Monday Musings 213 – Clean >> Light >> Begin
I have come to believe that it is the deep symbolism of festivals that make them special. The rituals in itself may not mean much as much as what we do in its preparation, in the buildup of it, in the way we as individuals and families go about ushering it in that make them special.
Diwali to me is around three activities and they may mean more than what we take them for - for as I see it, it is these three things and the rich imagery of it that makes the day special, not in a religious sense but in a very broad way. Diwali is about CLEANING first, LIGHTS next and BEGINNING third, and in that order.
Have you wondered why does the CLEANING begins much before you usher in a NEW BEGINNING!!. Cleaning symbolizes recognizing that living as a pursuit will generate waste, what was useful once may become junk now. The act of cleaning, and in most households diwali cleaning is not an activity that is solely delegated to paid workers or maids the way day to day cleaning is done. Diwali cleaning is deliberate, collective and yet immensely personal. Everyone goes through his or her clutter and decides what must be kept and what must be thrown. The family comes together to decide collectively what must be given away. Unseen corners must be cleaned, old boxes must be cleaned, all that has been stored must be sifted to retain only and only that is relevant, functional or useful. What is done of the house, must apply to lives as well. Lets CLEAN our lives in ways and manner in which we deem fit - capability, attitude, health, relationships!!
The second act during diwali is the act of LIGHTING. The pursuit of bringing light to dark corners, ignored corners, every room, terrace, balcony, even bathrooms. No space in the house is not worthy of being bathed in lights, uplifting them to equal status for once during the year. Can we light up all parts of our lives and remove the veil of ignorance from them. Can we look squarely into the blinding play of ego, unawareness, denials and our own motives and light them, if not with the esoteric renunciation, at least with the mundane awareness. Let us LIGHT.
Finally Diwali is about making a NEW BEGINNING. Old books of accounts are closed and new ledgers are formed. Diwali marks the beginning of New Year above all. This may mean many things for us. A new beginning at a behavior offers us an opportunity to make clean what is toxic in us, in what has been a thorn in our relationships, in what is causing dysfunctionality in our interactions and make way for what is functional and positive. A new beginning could mean the whole world of regenerating practices around reading, learning, playing; chasing hobbies so on and so forth. A new beginning could mean reinventing oneself at the jobs we are doing today and what is our aspiration tomorrow. A new beginning is about adding new capability, new knowledge, new skills, new thinking to what we already have. A new beginning is about acknowledging the true nature of the current state and then beginning the exciting journey of making it better. Finally new beginning is about belief, that this day can become a decisive inflection point, that a new beginning can actually be made, that reinvention is actually possible.
So, Clean, Light and make a new beginning. I am doing the same.