My daughter has been learning about celebrations at school over the past few weeks. The topics covered have been both secular and sacred. Yesterday, one of the mothers of Indian background came to demonstrate henna paintings on her hand and today the class learnt about Diwali - the festival of lights. I don't remember learning about other spiritual traditions and their celebrations until I was in lat high school. I think it is wonderful that my children have the opportunity to learn about other cultures at such a young age.
I am not an expert on Hinduism and would certainly like to learn more about the spiritual life of the Hindu. I have, however, done a little reading about the Festival of Lights - Diwali. There are many aspects to this religious celebration, but the one that has got my attention is the awareness of the inner light. Hinduism asserts that there is something beyond our physical body that is eternal and pure. The awakening to this inner light brings joy and peace. Diwali is the celebration of this.
I cannot help but think that there is a similar theme in many spiritual traditions. In Buddhism, the goal is enlightenment. In Christianity, we talk about letting the light of Christ shine. There seems to be a universal acknowledgment that light can overcome darkness and the light dwells within us.
The writings of Swami Sivananda (Hindu Spiritual Teacher) say,
"May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self!"
So Happy Diwali everyone!! Keep discovering your inner light.