Deepavali: A Festival of Light and Delight

A popular prayer from the Upanishads implores a movement from lies to truth, from darkness to brightness, and from death to eternal life (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28). The second line of this prayer – तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय – is no doubt a metaphor, the darkness representing ignorance and brightness representing wisdom. Ignorance often results from laziness, and the word ‘tamas’ in Sanskrit captures all these shades of meaning – darkness, lethargy, ignorance, error, illusion, etc. Deepavali, in some sense, is victory over tamas.

ವಿಶ್ವವ್ಯಾಪಿ ದೀಪಾವಳೀ

ಭಾರತೀಯರು ಹಬ್ಬಗಳನ್ನು ವ್ರತ, ಪರ್ವ, ಮತ್ತು ಉತ್ಸವಗಳೆಂದು ಪ್ರಾಯಿಕವಾಗಿ ಮೂರು ವರ್ಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ವ್ರತ ವೈಯಕ್ತಿಕವಾದದ್ದು. ಧರ್ಮ-ಮೊಕ್ಷಗಳಿಗೇ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಾಧಾನ್ಯ. ನಿಯಮ-ನಿಷ್ಠೆಗಳ ಅಂತರ್ಮುಖತೆಗೇ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಅಗ್ರತಾಂಬೂಲ. ಪರ್ವ ಕೌಟುಂಬಿಕವಾದದ್ದು. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಅರ್ಥ-ಕಾಮಗಳೂ ಹದವಾಗಿ ಕಲೆಯುತ್ತವೆ. ನಿಯಮ-ನಿಷ್ಠೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಹಾಳತವಾದ ಆತ್ಮೀಯತೆ, ಅಚ್ಚು-ಕಟ್ಟುಗಳೂ ಕೂಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತವೆ. ಉತ್ಸವವು ಸಾಮೂಹಿಕ(ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ)ವಾದದ್ದು.

Myth and Reality in ‘Myth and Reality’ – Bhagavad-Gita and Varna

Kosambi hurls an accusation at Krishna for being the creator of the system of varnas –

“Not only that, the god himself had created such differences (G.4.13): “The four-caste (class) division has been created by Me”; this is proclaimed in the list of great achievements. The doctrines are certainly not timeless.” (Emphasis is mine)
(M&R, p.19)

While doing so, it is strange that Kosambi fails to quote the other half of the verse. The original verse, BG 4.13, says –