17 November 2001
Diwali, the festival of lights, is very significant for all of us, as it can function as a reminder that we need to bring light into our life. Though there are historical reasons to celebrate Diwali- to remember Lord Rama’s victory and celebrate with lighting the lamps and enjoying the firecrackers but that’s not the main aim of celebrating Diwali. People need to meditate and transform their lives, enlighten themselves and spread light all around.
Osho says: Two religions in India, Hindus and Jainas, celebrate the festival of lights. They have different reasons; it is just a coincidence that something has happened on the same day in the history of both religions. Hindus celebrate it because Rama, one of the Hindu incarnations of God, was victorious over Ravana. He came back after fourteen years of wandering in the forests and the mountains to his capital, Ayodhya. And because he was coming back after fourteen years, the capital rejoiced with lights and firecrackers. And this celebration is observed even today!
That is the Hindu reason. For Jainas this is not the reason. Mahavira became enlightened on the same day, and Mahavira is the most important individual in the history of Jainism. Jainas are celebrating because Mahavira attained liberation. And he attained liberation in a unique way…. Gautam Buddha became enlightened on a full-moon night. And except for Mahavira, anybody who has become enlightened has become enlightened either on a full-moon night or close to it. Mahavira is unique in that he became enlightened on the night of amawas, no moon, and complete darkness. He is alone; there is nobody else who has become enlightened on the night of amawas.
Diwali simply means moving from darkness to light-Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya. And that’s the message of Upanishads, the sages and all the enlightened Beings. Buddha says: Appo Deepo Bhav. Be A Light Unto Yourself.
Presented by Swami Chaitanya Keerti Osho
Rajyoga Meditation Centre, New Delhi