From darkness to light…so symbolizes the lighting of lamps in the context of Divali.
But it seems that the solar eclipse on Sunday 3rd November 2013 is shedding its veil of obscurity on the spirit of Divali this year. Confusion has taken over, with many people perplexed about whether to celebrate Divali on Saturday, Sunday or even Monday. Added to that, at what time should the lamps be lit and cakes distributed? Before or after the eclipse? Early morning, early afternoon or evening? When oh when?
What is even worse is that religious preachers and practitioners cannot seem to agree among themselves on when to do X,Y or Z. Talk to at least ten of them and each one will give his/her interpretation. There is no consensus and this is a real cause for concern. What kind of moral compass is there? Who guides who? What is right and what is wrong? Commoners still do not know and are forced to hover in the clouds of confusion.
Divali is just a topical example that translates the deeper malaise that lies camouflaged within the system. The religious preachers and practitioners simply do as they deem fit individually and some dare wonder why so many young people are disorientated and disillusioned and are prepared to move to what they consider, greener pastures?
It seems that it is time for a massive clean-up campaign and this means regulating under the same roof, those religious preachers and practitioners, many of whom operate solely for money-making motives while the true essence of spirituality is cast aside. But then, we are in ‘Kalyug’ (Age of Downfall, according to Hinduism), so is there any hope out there?
Anyway, Happy Eclipsed Divali to everyone. Amidst the tsunami of confusion plaguing us, at least, let us ensure that though both are sweet and round-shaped, we do not mix up a Laddoo and a Rasgoola!