Fr. (Dr.) Francis Swamy S.J.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
“Deepavali means ‘Rows of Lights’. The main attraction of this festival is the illumination “of “lights in earthen vessels”, which is directly associated with its name. This festival is the key factor in providing gaiety and a festive spirit after the monsoon season in our country.
Diwali commemorates the light of wisdom in our lives. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate this profound truth of life. Light the lamp of wisdom and love in every heart and bring a radiant smile to every face. Life has many facets and stages, and it is important that you shed light on each one of them for life to be fully expressed. The rows of lights remind you that every aspect of life needs your attention and the light of knowledge.
Diwali means being present. So, drop past regrets and future worries; just live in the moment. It is a time to forget the bickering and negativities that have happened throughout the year. It is a time when you shed light on the wisdom you have gained and welcome a new beginning. When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration.
May this Deepavali enlighten our minds and inspire us to fight against the evils of corruption and all other inhuman acts that suppress the hidden goodness that lies in all humanity. May the light dispel darkness and ignorance, remove prejudice and ill-feeling towards one another, and bring bliss to each one of us. The Manipur violence serves as a stark
reminder of the need for peace, understanding, and unity in society. We need to foster a culture of understanding, empathy, and action and contribute to a more compassionate and proactive society.
The Dhanteras Day of Diwali is celebrated to offer gratitude towards Bhagwan Dhanavantari. This signifies hope for a healthy life free from most diseases and sicknesses. On this day, people buy new vessels and preserve some food items in these vessels until the next year. When it is opened on the day of the festival in the following year, they believe the
food item has turned into “Amruta”
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians is a complex and deeply rooted geopolitical issue. We need to look at it with sensitivity and empathy.
Naraka Chaturdashi symbolizes the victory of good over evil. In Maharashtra, early in the morning on this day, an oil bath is taken in the belief that an oil bath taken on that day brings good fortune. Even today, we find different kinds of evil existing in us and around us. May this Deepavali give us inspiration to fight against the evils of illiteracy, injustice, corruption, and atrocities committed against the girl child, women, etc.
The third day of the festival is the ‘Laxmi Pooja’. It is believed that on this night, Laxmi is moving around searching for the place where there is happiness and purity, and then she enters that home. To invite Laxmi, ladies keep their houses neat and clean. On this day, the merchant community worships and updates their account books. Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is also worshipped, so that Laxmi abides in that house. Let Goddess Laxmi give us grace so that we may always strive to keep our thoughts and hearts pure and free from all ill-will, ill feelings, malice, and hatred. May we become more selfless and generous towards others.
The fifth day of the Diwali festival is the last day of the Diwali celebrations. On this day, a brother dines at his sister’s house and pleases her with gifts. It is said that charity begins at home. May there be peace and forgiveness in the family, as better understanding in the family will lead to better understanding and respect in our communities and in the country as a whole. Let this brotherly love not only be confined within the four walls of our tiny families, but let it extend to the larger family of Indians and of the world over.
May Deepavali inspire us to become more and more concerned about our environment. We need to care for creation and preserve our habitat and resources for future generations to cherish and enjoy. We need to minimize the use of crackers and thereby reduce noise pollution. Instead of using plastic bags, we should use cotton or jute bags. Indiscriminate use of plastic bags causes serious environmental hazards, particularly at public places like beaches, gardens, and playgrounds.
“May the festivals of light bring joy, peace, and harmony.”
Fr. (Dr.) Francis Swamy S.J.