Right now in India people everywhere are beginning the festivities for Diwali—a holiday celebrating the reappearance of light in the world. Diwali commemorates the return of the avatar, Rama, and his wife, Sita, to their kingdom of Ayodhya after winning the war against the evil king, Ravana, and his forces of darkness.

Beautiful, elaborate displays of lights are seen everywhere during this holiday—on houses, shops, and along the streets. People visit family and friends, exchange gifts, and paint and clean their homes. Despite the great diversity of religions here, this joyous holiday belongs to all of India.

Interestingly, however, the date for this celebration of light is chosen to fall on the darkest night of the year, according to the phases of the moon. As the night of Diwali begins to descend, homes are magically illumined with tiny earthen oil lamps placed in special locations. One lamp is always placed at the threshold of the house, representing the juncture of the outer and inner worlds, or more subtly where our outer and inner selves intersect.

The spiritual symbolism here is multileveled and beautiful. In our own lives, God’s light can often be found especially during the dark times of tests and trials. At the threshold of giving up all hope, if we light an inner flame of devotion, then God’s light enters our heart and dispels the darkness.

In our meditation practice, if we reside in peace amidst the seeming darkness of inner awareness, and remain attentive at the threshold of silence, then we enter the realm of divine light and joy. In Ananda’s Festival of Light ceremony, we sing a song by Swami Kriyananda with the words:

“Out of the silence came the song of creation.

Out of the darkness came the light.”

The Darkest Night of the Year Diwali India

Mukunda (Paramhansa Yogananda as a child) at age 6.

Paramhansa Yogananda had a profound experience as a child one day when he was meditating. “What is behind the darkness of closed eyes?” he asked inwardly. An immense flash of light appeared before his inner gaze, and took on the form of saints meditating in caves. The forms dissolved, but the silvery beams expanded outward to infinity.

“What is this wondrous glow?” he asked.

A voice answered, “I am Iswara. I am Light.”

Yoganandaji goes on to write: “Out of the slow dwindling of my divine ecstasy, I salvaged a permanent legacy of inspiration to seek God.”

Diwali is a celebration of the light that shines through the darkness, of the victory of virtue over evil, and of the inner transformation of all of our darkness into divine consciousness. May it also serve as a reminder to us to continue to seek God always.

We wish you all a very beautiful Diwali season—now and until you are filled with God’s light.

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. This is indeed a very meaningful post about Diwali. Interestingly you article reminds me of a sermon a priest did yesterday, as we went to church for my niece’s graduation and he said in essence that God’s light is always present and we should always carry it in our hearts.
    “God’s light can often be found especially during the dark times of tests and trials”.
    How many times do we forget that?
    It is a beautiful article to reflect on during times of trials
    Blessings to you and thank you

  2. Dear Ones,
    Beautiful, to be in that light always, that is the goal, what a beautiful thought.
    Have a wonderful seclusion.
    In His Light, Gloria

  3. Pranam Ji

    Thanks for Inspiring us, to open up for receiving the God and Gurus Blessing of Inner Light.

    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

  4. Dear Nayaswami Devi ji,
    Happy Diwali:)
    Thank you for this wonderful blog. Over these years though it was apparent I’ve never realised that Diwali comes on the dark day of the month! How wonderful it is connect it with our spiritual practice to have a real meaning for Diwali.
    Thank you again!
    In Master’s love
    Prem

  5. Happy Diwali wishes to you and Jyotish ji!!
    Beautiful expression and meaning of Diwali .
    You gave us a Superconscious image of this festive season, full of light and colors!!.
    Swamiji’s festival of lights song and Master’s profound Meditation experience as a child, upliftis us with Joy
    Thanks a lot dear Deviji.

  6. OUT OF SILENCE CAME THE SONGS OF CREATION lead to strengthen my Inner Confidence and instict to Work Hard to share my belief in CONTINUITY IN CREATIVITY among more people to see the beauty of Vast Blue Sky Start Moon Sun and Mother Nature and It’s Beauty.
    Wah ! Indian Toys and the Children around the world

    Pleasure to receive your blessings more and be Joyous in Deepawali time I have conducted series of workshops on making
    “Eco-friendly Indian Toys” for children and teachers in Auroville, Pondicheery.
    Which lighted a Inner JOY among themselves as a Deepak in Deepawali who joyous everybody …

    WAH ANANDA, , Jyotish and Devi ji conrinu to shower your blessings to all but specially more to me.

    BE JOYOUS

  7. Dear Nayaswami Devi, Thank you for this wonderful, beautiful post, beautiful essence in every way, I love reading all Ananda blogs repeatedly as the Light within is felt so overwhelmingly, it makes me want to prostrate myself on the ground in deepest gratitude to our Father God for everything. Thank you , Bless you all for your continuous inspiration. Namaste

  8. DURING THAT FIRST THERAPY SESSION 20 YEARS AGO HE LISTENED TO ME AS NO ONE had ever listened before. I told my story, the one I had rehearsed, but he heard the truth anyway. Near the end of the session, he said gently, “You are spiritually hungry.” I began to cry. Me, a grown 31-year-old man. Because somewhere, deep inside, I knew he was right.
    For the next two years, under the guise of psychotherapy, I was taught how to care for and feed my soul. The psychologist gave me the skills I needed to build a life of passion and depth. Today, as a clinical psychologist and university professor, I share this wisdom with clients and students because I believe that spirituality is essential to human happiness and mental health…PSYCHOLOGY TODAY By David N. Elkins Ph.D., published on September 1, 1999 – last reviewed on June 9, 2016

  9. Jai ma. At the threshold of giving up all hope, if we light an inner flame of devotion, then God’s light enters our heart and dispels the darkness.In our meditation practice, if we reside in peace amidst the seeming darkness of inner awareness, and remain attentive at the threshold of silence, then we enter (perhaps, to use Master’s colorful phrase, after a “probationary wait”) the realm of divine light and joy. Thank you.
    Jai ma.

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