Diwali is upon us. India’s Festival of Lights and the traditional new year. There are a number of stories associated with this festival. Several weeks before, Hindus celebrate a holiday from Ramayana commemorating the slaying of the demon king Ravana (who resided in Lanka) along with the defeat of hoards of fierce Rakshasas (man-eating warriors) who pledged their allegiance to him.
After defeating the demons, Rama, Sita and Laksmana, and accompanied by the monkey prince Hanuman, finally returned to Ayodhya after their years-long exile. They made their journey in an air-ship adorned with flowers. The city of Ayodhya spread across the plains of northern India for almost a hundred miles. The citizens, in anticipation of Rama’s return, illuminated the city with lights everywhere. And in the early morning hours, as the ship approached, Rama and Sita marveled at the countless lights which blanketed the earth beneath them. The lights of the candles & torches and the lights of the illuminated souls.
Gita 5: 24 "One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme."
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