Given that such a conclusion is not totally unwarranted by historical and sociological analysis, the overwhelming tide of reverence for and fetishistic following of the Upanishads or the Vedanta is a paradox that is a thorny challenge for critical refutation.In one of my earlier articles concerning the folly of current fashions in the exposition of Bhagavad Gita, which is a particularly vicious and diabolical form of Upanishadic evangelism, I had represented its vision in a mocking vein thus: “The central conception of Advaita philosophy and its current evangelism, is more or less, building of elaborate ‘castles in the air’ around the definition of the Brahman as the one and only unchanging ultimate reality beneath which lies the illusion of constantly changing appearances and motions of the physical and transient world, where the ‘rope and the snake’ play the game of ‘snakes and ladders’ with our deluded senses, where Rishis, Gurus and Swamis play the great ‘Indian rope trick’ or tighten the hangman’s noose of ‘Self-Realization’ on bewildered devotees and followers, who are made to walk the ‘tight rope’ of avoiding ‘sense-objects’ and senseless objects in crossing the ‘transmigratory ocean of existence’, then selling such spiritual snake oil concoctions through speeches, books, seminars, study sessions and what not and misguiding and cheerleading innocent, gullible and earnest seekers of religion alike into a grand ‘wild-goose chase’ of the Brahman.” Radicals of India’s pre-freedom era like BR Ambedkar and Lala Hardayal were even more scathing and unsparing in their denunciation of the Upanishadic spiritual tom-foolery.
This year Diwali falls on Sunday, October 30th, 2016.
Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.
In each legend, myth and story of Deepawali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Deepawali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope.
From darkness unto light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity.
Still another possible reason has a more scientific basis: the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains.
The tradition of gambling on Diwali also has a legend behind it.Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the dark goddess of strength.Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshiped in most Hindu homes on this day. Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from hisfourteen-yearong exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana.During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope. Outside India, it is more than a Hindu festival, it's a celebration of South-Asian identities.In supposing the existence of a permanent reality, or ‘substance’, beneath the shifting series of phenomena, whether of matter or of mind, the substance of the cosmos was ‘Brahma’, that of the individual man ‘Atman’; and the latter was separated from the former only, if I may so speak, by its phenomenal envelope, by the casing of sensations, thoughts and desires, pleasures and pains, which make up the illusive phantasmagoria of life.It is on the third day of Deepawali — ) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.