Diwali celebrates the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. This follows immediately after Rama’s great victory over Ravana and his recovery of his beloved wife Sita. As such, Rama’s return indicates the triumph of light over darkness and dharma over adharma. It marks the establishment of Rama Rajya, the rule of dharma that allows the flowering of our highest human and spiritual potentials.
Yet, metaphorically speaking, Ram’s exile from India, we could say, has lasted for centuries – including the first seventy years of India’s independence – though the wish for Rama’s return has remained. India’s independence did not bring about the long sought for return of Rama Rajya and the light of dharma that the independence movement aspired to. The continuation of the darkness of adharma shifted from colonial rule to a new self-imposed and self-perpetuated colonial type exploitation by an arrogant Delhi and socialist elite who had little understanding or appreciation of their own culture.
The aspiration for Rama Rajya that inspired the independence movement was derided and rejected by post-independence intellectuals and leaders who preferred to put their own images upon the country over that of Rama and teach their own opinions over the wisdom of the great seers and yogis. They covered the saffron of traditional India with the red of Marxism, sometimes painted by the blood of Hindus.
Today, both in India as a whole and in Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is located – under the guidance of Narendra Modi at a national level and Yogi Adityanath at a state level – there is a new movement towards Rama Rajya, the rule of dharma and the honouring of Yoga. The aspiration to Rama Rajya may yet be fulfilled in coming years, though much work and struggle is required to assure it.
Certainly, the decisive turn towards Rama Rajya has been made and there can be no going back. Yet, the battle is far from over and there can be no relaxing of efforts or reduction in determination or resolve until all negative forces are entirely removed. Forces of cultural subversion, foreign attack and terrorism remain lingering in the shadows, hoping to continue their insidious assaults from behind the scenes.
This return of Rama Rajya is not the imposition of some out-of-date rigid Hindu law or Sharia on a helpless population as its opponents would bleakly portray. It is not politically regressive but spiritually progressive, advancing the cause of higher consciousness and oneness in the world. Such a new dharmic focus is desperately needed at a time in which humanity overall is confused about its true purpose and place in the cosmos, caught in social division and false beliefs, alienated from the greater universe.
This return of Rama promises a renaissance of India’s dharmic civilisation and yogic way of life. It sets the stage for a return of Lakshmi as prosperity for all, and a protection of the Earth, with a renewal of India’s magnificent sacred sites like Ayodhya and Varanasi. It is not some mere nostalgic dream from bygone eras but a future global vision of a higher humanity and a more kind and sacred way of life, where our inner consciousness can unfold. Rama Rajya as the rule of dharma is not the imposition of rigid codes or social engineering but an awakening of our inner connection to the cosmic reality both within and around us.
In this battle between light and darkness, we must awaken Hanuman within us, the inner magic of a higher motivation, a new energy, zeal and seeking of transcendence, as it necessitates that we leap beyond our boundaries born of ignorance and fear. We may physically reside in restricted time and space locations but our inner being stands far beyond them and need not be circumscribed by their boundaries. We can awaken an inner transformative power if our dedication is to the highest excellence.
Rama Rajya is the universal order of cosmic intelligence that we can enter into whenever we look beyond our personal limitations to the light of consciousness that is the basis of all existence. Diwali sustains the promise of an enlightened humanity, which we should dedicate our lives to help manifest. This is not a matter of mere material prosperity, science and technology, but an understanding of our true nature as cosmic beings, centers of boundless light and awareness.
Jai Sri Ram! Jai Sita-Ram!
David Frawley is an American Hindu teacher and author. He has written more than 30 books on the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology.
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