By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 15 October, 2016
I am beginning to get excited at the advent of Diwali, October 28-30 at Kashi Ashram. Diwali is no somber yoga retreat attempting to still your mind and quiet your senses. On the contrary, we invite you to join in a delightful mixture of mellowness and fun sharing designed with your joy and happiness in mind.
Doris mistakenly suppresses her enthusiasm
My friend Doris was refusing attend any more yoga retreats, not that she doesn’t see the value of them. In fact, I knew her when she was a very lively person, while not totally in control of her reactions and emotions. She unfortunately was in a relationship with a man who didn’t appreciate her high spirits and loquaciousness. He felt she was not “serious enough.” So Doris embarked upon a spiritual program that contained some highly formalized disciplines. She tightened her belt and attempted to constrain some of that infectiousness into a tight corset of discipline. Her friends unfortunately felt she went too far and suppressed many of the qualities that were joyous for her.
Doris comes to Diwali at Kashi Ashram
Last year Doris came to Kashi Ashram with a downfallen face, asking where is the joy to yoga. She was surprised to learn that yoga could be both fun and serious. Fortunately she arrived at our Diwali retreat, which is always full of high spirits and joyous enthusiasm. Similar to Purim, a Jewish holiday, Diwali is upbeat, exciting and joyous. It is one of the most enjoyable Hindu holidays, including relaxation, conviviality with others and just plain joy.
What is Diwali?
Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of India. We celebrate it with great enthusiasm and happiness. While Diwali is traditionally celebrated for five continuous days, Kashi manages to consolidate spirit, lightness and joy in a weekend celebration.
How we celebrate Diwali
Different colorful varieties of fireworks associate with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up divas (lamps) and candles all around their house. Participants invoke Goddess Lakshmi who presides over Diwali. Laxmi is always the divine Mother who gives prosperity and generosity to those who honor her. Her murti is a symbol of divine grace and abundance.
It is auspicious to start every Laxmi puja by saying Sri Ganesha’s name. In many instances, the Ganesh and Laxmi murtis sit on platforms and receive ritual baths.They sing a devotional song called aarti. At the end we distribute prasad to everyone gathered after the puja is complete.
Don’t forget the Diwali gifts!
An important thing to remember is that this festival is never compete without an exchange of gifts.
Information on retreat
This retreat begins Friday, October 28 at 5:00 pm with gourmet vegetarian dining until Sunday, October 30 at 2:00 pm. It’s time to explore the sacred grounds of Kashi Ashram and it’s also time, to flow, dance and light up the night.
If you have a question about “Kashi’s Diwali Retreat,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.
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