama's ring into her lap. The thump of the ring in her lap, makes her look up to see Hanuman's smiling face. He scoops Sita up and jumps from tree top to tree to leap over the wall that guards the 10-headed demons palace. Before be makes it over the wall, Ravana calls his guards to stop him. The guards, unable to capture Hanuman are only able to lit the tip of his tail on fire which actually worked to their complete defeat! Because as Hanuman, leaps through the forest, zig-zagging his way to escape the armed guards, he lights the whole island on fire! He takes another great leap over the Indian ocean, but as he steps back onto the Indian continent, he dips his burning tail tip in the water to douse the flame before fly-leaping right back the feet of his beloved Rama!
Every year since then, to today, Rama's devotees, light 1000's ghee lamps to light the legendary trail to guide Hanuman + Sita back to Lord Rama for their symbolic sacred reunion. It therefore, celebrates the end of those long years in exile + separation, to welcome in a NEW YEAR, full of love, and possibilities.
And interestingly, this Hindu holiday is very similar the Mexican Dia de los Muertos! It is said our deceased ancestors return to visit with us here in the 3rd dimension (this existence we see + live in) during Diwali. And the diyas, these lamps, light the path to guide them back hOMe to us.
So beautiful right?!
I'm sitting here now with my grandmothers, and my grandfathers, and my beloved Uncle Jimmy. I even feel the souls of my unborn brother, nieces + nephews and that of the soul that tried to come through me when I was 37 years old. I feel all my friends and loved ones surrounding me now as tangibly as if they had returned to their human form.
Let us not fear death, or the darkness for that matter. As my wise spiritual teacher, Shubhraji, has always told the story of the ghost + the post! Or the Snake + the Rope. The characters may change but the meaning remains the same.....These are stories that simply show how our attitude changes when we are fully in the know!
The snake + the rope....When we enter a dark room, we can mistake things, see things that aren't there and scare ourselves. There was a man who entered his hOMe late one night. He was tired, and it was dark! When he walked into his hOMe, he stood frozen with fear at the sight of a coiled snake lurking the a corner of the room. Waves of hysteria coursed through his whole body and he began to whimper and tremble. His whimpers turned into outright cries which woke his sleeping wife. She lit her lamp to see what her hubby was freaking out over. And once that lamp lit the room, her husband saw that what he thought was a snake, was actually a coiled up rope!
The ghost + the post....As gentleman walked hOMe late night, alone, along the dark streets to his house. He too, stood paralyzed in fright at the ghost he thought he was seeing way off down the street! He couldn't believe his eyes! Was he really seeing a ghost? As his mind started to race with panic, the street light flickered on revealing a post holding up a clothesline, with a single white sheet flapping in the wind, all tangled up. It simply looked like someone forget to pull in a laundered sheet and the winds twisted it all around the post!
Very simply stated, Darkness, Vimarsha in Sanskrit, has the ability to reflect, it's something that doesn't shine by itself, like the Moon which needs the Sun to illuminate it. Darkness is always dispelled by Prakasha, illumination, but more specifically, the illumination of our own consciousness.
When we know, we can NOT un-KNOW the TRUTH! Just like when the lights get turned on and we see what we thought was a snake was a rope, and what we thought was a ghost was a post! It was only when the LIGHT illuminated that we are able to discover the TRUTH!
Yoga + Ayurveda are the vehicles that turn up the LIGHT, the tejas, the inner LIGHT, illumination + RADIANCE within us!
How? Through SADHANA, which is a devoted, daily, spiritual practice.
Here are sOMe Tips to LIGHT YOUR INNER FIRE!
~Get on your Yoga mat every day and move your BEAUTIFUL BODY! Get into your flow! Lube your joints so you don't feel so achy + stiff!
~Practice Pranayama! DEEP BREATHE!!! Most people take really short, shallow breaths. This has a negative effect on you and actually shortens your life! The ancient Yogis has told us that when we are born, we are born with a certain number of breaths. So you breath fast, your life is shortened! If you take LOOOOOONG SLOOOOOOOW, DEEEEEEEEEEP Breaths, you relax your body, which releases muscle tension. And when our muscles release, our minds releases its grip and we naturally release our stress! That old wives tale take 10 slow deep breaths to calm down when you are upset actually WORKS! It's a Yogic technique!
~Meditate! It's a tool that helps us process and move stress and anxiety right through us. It gives us the space to slow down and come to full stop. We immerse into the ocean of silence, so we can return to commune with Source Creator God and tap into all of our information as a True Master of ourselves.
~Chant / Sing / HUMMMMMMM Use your voice to repeat the ancient scared sounds that have been on repeat over millennia! These are magic spells that create healing alchemy on a subtle and profound level!
~Learn + Practice Ayurveda to learn how to customize your diet + lifestyle to sustain + nourish + support YOU! Learn who you truly are, and your lifestyle either supports or deteriorates your wellbeing.
~Add arŌMatherapy into your life! There are so many essential oils that enhance meditation! You can use these to remove the darkness from your mind and heart, by simply breathing it in. You can smell it right from the bottle, or put a drop in the palms of you hands and rub them together and inhale deeply and slowly. (Don't touch your eyes! It will burn! If this happens DO NOT try to wash off with soap + water! Use a carrier oil, like sesame, coconut, olive, jojoba, sunflower, vegetable oil......what ever you have close at hand! And pour some in your hands and close your eyes as you gently put the carrier oil over the affected area (this goes for any negative reaction, like a rash, itching, burning, etc!!!). It will dilute the EO!!!
These are just a few things you can to so celebrate YOUR LIGHT over any and all darkness you are faced with!
Please feel free to email me if you would like to schedule your Ayurvedic Health Consultation or a FREE 30 minute wellness consult!
Cheers to your Health + Wellbeing!