Nov 10, 2015 News
From the Government
Make Diwali a day of hope. On the occasion of the celebration of Diwali, the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana extends greetings to our Hindu brothers and sisters and all Guyanese.
The universal message of Diwali is one of hope. It highlights the triumph of good and light over evil and darkness. Diwali is also an occasion on which Guyanese reflect on how they overcame challenges and effect change that gives new meaning to their lives. It is a time to forgive and to forge enduring bonds that go beyond our differences.
Our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Coalition Government cautions that as we celebrate, we do so solemnly with restraint and respect for our neighbours and avoid excesses that could result in injury to anyone.
It is the sincere hope of our Government that Diwali, the Festival of Lights, will serve to reinforce our common aspiration for a brighter, stronger and unified Guyana.
People’s National Congress Reform
On this happy and joyous occasion of Deepavali, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) wishes to extend special greetings to the members of our Hindu community, especially the religious leaders, and to all Guyanese.
This year’s observances are occurring at a very important moment in the history of the nation when there is a clear need for peace, understanding, stability and social cohesion.
These values are common to all the religions in Guyana and assume particular significance in respect of the Deepavali celebrations. The idea of the triumph of light over darkness, symbolically and otherwise, carries a powerful message for the Guyanese nation.
The PNCR, therefore, joins with the Hindu community and the rest of the nation in celebrating this important event.
Indian Action (formerly Arrival) Committee (IAC)
The Indian Action (formerly Arrival) Committee (IAC) extends Diwali greetings to the entire nation, especially our Hindu brothers and sisters. Deepavali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) which literally illuminate the many Hindu homes and villages with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy.
In each legend, myth and story of Deepavali, the significance of the victory of good over evil is trumpeted. Diwali takes us from darkness unto light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of Hindu homes and villages and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of Bhajans, joy, togetherness and hope.
Diwali brings with it a significant and positive impact on the lives of Hindus. It has a universal message of hope, peace and prosperity. Hope for a brighter tomorrow; when we pray, we say Dhan Dayee Namastute – Oh Universal Mother, Bless us so that we can have a more prosperous future and rid ourselves of poverty in all its forms (Poverty of thoughts, intellect, wisdom).
Maha Lakshmi who is revered at this time represents wealth, peace and prosperity, which all Guyanese share in this beautiful country.
Maha Lakshmi also represents motherhood and womanhood at large, that which the Hindus preserve, cherish give the highest reverence. Diwali is indeed a national festival for us in Guyana and Guyanese of all walks of life participate in activities nationwide.
The IAC hopes that the divine light of Diwali shines within ourselves so that knowledge and wisdom can be shared and that we show greater affection and compassion for each other. On this Diwali, let us continue to reach out to our brothers and sisters in our dear land and dedicate our efforts towards the progress, prosperity and peace of our nation.
Namaskar, to our Hindu brothers and sisters. I wish to extend greetings of peace and unity to the entire Guyanese nation hoping that this festival of lights which indicates “the triumph of good over evil” makes a difference in our life.
Deepavali commemorates the victory of Lord Rama, King of Ayodhya, over Ravana (a powerful demon) and his triumphant return to the kingdom after fourteen years of exile. The jubilant subjects of Ayodhya, keen to make Lord Rama’s homecoming as swift and safe as possible, illuminated the way with masses of twinkling diyas. It is for this reason the lighting of diyas has become a key component of the festival.
It also symbolises the replacement of darkness (ignorance) with ‘inner’ light – garnered via the pursuit of knowledge and spiritual practices. Indeed, spirituality lies at the heart of Diwali, with devotees specifically seeking blessings from Lakshmi Maa, the goddess of wealth and good fortune. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits her devotees to shower blessings on them. And the home that is spruced up the best is chosen as the ideal place where she resides. With this in mind we must not only prepare our homes, but we must also purify our thoughts and build positive energies in our hearts for our fellow beings.
As we celebrate Deepavali today, I wish to extend my heartfelt wishes to one and all and may Lakshmi Maa illuminate the darkness hovering over us. Take precautions while lighting diyas, stay safe, play safe and have a blessed Deepavali.
Spiritual Head: Pandit Ubraj Narine
Sanatan Vaidic Dharma Pandit’s Sabha, Region 3
Deepavali or Diwali is one of the more important festivals on the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.
‘Deepavali’ literally means a ‘row of lights’. For this reason it is called the ‘Festival of Lights’. It is observed on the longest (and darkest) night of the year.
Diwali is an ancient festival brought by our forefathers from India to this land. Though their living conditions were certainly different from those they had left in India – barrack-style housing, men, women and children in the fields from dawn to dusk – it must have been a challenge to observe the festival. But observe it they did.
In each legend, tradition and story of Deepavali, lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Deepavali, and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope. From darkness into light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds – that which brings us closer to divinity.
During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of our homes and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, and together with the sounds of Bhajans, brings joy, togetherness and love.
While Deepavali is popularly known as the “Festival of Lights”, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”.
Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. The celebration of Deepavali as the “victory of good over evil” refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality.
Diwali, therefore, signifies victory of light over darkness, good over evil and truth over falsehood. Its message is to keep the Light of God forever shining in the heart.
Happy Deepavali to all.
Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG)
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) joins with the nation’s Hindu community in celebrating the festival of Diwali 2015.
However, as for other festivals in Guyana these days – Easter, Phagwah, Eid, Christmas – the occasion of Diwali (deep-avali) attracts participation of all groups of Guyanese. The melas and motorcades are joyous representations of the dazzling lights of illumination when the darkness of discord and disappointments are banished – if only for this celebratory period.
Research shows that beginning in ancient India, the four-day celebration has attracted diverse traditions in separate parts of that vast country. Some Hindus celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi to Lord Vishnu; others worship the dark Goddess of Strength Mother Kali; then there is the return from exile of Lord Rama. Whatever the emphasis, the celebration of life, love, enjoyment and illumination remains constant.
Given the ideals of the Diwali observances, the Federation was very much disappointed to note the unfortunate noisy reaction which has surrounded the festival for the first time since its celebration commenced in our country 177 years ago.
This year, disappointingly, the lighting of diyas would not be done by all Hindus on the same night. Taking into account that the national holiday could have been either November 10 or November 11, 2015, it seems that disguised politics again is used to divide and perpetuate hidden agendas in our religious practices.
We urge Guyanese to heed the meaning of Diwali behind the joyous celebrations. The light of Lakshmi thrown upon the darkness of division and all things evil must prevail now and for all time.
GAWU’s Diwali Message 2015
The light of peace, tolerance, understanding and even negotiated compromise should shine forth as the collective glare from thousands of Diwali diyas light up the darkness and shines like a lighthouse of hope for all.
The concept of Diwali could be transposed to symbolize various circumstances whereby truth, love, goodness and joy are celebrated. Even as the festival assumes various emphases – and legends in various forms – the constant theme is illumination.
Against those sentiments the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) whose membership includes thousands of Hindus – joins the dazzling celebrations to wish Guyanese Hindus and indeed the wider community a joyous but peaceful Diwali.
Guyana needs all the understanding and celebration of life and goodness that it could get at this time. Our robust political life and divergent opinions sometimes intrude upon our typical, good-natured, routine co-existence as a people who share the yearning for common peace and progress. Differences of opinion should never lead to hostility or lingering division. Diwali’s lights must be rays of and a reminder that humanity in these times needs tolerance.
Let the lights, at this time, represent hope, tolerance and harmony.
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