Archive for November 9th, 2012

Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2012 21:02:28 -0000
From: Sutreshvara Deva
Subject: The How’s & Why’s of Light Festival


“Diipa’valii sa’ja’yechi prabhu…” (PS #63)


Baba, my Beloved, by Your divine grace I have arranged a row of lamps in Your reception. Please grace me and come inside my heart always with in ever new form and dress. Please come inside my heart with Your gentle footsteps. Please come inside my mind with more song and dance. Baba, please be gracious and radiate Your sweet and tender smile – illumine my entire existence. Baba, by Your causeless grace please come in my world of ideation with rhythm and new effulgence – exuding Your charming vibration…


All are aware that the ‘festival of lights’ – Diipa’vali – is very soon. This day is marked by joyous and blissful celebrations for one and all. The actual day is Tuesday, 13 November 2012.

This day of Diipavali carries a sublime devotional significance and is also a deeply meaningful event in the social sphere.

Here below are ideas how to celebrate Diipavali in our own units as well as some of Baba’s dharmic teachings about the inner meaning of Diipavali.


In our A’nanda Ma’rga Baba places great emphasis on the celebration of our various festivals. They are a time of rejoicing in all the spheres of life.

Baba says, “You should make arrangements for different types of festivity on the occasions of the ceremonial functions of the Marga. Ensure that those who enjoy the celebrations also get thereby healthy opportunities for their physical growth, mental development and spiritual progress.” (Caryacarya-1, ’95 Edn, p.42)

Thus we should ensure that in all our Marga units, there is a specially-designed program for Diipavali.


Here Baba gives His ultimately guideline for the starting point of any festival such as Diipavali.

Baba says, “At the outset of any festival or social ceremony, the Sam’gacchadvam’ mantra is recited, the purpose is to impose the common ideal on all. The love for the entire humanity.” (Prout Nutshell-4)

Furthermore, Baba has laid down a specific guidelines for observing the wonderful occasion of Diipavali.

Baba says, “Diipa’valii: Once collective Iishvara Pran’idha’na and Varn’a’rghyada’na, illumination, collective merry celebrations, entertaining visitors at one’s residence, and procession with ta’n’d’ava dance.” (Caryacarya-1, chapter 21)

Thus Diipavali is a wonderful occasion for all kinds of heart-warming activities. Certainly as Baba says we will perform our collective meditation and Guru Puja, i.e. dharmacakra. And that will be accompanied by a wide arrange of social arrangements: hosting friends and family, display of lights, spiritual dances, and so much more.

Festivals like Diipavali are also a perfect time for collective meals, collective bath, games & sports competitions, distribution of toys & sweets, writing contests, art presentations, musical concerts, social talks, spiritual discourses, kiirtan, and all types of other unifying events.

Because our social functions offer something for everyone – from young to old where every person from every corner of society can participate, whether they be margii or non-margii. Thus our Ananda Marga festivals cater to a wide-audience with a diverse array of interests and liking. So all types of socially-uplifting activities may be held.


In Ananda Marga, festivals or social functions serve a particular purpose. They satisfy a special need for the society. They bring one and all together. They help cultivate family feeling, cosmic brotherhood, and serve as a reminder that we are all one.

Hence festivals strengthen the social fabric and bring social harmony and good feeling to all. They are a special way to help cultivate the feeling of ‘one human society’ and bring everyone close.

Baba says, “Common social functions bring different members of society together and are, therefore, a great unifying force.” (Tattvika Praveshika)

In His ‘Social Psychology’ discourse, Baba further describes the unique role and special purpose which social functions like Diipavali serve:

Baba says, “Preservation of unity in society. If it is possible to enthuse the members of society with the following they will ensure unity in society – a common ideal, a casteless society, collective social functions and no capital punishment.” (Prout Nutshell – 3)

Thus festivals, or collective social functions, are one of three or four specific recommendations which Baba gives for establishing and maintaining unity in the society.


In India, & throughout the northern hemisphere, Diipavali is the darkest night of the year since it is the ama’vasya’ (new moon or nil moon) night of the autumn season.

And the term ‘diipa’ itself means lamp in Samskrta. So the Diipavali function is a display which signifies the victory of light over darkness. Thus citizens and hosts create a show of lights in the sky to signify the triumph of the sentient forces. And this basic idea is outlined in Caryacarya also.

Baba says, “Diipa’valii / Ka’rttikii Ama’vasya’. [The new moon of Ka’rttika. As that night is the darkest night of the year, the celebration with fireworks and illumination symbolizes the forces of light or vidya’ (knowledge) overcoming the forces of darkness or avidya’ (ignorance).] (Caryacarya – 1, chapter 21)

Baba’s above teaching is also that the overall way to overcome negativity is by positivity: Overcome darkness by light.



In His historic 1990 discourse, Baba guides us that the external show of lights in Diipavali is the outer presentation of the internal idea that we are to ‘illumine the inner heart with the divine effulgence of Parama Purusa’.

So the external show of lights done at our social functions is just to display the inner feeling of the heart – ‘to light the lamp of our heart with His divine love’.

Because ultimately anyone can engage in the external show of Diipavali by lighting candles and shooting off firecrackers etc. And that is fine and well– but not the main goal.

Rather it is the inner heart of devotion which should be lit. So the real spirit of Diipavali – the inner Diipavali of the heart – depends exclusively on His divine grace. And that is the unique aspect of this Ananda Marga festival.

Otherwise just to engage in an external show of lights is not the way of Ananda Marga. Our Marga is based on the most sublime spiritual ideal. So we practice everything in a spiritual way – lighting the internal lamp of devotion by His grace. This is Diipavali in our Ananda Marga system.

Sutreshvara Deva


Baba says, “At the time of initiation or shortly afterwards, those who do not have a Sanskrit name should be given one by the ácárya/á. The word deva should be suffixed to the name…the more the usage of deva as a title, the better it is. The Sanskrit name should be used in all worldly dealings.” (Caryacarya-1)

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