Forgiveness and Diwali (Deepavali)

Diwali (or Deepavali) is one of the most widely celebrated events on Earth. It is not only widely celebrated by a large part fo the population of India, but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and wherever there is a diaspora of people of Indian origin.

Many myths and legends are attached to Diwali and this is reflected in the many ways which it is celebrated. Celebration might include parades, lighting lamps or candles, fire walking and of course parties and feasting of various kinds. However, the underling theme of the Diwali celebrations very much seems to be an acknowledgment of “the return of the light”. The spiritual theme behind Diwali is about the removal of ignorance, and to being able to see the light in the spiritual sense. It is an affirmation of the seasons and cycles which affect humanity not only physically, but also spiritually. In a way Diwali is an affirmation that the light will come to humanity and there will come a time when we will all transcend the world as we know it and something higher and better will come into being.

I am sure that many celebrants would agree, that there can be few better ways to enter into the spiritual significance of Diwali than by practicing Forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most effective ways of bringing in the light to our inner life and into our personal world. Every time we forgive we light a lamp within us which helps to illuminate all aspects of our life. As we learn to forgive; things become clearer, seemingly complicated issues become simpler and apparently impossible problems can become easy to solve. This is because previously we were fumbling and stumbling around in the dark, but as we learn to forgive the increased light we experience makes everything clearer.

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As the light increases through our practise of forgiveness we can see where to go and what to do. We see the path ahead of us and are no longer fumbling in the dark for it. In this increased light, we begin to see people and situations for how they really are and not as we imagined them to be in the fog and darkness we knew before. We can only benefit from learning how to forgive, as you can see,

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My wish for you, not only as a Diwali wish but throughout the year, is that the light of forgiveness guides you in all you say and do.

William Martin Founder: Global Forgiveness Initiative.