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!
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.
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.
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.
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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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If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste
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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;
As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the road, before you coarse on your own Road to Nara.
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To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.
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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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