How many of you saw that November 14th on your calendar celebrated the beginning of Diwali, which is the Indian festival of lights, usually lasting five days and celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.
Yes, between now and the end of December, in many cultures and belief systems, it is the season to be jolly and our days merry and bright, but mostly it is the season of Light. For millennia, spiritual traditions have ritualized the use of everything from flaming bowls of olive oil to candles, to colorful electric bulbs to honor the Divine Light. In the darkest days of the year, we are reminded that, as Leonard Cohen famously put it, “There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
That said, the cracks where the light gets in may not be immediately apparent, but they are everywhere. If we look, we can find them in the eyes of a child, in reunion hugs, in the warm handshake of a stranger happy to meet us, in acts of kindness and generosity. Once found, we need to embrace those sparks of light, rejoice in them, and share them.
And always, we must remember, that the principal source of light is within us. Divine light dwells as the deepest part of our being, and it’s accessible no matter how dark the appearance of our circumstances. The appearance of darkness is no match for the indwelling spark, just as a dark room is no match for a lamp.
Every year at this time, people say “Why can’t it be the holidays all year long?” Well, maybe it can be. We owe it to ourselves—in every season of course, but especially now—to turn within, locate the Divine light, and bring it forth to shine as we speak and act with our fellow spiritual humans. Doing so makes it easier for everyone else to locate their inner light and thereby brighten all our days.