The Triumph of Good over Evil
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 1 Nov 2021
Deepavali: The Time for All Nefarious Humanoids, Globally, to Reflect and Rectify Their Aberrant Ways
26 Oct 2021 – On 4 November, this year, South African Hindus will observe the Festival of Deepavali. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali”, which means “rows of lighted lamps”. Deepavali is observed by Hindus throughout the world during late October or early November, each year following the lunisolar calendar. It is the largest celebration aptly called the Celebration of lights. The North Indians call the festival “Diwali” while the South Indians call it “Deepavali”, being closely aligned to the original Sanskrit language, which itself is thousands of years old and has its roots in ancient Indo Aryan origins.
During the period of Deepavali observance, the Hindus respect and observe the narrations as written in the holy scriptures of Ramayana. Ramayana, ascribed to the Maharishi Valmiki, is an epic like the Bhagvad Gita attributed to the sage Vyasa, whose full name was Krishna Dvaipayana, also called Veda-Vyasa, which relates the trials and tribulations of a Prince, Lord Rama, the fourth reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu in human form. These reincarnations were necessary in view of the serious transgressions committed by the humanoids on Earth, in various periods to reset the moral compass from which the humanoids had deviated. It is interesting to note that according to the Hindu scriptures, each such period or era could extend for thousands of years and the present such epoch is called Kalyug in Hinduism. This is the “Age of Downfall” of humanoids.
The odyssey of Prince Rama therefore encapsulates the hardships and human frailties of the supreme Lord’s creations on Earth, eventually resulting in triumph of goodness over badness and the reincarnated form of the Lord Vishnu in a humanoid avatar defeats the forces of evil in the epic, within an epic of Bhagvad Gita, the revered book of Hinduism, analogous to the books of the Abrahamic faiths; The Torah, The Bible and The Quran, as holy scriptures. Therefore, Deepavali, symbolises the personal sacrifices of Prince Rama, who unquestionably obeyed his father, King Dasarath of Ayodhya in India, who himself was influenced by the Queen’s, servant. Her name was Manthara and she was a servant and companion of Queen Kaikeyi, the stepmother of Lord Rama and he left his rightful kingdom to live in exile in the forests for 14 years, with his wife, Sita Devi the reincarnation of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi Devi , the wife of supreme god Vishnu together with his half-brother Lakshmana.
Deepavali marks the day that Prince Rama triumphantly returns to his kingdom of Ayodhya with his wife, proving that righteousness reigns supreme over falsehood and obfuscation. The entire saga is a lesson for humanity to learn as narrated by Prince Rama’s odyssey from the point of leaving the comfort of his palace in Ayodhya, spending 14 years in appalling conditions in the forests, enduring the kidnapping of his beloved wife by the evil, demon King Ravana of Lanka, overcoming him and returning home, annihilating the forces of evil, negativism and oppression to be installed as the rightful king of Ayodhya.
Hindu households, businesses and corporations across India, celebrate and observe the occasion by decorating their space with small clay lamps called diyas and other colourful lights. Deepavali is celebrated by the Hindus globally and it has become more of a day of unbridled festivity having lost its original somber significance with merry making, frivolous behavioural patterns and immoral activities by individuals who have changed the entire philosophy and not only religious import of the day, but also lost the moral significance of the revered occasion, in the Hindu religious calendar. In most cases the period of Deepavali has degenerated into a commercial event with the children often not knowing the religious, spiritual and moral significance of the day.
Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Regarding the origins of Hinduism, most scholars believe Hinduism originated somewhere between 2300 B.C. and 1500 B.C. in the Indus Valley, near modern-day Pakistan. Around 1500 B.C., the Indo-Aryan people migrated to the Indus Valley, and their language and culture blended with that of the indigenous people living in the region. There is some debate over who influenced who more during this time. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Approximately, 95 percent of the global population of Hindus live in India. While in the last century great migrations of the Indian indigenous peoples have occurred, to United Kingdom, North America, Europe and South Africa, where the Indians were first brought in by the British to work as indentured labourers on the sugar cane plantations, mainly in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, working under appalling conditions, akin to slavery.
The Indians have embarked upon secondary migrations to countries like New Zealand, Australia and the richer countries in the Middle East such as United Arab Emirates and Qatar, presently, especially from South Africa, with discrimination and reverse apartheid, as well as suffering rising, rampant crime against the minorities. In spite of the difficulties against the Indian Communities, initially by the apartheid white government band presently by the Black rulers the Indian community have retained their religious traditional and Hinduism has flourished in the Indian Diaspora throughout the world, but more so in South Africa, where various Indian Languages are still being taught in vernacular schools in South Africa, with the exception of Telegu , a classical, South Indian language equivalent to Shakespearian English in the broader spectrum of South Indian dialogues.
In view of the fact that the religion of Hinduism has no specific founder, unlike the Abrahamic faiths, it is difficult to trace its origins and history. Hinduism is unique in that it encompasses a compilation of many traditions, profound philosophies and sets a code of conduct by the values of a moral compass, as illustrated by the different narrations of personal odysseys of individuals in the holy Bhagvad Gita .
The essential concepts and beliefs in Hinduism include the embracing of many religious ideas and often it is referred to as a “way of life” or a “family of religions,” as opposed to a single, organised religion. Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic, which means they worship a single deity, known as “Brahma”, the Creator, but still recognise other gods and goddesses. Followers believe there are multiple paths to reaching their God. Hindus believe in the doctrines of samsara, which subscribe to the understanding of a continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation. The overarching philosophy is who one does the “Dharmas” will result and have an effect on ones “Karmas” if not in the present cycle of life, death and recycling of the soul in another vehicle, which is the universal law of cause and effect. This doctrine in a subverted form is used to discriminate against the Dalits for generations in India. The doctrine concludes that the present lot of Dalits suffering is based on their past transgression in a previous cycle of life, itself, in which they were evil humanoids, who did NOT reflect and mend their ways. They are therefore predestined in the present cycle to be abused, oppressed and eternally suffer.
One of the key thoughts of Hinduism is “atman,” or the belief in soul. This philosophy holds that living creatures have a soul, and they are all part or segment of the supreme soul. The goal is to achieve “moksha,” or salvation, which ends the cycle of rebirths to become part of the absolute soul, once again from which they originated, ab initio. The more nefarious acts one commits, the further one is driving away from salvation, as espoused by Hinduism and the greater is the suffering in the next biological cycle, affecting the phenotype.
The period of Deepavali is an annual reminder to all humanoids to be a “good phenotype” so that one’s ‘Soultype” will not suffer, disease and physical suffering. One fundamental principle of the religion is the idea that people’s actions and thoughts directly determine their current life and future lives. Hindus strive to achieve excellent “Dharmas”, which is a code of living that emphasises excellent conduct, ethics in all spheres of life and a life of high morality. All life is god given and Hindus revere all living creatures as well as consider the cow a sacred animal. This is cause of eternal conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India, especially in the rural villages, when Muslims have been murdered for sacrificing the Holy cow during the Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Adha, when the Muslims reenact the religious doctrines of Prophet Abraham’s incumbent sacrifice of his son as narrated in the holy scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths, collectively, including Islam.
The Hindu philosophy that all life is a segment of the Supreme forms the basis of vegetarianism in its various forms. In Jainism, the respect of life is so great, that they walk with a brush sweeping the path or a seat before them so that the little ant is not crushed by them walking or sitting on a bench or the floor. This is the most eloquent and practical demonstration of supreme respect for all life, no matter how small it is. This is ironically, in sharp contrast to the “targeted bombing” by smart bombs of innocent civilian “by mistake “ at a wedding in progress in Afghanistan by United States drones, from the killing of civilians , for which the Biden Administration has agreed to compensate the families of the deceased, in a recent Whitehouse announcement.
Food is an important part of life for Hindus. Most are vegetarians and many do not eat beef or pork. Veganism is prevalent amongst the orthodox Hindus. Hinduism is closely related to other eastern religions, including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. There are two primary symbols associated with Hinduism, the om and a swastika symbol featured on Hindu temples, especially in India This is a symbol of good luck and good fortune. However, the same symbol, which itself is thousands of years old, from Sanskrit texts, in a diagonal version, was used by Nazi Germany to indicate racial purity in the Third Reich, and was adopted by Adolph Hitler in 1920.
The second symbol is the “Om” symbol is composed of three Sanskrit letters and represents three sounds (a, u and m), which when combined are considered a sacred sound. The Om symbol is often found at family shrines and in Hindu temples and used in prayers. The Om symbol means “Truth”, as opposed to falsehood and here again the period of Deepavali emphasizes upon humanoids to lead a “Truthful” life, for deceit will lead to naught and eventually be defeated in its totality as achieved in the epic Ramayana.
Hindus value many sacred writings as opposed to one holy book. The primary sacred texts, known as the Vedas, were composed around 1500 B.C. This collection of verses and hymns was written in Sanskrit and contains revelations received by ancient saints and sages. The other books include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, 18 Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata, all are considered important texts in Hinduism.
Hinduism and Buddhism have many similarities. Buddhism, in fact, arose out of Hinduism, and both believe in reincarnation, karma and that a life of devotion and honour is a path to salvation and enlightenment. But some key differences exist between the two religions: Buddhism rejects the caste system of Hinduism, and does away with the rituals, the priesthood and the gods and goddesses which are integral to the Hindu faith. In the 7th century, Muslim Arabs began invading areas in India. During parts of the Muslim Period, which lasted from about 1200 to 1757, Islamic rulers prevented Hindus from worshipping their deities, and some temples were destroyed, including the Temple at Ayodhya, which has created great sectarian violence, between Hindus and Muslims, which is ongoing even in present times.
Between 1757 and 1947, the British controlled India. At first, the new rulers allowed Hindus to practice their religion without interference. But later, Christian missionaries sought to “convert the heathens” and westernise the people. The Portuguese colonisation of India and the arrival of Jesuit priests accounts for a large Christian community in present day Goa. Many reformers emerged during the British Period. The well-known politician and peace activist, Mahatma Gandhi, led a movement, which finally led to India’s independence. The British, in keep with the philosophy of “divide and rule” were the architects of partition of India, which occurred in 1947, and Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. British India was split into what are now the independent nations of India and Pakistan, and Hinduism became the major religion of India.
Deepavali is the climax of the Ramayana which is also the cautionary odyssey of a leader, King Ravana who caused the destruction of his kingdom because he refused to accept that he had erred. It is a lesson for all of mankind to reflect upon and mend their wrong doings as is committed by all our politicians, globally. Government kidnappings, engineered climate deterioration, currency manipulations inter racial dissension, rampant corruption, deceit, self-glorification, lies, materialism, conspiracies, oppression, abductions, extra judicial killings, wars, unbridled territorial transgressions, holocausts, genocides and tyranny, as is evident in most parts of the world in the present era of Kalyug, as enunciated by Hinduism, today. Prince Rama is therefore predestined to fight for Sita Devi, courageously, defeats Ravana, and rescues his wife Sita who was abducted by the evil king.
Therefore. Deepavali marks the day that Prince Rama triumphantly returns to his Kingdom of Ayodhya with his wife. It is said that Ayodhya’s citizens welcomed their prince home with thousands of glowing oil lamps on a moonless night, Dussehra . The lamps symbolise the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and is a time for reflection of the bad , the operations of the primitive limbic brain , the reptilian brain in all of us of the evil we engage in our daily lives, from exploiting the simple labourer in our gardens, to drone attacks on civilians as well as firing of hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missiles which could decimate in an instant, half the world’s population and contaminate land with radioactive fallout, if these missiles were armed with nuclear weapons of mass destructions, often in error, as admitted by the late Colin Powell who gave incorrect counsel to President George W. Bush resulting in the war on Iraq, destabilising the entire Middle East and causing the emergence of new terrorist groups like ISIL in recent times, with disastrous consequences.
The Bottom Line is the more important lesson to learn from the significance of Deepavali. This is the postscript of the Ramayanas, which most people are unaware or have elected to be indifferent about the continuation of Prince Rama’s odyssey as a mortal avatar of Hindu God Lord Vishnu. The rest of the saga follows the accusations made by the people of Ayodhya against Sita Devi, the wife of Prince Rama. After returning to Ayodhya, Sita had to publicly prove she was untouched by her kidnapper Ravana by literally walking through a fire. She was not burnt, and therefore declared pure. Soon after returning, however, Rama is told that one of his subjects has been publicly questioning Sita’s virtue. Instead of defending his wife or discussing his concerns with her, Rama ordered his brother Laksmana to abandon a pregnant Sita alone in the forest. Rama’s twin sons, Kusha and Lava, born in a hermitage, grow up hearing stories about their father, but do not meet him for several years.
Ravana, meanwhile, forces his allies and soldiers to follow him into battle, even though fighting over a princess has little strategic value to the kingdom and would only bring mass suffering. Vibhishana, the lone brother who questions Ravana and refuses to fight for him, is exiled. “Toe the party line or face being cast out,” Ravana essentially tells his allies and subjects, to support him or face the consequences.
Up to this point, the Ramayana’s message of obedience is cloaked in a religious story that supports those with power, not those who question hierarchies. What we so often lose in the retelling is something much more powerful. In the little-celebrated final chapters of the Ramayana, Sita is reunited with Rama after several years. Rama, though happy to see her, once again asks Sita to prove her virtue by passing a trial by fire. If she emerges unscathed, Sita will be welcome back to the palace. Sita, obedient as ever, enters the flames. They do not touch her. The final climax is when, after years of exile and the humiliation of repeatedly being asked to prove her innocence, Sita decides she has had enough. In an astonishingly bold move for a narration which stresses obedience, Sita chooses not to return to her husband. The earth then parts to embrace Sita, supporting her decision. In the Hindu tradition, Mother Earth is the embodiment of endurance. In the Ramayana, the parting of the ground symbolises the end of Sita Devi’s patience. In this age-old epic, it is made very clear that even the most patient of women have their limits.
The Ramayana is not only a moral story which ends with a prince rescuing a princess to live happily after, nor is it a glorification of masculine courage, but it is a sad epic, which emphasises our very contemporary needs to respect a woman’s dignity and repurpose our society to actively counteract women abuse, globally. Therefore, Deepavali is a time not only to celebrate the victory of Good over Evil, but to be proactive in raising the status of women in our respective communities, of any faith and prevent gender-based violence. Remember, the Princess, Sita Devi not only suffered humiliation of being kidnapped by the evil king Ravana, but also the subsequent denigration by her very husband, with unjustifiable accusations, which eventually led to the suffering of her soul, by a reincarnated god in human form, indeed a graphic reminder and a timeous warning to all humanoids, about the long years of silent and sustained hardships and sufferings which the submissive and ever agreeable Sita Devi endured. The ladies in present day societies are suffering in a similar manner, by perceived notions generated by their spouses, in every religion and are persecuted as such. This is a sad indictment on our culture and social norms. The preservation of eternal honour and triumph of Sita Devi is the lasting lesson of Deepavali, as the warm glow of the millions of oil lamps pierce through the dark night of Deepavali, for all humanoids.
Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.
Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Tags: Diwali, India, Tradition
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 Nov 2021.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: The Triumph of Good over Evil, is included. Thank you.
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