Ancient Travellers, Announcements and Celebrations, Enjoy the Paintings
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A Land Devoted To Light

India that is Bharat* is the oldest living civilisation on Earth, and to even our surprise we at times get tired of celebrating so many festivals that arrive week after week non-stop throughout the year.

But Diwali is not just any festival. It, I imagine presents the right amount of cosmic chaos, the energy and the passion that brings people together lighting up their homes, decorating streets, shops and on a subtle level trying to illuminate themselves by praying for Knowledge and Wealth on this moonless day.

India is a land of Travellers and Storytellers. And Tonight of light which is also my favourite, is celebrated on the homecoming on one such Traveller. The King Lord Sri Rama, personally I revere him not because he was known to be Just, or responsible, balanced, courageous rather severely moral in love and War, but he has been for me the most ideal traveller that i have known through texts and people. He could easily be the most ancient walker who walked with a vow mapping the most dangerous and dense forests of the Indian subcontinent at that time and how!

Here Sita can be seen clutching at Rama’s shoulder as they, along with Lakshmana and the boatman, make their way across the river Ganges.
The trio’s expressions are worried and sort of subdued. This lithograph was created in the Ravi Varma Press

And I feel a joy when I see the essence of that walk from Ayodhya- a historic region in north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh- walking down to Rameshwaram, 3000 kilometres route down south by the Indian state of Tamil Land from where he walked few hundred miles crossing the sea to enter Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. I celebrate that traveller, that warrior walker. He who still brings joy to this country’s heart.

Rama’s route to Sri Lanka to find and get his Love back

And so Diwali becomes a day to celebrate that journey of life may be that stood on integrity, on an un-compromised vow to oneself. And since then on tonight of the moonless night became the day when a civilisation leads the humankind to celebrate life with light. And together to celebrate this ancient culture that tries to bring the infiniteness of universe to our soul. Diwali is the day when love won over excruciating pain and longing; winning over and against all the forces that supported ego, greed, arrogance, power, lust. Today could be a day to uphold several examples as our ideal in leading this life on Earth where surrendering to the god’s will became ones nature. Today is the day to celebrate patience and promise.

Here Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are about to cross the river Ganges to enter into their exile from Ayodhya. The boatman Kevat waits to ferry them across the river, while his wife washes the feet of Shri Rama. This scene is often enacted in the Ramlila (dramas).
Rama stories. This chromolithograph is titled ‘Rama Vana Gavana’ (Rama goes to the Forest) and was printed post 1910

And so as we try to light our homes, we illuminate our minds to wish for one and all that May we travel more. May many forests and sanctuaries call us to visit them . May we enjoy being alone. May we find peace in reading books to ourselves. May we learn to sit quietly for hours by the riverside. May we find a few crazy friends on this journey of life. And May we laugh for no reason and take refuge in Kindness. And may we push ourselves each day to do good against all odds.

A prosperous and healthy Diwali to all my co-travellers and seekers.

: ँ :

Bharat* – In sanskrit ‘Bha’ means light or agni/fire and ‘rata’ means devoted to i.e A land devoted to light.

Bharat was also a legendary emperor. The son of Shakuntala and Dushyant, on whom many think Bharat was named after.

: ँ :

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Image Source – Raja Ravi Verma Foundation
Cover Image – A chromolithographic print on Lord Rama was made between 1900 and 1910 from the Ravi Varma Press, titled ‘Vanavasi Rama’ (Rama Dwelling in the Forest. Here we see the trio of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana as they venture into the forest. They all wear the robes of forest dwellers, so much simpler than the garments they wore as royals. They are also depicted carrying bows and arrows. The young faces of the trio clearly indicate that this scene was meant to have been visualised soon after their exile.

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  1. Love the last paragraph. It encapsulates everything that is closest to the heart. Happy Diwali, Narayan may all these wishes come true for you too.


  2. Narayan’s post is a celebration of the most important of India’s festivals and reads like a song from the heart. His reverence of Lord Sri Rama is well known to his readers, and for good reasons, as He “brings joy to this country’s heart.”
    Diwali is the festival universally loved that celebrates many deeply important things in life; among many – integrity and the oldest in the world culture.

    Narayan’s wish list of achievements is compelling not only to Indians but to all human beings the world over: knowledge acquired through traveling, reading books, finding peace, connecting with Nature, maintaining friendships, and striving to do good, the benefit of solitude, to mention just a few goals.

    The presentation is beautiful and perfect as it includes pictures from ancient texts.

    The final masterpiece is in Narayan’s creation of the clasp that connects his post’s title with explanation of the meaning of the word Bharat – Bha means light,
    Agni means fire, Rat means devoted, together – A Land Devoted to Light.

    Happy Diwali, Narayan, and may Bharat prosper forever!



      • Yes, I will.

        NEWS: Rishi Sunak was appointed the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on the first day of Diwali!



  3. KK says

    Very well written, something different and heartwarming, Narayan ji! Happy Diwali to you and your family too 🪔🪔🪔


  4. Actually, the oldest living civilization on earth would be the Mid-east, particularly Iraq, where Ur of the Chaldees was located. This was the culture from which Abraham was called to go to what is modern Israel.
    About this same time, Egypt, India and Turkey were developing as nations/states. However, the Chaldeans would have been the first to develop as a distinct culture prior to the polytheism of the other areas.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.


    • Dear C.A Iran then Persia yes, on the Afghanistan border where earliest signs of fire worship were foundwhich was once extended India. But they no other civilisation is living, all are dead and dusted thanks to conversion and barbarism.

      If there is anything older than the vedas, it could be the science or the system of the body I.e Yoga – Tantra. May be that was why it’s speculated Jesus travelled in Northern parts of India, particularly in Baramulla, Kashmir.

      A very happy Diwali to you and Anita.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are still nomads who live in the Mid-east with much the same lifestyle as those of Abraham’s day, so I hesitate to say they are all dead. 😉
        And though dating is very difficult for ancient lit, I suspect Job to be the oldest record of history, of which the “wandering” Israelites probably became aware during their 40 years in the wilderness of the Sinai peninsula.
        As for Jesus’ travels, that is certainly “speculation.” It is more likely that He stayed in Israel the entire time of his growing up until He was revealed by John the Baptist.
        Thanx for you well wishes, and we hope you have a good holiday as well.


        • Thanks C.a though mid-east is sitting on a time bomb for the longest time and I don’t know who can dare live like pagans amongst people of only one God for long 😀

          Thanks for your lovely wishes again.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It was interesting to read about this festival I didn’t know about. It must be nice to have so many celebrations throughout the year, even if sometimes you get tired of it.


    • Welcome dear Alessandra. It is absolutely beautiful and I say with gratitude to feel this warmth that comes with festivals here. No other nation can boast about it if I may even use the word. I called it tiring out of family compulsions else we all love this cosmic chaos every other month. Also when each one carries with it a deep scientific meaning. It’s officially the start of winters here in South Asia.

      Happy Diwali to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael Graeme says

    Indeed, a happy Diwali, Narayan. My best wishes. It is always a pleasure and most enlightening to be travelling through your beautiful country, and your ancient culture via your words and photographs.


    • Michael thank you, I have been away from writing here for sometime. And haven’t been able to read your wonderful writings too. Soon soon 🙂

      Are you writing at substack?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael Graeme says

        Hi Narayan, always good to hear from you. No, I wasn’t gaining any traction at Substack, so returned quickly home to WordPress.


  7. Pingback: A Land Devoted to Light — ROAD TO NARA – “Summer is the season of inferior sledding” – Inuit proverb (Women's Wilderness Legend)

  8. I love how everyone you admire is a walker 😃😃
    And thank you for explaining the etymology of Bharat – never knew this. A very happy Diwali to you and your family!


    • Haha.. travelling is the only time I can really feel festival like inside in its real meaning Hitha.

      Walking, as I have experienced is next best thing to feel immortal. The high and happiness of cells and all limbs, blood circulating, heart pumping and then eyes awake with awareness and delight, sometimes atleast 🙂

      Loved your comment. Atleast I could write more on it.

      And you are always welcome Hitha 🧡

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wish you a very happy Deepavali parv, Narayan! I love this very spiritual and at the same time exuberant festival too.

    I have heard and read of the many traits of Sri Rama, for which he is revered and celebrated, but this is the first time that I have seen him portrayed as a traveller. And what a traveller! ‘Trekking’, sailing, even flying in the Pushpaka Vimana, he indeed travelled the country in style! Ayodhya getting its airport millennia after the pushpaka vimana landed there is indeed a wonderful imagery!


    • Absolutely, you can understand how difficult or even divinely it must have been to have taken a path like that. And what memories, even courage. It only inspires me to take up travels in such extremes atleast here asia where there is so much esoteric knowledge to learn from. Even the trees are awakened if one knows.

      Thank you again dear zypher and I hope Diwali brought many smiles, joy and health in family. My wishes 🔱

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A belated Happy Diwali Nayaran.
    “Diwali is the day when love won over excruciating pain and longing; winning over and against all the forces that supported ego, greed, arrogance, power, lust.” I love this description of Diwali.
    Wishing you all of this: “May we travel more. May many forests and sanctuaries call us to visit them . May we enjoy being alone. May we find peace in reading books to ourselves. May we learn to sit quietly for hours by the riverside. May we find a few crazy friends on this journey of life. And May we laugh for no reason and take refuge in Kindness. And may we push ourselves each day to do good against all odds. ”
    Alison 🤗


  11. It’s getting close to the time when Christians celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ, the “Light of the World,” with light, too. Soon we’ll see lights everywhere, especially on trees – signs of life. There’s something about light that fills us with joy. 🙂


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