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The Yoga Research Foundation is pleased to announce our annual celebration of Deepavali – The Festival of Lights on Sunday November 4th 2018 at the Miami ashram of Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda.  Festivities commence at 5 pm and we sincerely hope that you will join us for a delightful evening of fabulous vegetarian food, beautiful bhajans, and mystical enchantment as Swamiji expounds upon the significance of this wondrous celebration.

Though the mythological and historical underpinnings of Deepavali or Diwali may vary according to region, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.  Three popular origin stories associate the celebration with Lord Krishna’s triumph over the demon Narakasur, the “marriage” of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu, and the victorious return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after killing the demon Ravana – the symbol of ignorance.

Though the mythologies may vary, the light-filled celebrations associated with Deepavali have profound mystical significance. Light is the symbol of pure consciousness. Religions of the world have instinctively chosen Light as the symbol of the Divine Presence, and therefore, candles and lamps adorn temples, churches, and all sacred places of worship throughout the world.  The Self is the Light of Love. A devotee approaches the Self by the cultivation of pure love. He places the oil of pure feeling in the lamp of his heart and trims the ego or wick of its vanity by the practice of self-effacing surrender to the Divine Self. He lights the lamp with devotion, and enjoys divine communion in the temple of his heart.

When one’s consciousness expands through regular and persistent discipline and practice of meditation with devotion and faith, one realizes his oneness with all that exists. He sees the Divine (in any chosen form) in the clouds, in the surging waters of the ocean, in the soft dawn, in the rustling of the leaves, and in every beauteous expression of Nature. As Swamiji so beautifully articulates in the Narada Bhakti Sutras – The Yoga of Divine Love:

There is no event as significant in this world as the attainment of God-realization by a devotee.  The Divine Enlightenment that tears the veil of ignorance in the heart of a devotee heralds the emergence of the forces of Light that continue to destroy the forces of darkness for centuries and centuries to come.

              Through their glorious example, devotees prove the victory of love over hate and violence. They radiate from their personality all that is good, helpful and divine in the world. They give a message of unity, peace, harmony, goodwill, and universal brotherhood. They teach the art of bringing heaven to earth by exemplifying how human beings can be turned into living temples of God.”

If you would like to gain further insight into the colorful mythological stories associated with the Festival, please join us for an enlightening evening on Diwali at the ashram.

OM Tat Sat!

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