Diwali greetings from Lok Manch

Diwali or the Festival of Lights was on November 5 this year. Canadian Jesuits International received special wishes and prayers marking Diwali from our partner in India Lok Manch. In sending these greetings, the National Coordinator of Lok Manch, Fr Jebamalai Stanislaus SJ, quoted India’s mystic poet Rabindranath Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The following excerpts are from Tagore’s Gitanjali (Song Offerings):

“Light, oh where is the light? … The night is black as a black stone. Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.”

“When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.”

“Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!”

“Let him appear before my sight as the first of all lights and all forms.”

“Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.”

“The light of thy music illumines the world.”

“I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind.”

“My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple.”

Fr Stanislaus then offered this beautiful prayer and ended with a line from Blessed Cardinal Newman’s hymn:

On this Festival of Lights, let’s pray that the Source of all Light may come forth with infinite radiance and illumine the world dispelling darkness of all kinds – darkness of exclusion, darkness of oppression, darkness of violent conflicts, darkness of environmental degradation,  darkness of untruth, gloom of poverty and misery – from every corner of the earth.

“Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on …”