Diwali mantra: Give more, want less
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati urges people to embrace the spirit of service, starting this Diwali
The key to removing the ‘want’ and the ceaseless desires from our lives is to give more, serve more, and sacrifice more. One of the most common Hindu rituals is a yagna fire. Devotees sit in a circle around the sacred fire and place offerings into the flames. With each offering, after each mantra, the priest chants idam namamah. This means ‘Not for me, but for You.’ The purpose of this is to remind ourselves that everything is for God. We must offer every thought, every action, and every breath at His holy feet. We must give more and want less.
This Navratri and Diwali season, let us take up this mantra of selfless service, to help us be the light we want to see in the world. This Diwali, let us resolve not only to light the lamps outside but to be the lights ourselves. Instead of asking Mahalakshmi for the bounty of wealth, let us ask how we may restore the bounty of the world. Puja (ritual) and prayer do not only mean that which we do sitting in our mandirs (temples); it is how we live our lives. Arpan (offering) is not done only in the midst of a religious ritual; it teaches us how to live. Let every minute and every moment be an opportunity to perform puja for Mahalakshmi. Let everything we do be an offering to Her.
Each lit diya (lamp) not only brings individual light but can also be used to light others! On this Diwali, instead of displaying fireworks in the sky, causing air and noise pollution, let us become the fireworks illuminating this world through the goodness of our deeds and the selflessness of our actions.
It begins with one tree, one toilet, or even picking up one piece of litter from the road or the bank of a river. It continues with the switching off of one light, the protecting of one girl, one woman, or one resource. Let’s make this resolution and launch a new era of light in which all may bask. Hope and light are in our hands during this holiday season.
This Diwali, besides lighting the traditional lamps, if we can take a pledge to give more and want less, it will foster the inextinguishable light within. On this holy day of Diwali, I pray that you will take this opportunity to examine your own lives and pledge to infuse every word, every thought, and every action with the spirit of being the light you want to see in the world.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati is the president and spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, a spiritual institution based in Rishikesh.
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