Diwali and Elizabeth Gilbert on Heaven and Hell

This last week marked the celebration of Diwali, The Festival of Lights, for Indians around the world.

I am borrowing from The Hunffinton Post, the meaning of the Diwali:

“The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit deepavali, which means a row of lights. The festival of Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over dark, good over evil and knowledge over darkness.”

Hindu, Jain, and Sihk differ in the tenets that they celebrate.

One that resonates with me personally from the post is the celebration of enlightenment in Jainism.

“In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of enlightenment by Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism who laid down the central tenets of the Jain religion as it is practiced today.”

A day to celebrate knowledge over ignorance is a worthy tenet. I advocate for the celebration of enlightenment to be a global and daily affair for all. 

We should celebrate the tools that are readily available to us (internet, smart phones, computer) to enable us to be forever connected to world, so that we can understand it better, and understand ourselves better.  Now, we can conveniently feed our curiosity and  enrich our lives in myriad ways.  I will think of Diwali every time I turn on a switch of a device; I have the opportunity to be enlightened should I choose.

Besides enlightenment, another virtue that I think about is resolve.  To me, resolve means having the courage and commitment to change the current circumstances in light of being enlightened.  This is particularly difficult for our own daily affairs.

There is a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert in  Eat, Pray, and Love that I refer to when  I recognize that knowing is just the beginning and that it needs to be followed with resolve:

“The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in one’s lifetime it’s obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same old addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it. This is the supreme lesson of karma ( and also of western psychology, by the way)- take care of the problem now, or else you’ll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering-that’s hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding-there’s where you’ll find heaven.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

Is there a day to celebrate resolve?


  1. I Look to Astrid So that I can Achieve “Mind Like Water” Peace and Ascend to To-Do Heaven | happyconnected - December 1, 2012

    […] I am borrowing the Elizabeth Gilbert quote from my previous post on Diwali and Heaven and Hell. […]

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