“Today evening in the city of Raghuvira there is great splendor and beauty. The Lord of Ayodhya is seeing the lovely festival of Diwali, which does so much good.” (Gitavali, 309.01)
साँझ समय रघुबीर-पुरीकी सोभा आजु बनी |
ललित दीपमालिका बिलोकहिं हित करि अवधधनी ||
sām̐jha samaya raghubīra-purīkī sobhā āju banī |
lalita dīpamālikā bilokahiṁ hita kari avadhadhanī ||
Sometimes, it takes just one light, lit in one home, shining on one night, directed towards one person and His family, recognizing the one accomplishment, where He overcame that one villain, to correct the many wrongs that went on for too long.
There are many reasons to be thankful for the gifts of the Almighty, and on the occasion of Diwali the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead remember His victorious return to the sacred land of Ayodhya, where the people were uninhibited in their outpouring of affection.
You arrived in this world
“Shastra teaches that Bhagavan, the person otherwise known as God in the vague sense by the rest of the world, descends to this world personally, in His svarupa, whenever and wherever He sees fit, to remedy gross negligence in adherence to righteous principles and to stem the growing tide of wicked intent and execution of nefarious deeds.
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य
ग्लानिर् भवति भारत
तदात्मानं सृजाम्य् अहम्
yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
“Thank you for choosing Ayodhya as the site for one of those appearances, where you take birth, in the transcendental sense, as the eldest son of King Dasharatha. Known affectionately as Rama, the eldest of the four brothers, you are the life and soul of the citizens, who follow the lead of the pious monarch.”
You upheld your father’s honor
“Thank you for making the unimaginable sacrifice of leaving the kingdom for fourteen years, just when you were about to succeed your father on the throne. It was to protect His honor that you left voluntarily, maintaining his solemn promise previously offered to the queen named Kaikeyi.
“While we were sad to see you leave, you would not let sentiment get in the way of duty. We tried to follow you, but for our own benefit you finally snuck away unnoticed, leaving us to return home and await your arrival, which seemed too far in the distance to ever become a reality.
You defeated Ravana
“Thank you for removing the menace to society that was Ravana and his large population of man-eating ogres, who were concentrated in Lanka. These night-rangers had no issue taking excursions to remote forests to harass innocent sages. These were the worst of the worst, and they even tried to attack you.
“The deck was stacked against, in fact. One man fighting against fourteen thousand, who could change their shapes at will. Ravana wouldn’t enter a fair fight, though he boasted of his ability. You taught him the greatest lesson, that God is always unconquerable, Ajita.
You returned home
“As parting was sweet sorrow, we were so thrilled to have you return. A triumphant voyage back on the aerial car known as Pushpaka, accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana. You were kind enough to bring some of the principal men in your Vanara army with you. Only you could have such an amazing servant as Hanuman working tirelessly for the interests of good.”
You are our king for life
“We welcomed you home with an array of lamps. The entire city celebrated in this way. From high to low, from rich to poor, from man to woman, from leader to servant, there was unity in diversity, displaying the ideal society which can only be found in a place centrally focused on serving your lotus feet.
“We will continue to honor you every day, but especially on the annual occasion of Diwali. While you may one day have to depart for the spiritual world, we will never feel separated from you. God is good, and you are the greatest. May you be our protector in every successive birth that we may happen to experience.”
On Pushpaka car flown,
Lamps of residents shone.
For greatest welcome demonstration,
Where too long in separation.
Thankful that even originally came,
Dasharatha’s son of Rama the name.
And the wicked Ravana eventually defeating,
Through you evil and fear retreating.