Let There Be Light! St Mother Teresa Vichara Vedike hosts ‘Deepavali Sambhrama’ – the Feast of Lights
Mangaluru: St Mother Teresa Vichara Vedike, Mangaluru, is a public platform recently instituted on the occasion of the 25th Death Anniversary of St Mother Teresa, by more than 125 like-minded people from different walks of life and religions in Mangaluru. The main goal of this Movement is to promote values like service, harmony, love, peace and goodwill in society. Being inspired by St Mother Theresa who worked for the poor, sick and needy in our society beyond caste and religion. The Movement aims to spread the fragrance of brotherhood around us. The theme of this Movement is ‘Preethi Haradali Ellede’ which means “Let Love Spread Everywhere” irrespective of Religion, Caste or Creed, which gives positive vibes in society. St Mother Teresa herself was a gold mine of mercy, kindness and humanitarian service to society. She is a great example and inspiration to the post-modern society where individualism, selfishness and religious polarization thrive without curb.
Following close on its heels after the mega program of the 25th Death Anniversary of St Mother Theresa held on the 9th of September 2022 at the Town Hall, Mangaluru, the Vedike today, Monday 24 October 2022 hosted “DEEPAVALI SAMBHRAMA” -the Festival of Lights, with the theme “LET THERE BE LIGHT”, at Sandesha, Bajjodi at 6 pm. The guests for the programme were the Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha; Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University Prof P Subramanya Yadapadithaya; Chief Reporter of Vijaya Karnataka Daily Mohammed Arif; Roy Castelino-President of the Vedike, among others who inaugurated the programme by the lighting of the lamp.
The programme aimed at promoting Inter-Faith Harmony. Harmony and friendliness is not just a message, it has to be adopted into our everyday life. It was indeed a unique Diwali celebration, where all religions, Christians, Hindus and Muslims celebrated the festival of lights together. Some holidays remind us of the values that unite humanity, and the annual Diwali Festival is one of them. Though the holiday has many interpretations, the core message is the victory of good over evil. Hindus light rows of clay lamps to celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana. As seen in the Indian example, many faiths come together to celebrate Diwali for many reasons, but the common theme unites them all.
In today’s complex world, the need to accommodate diversity and find common ground is as relevant as ever. The display of lights and colourful Goodu Deepas seen at homes, malls, and other places reflect “a highly inclusive, all-welcoming celebration of peace and harmony,” and that Diwali reminds us “to keep improving spiritually in this lifetime — through unity in thought, word and deed. Deepavali is a festival of lights and togetherness. It’s a festival of unity without any caste and religious differentiation. As a lamp spreads light equally to everyone, so we must also love everyone equally. All religions teach us to be united and let us become the light of love and prosperity. We need to celebrate Deepavali in such a way that it will instigate to spread peace and love in society.
Addressing the audience, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha said, ” Deepavali is a celebration of humanity. Besides the religious dimension of the festival, it has a meaningful aspect of the celebration of the goodness of humanity. The message of the festival is not the conquest of good over evil through violence but through goodness and humanitarian values. The ideal way of celebrating the festival of light is to share the light of joy, cooperation and brotherhood irrespective of religion, caste and creed. It should be the celebration of togetherness and humanity. This feast of lights brings Knowledge, Happiness and Prosperity. The message of Diwali is relevant to everyone, regardless of your faith or background: good will always prevail over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity. The festival signifies peace and joy- the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. Although there are different reasons to celebrate Diwali, they have a common concept-new beginning, light over darkness and good over evil”.
“For Christians, Jesus Christ had said, “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. Jesus in his short life span in this world preached and practiced peace and compassion. Wherever He went he was a source of inspiration. He moved and blended with the less fortunate and deprived people of society. Jesus’ life in this world was a hope of ray for all people seeking justice and empathy. Diwali truly symbolizes the uniqueness of India- a land of diversity but holding on together as a nation. This Diwali I pray to the Almighty to root out the deadly evils in our society-. Our Country will be a Heaven on Earth if the three evils- Communalism, Corruption and Terrorism are rooted out. May the light of hope shine in our lives. On this Feast of Lights-Diwali, let us celebrate our varied characters – Let’s celebrate our Differences,” added the Bishop.
Also speaking on the occasion, Prof Subramanya Yadapadithaya said, “We have to apply the ancient practices to modern times when we give importance to “Humanity” and “Harmony”. Let us not support any activities which promote and disturb the harmony. There are lots of challenges in front of us. When we lit the light today, it was not just for one or two days, but every day and every moment of our lives. Throughout our life let us live in a harmonized society. Diwali is a time to rejoice and share our bounty. As Buddha Said, “Be a Light unto yourself”, this festival of light gives the message to remove the darkness within ourselves and become the light for oneself and for humanity. On the other hand, Deepa or Lamp symbolizes “Clarity” in this way lets us ignite the clarity within oneself and spread the message of harmony. Let’s celebrate Diwali with peace and love, that should be our motto. In the eyes of God, we are all equal and we should never incite communal riots and hatred among different faiths”.
” We need to have a clean heart and thoughts. Post-pandemic we are now celebrating Diwali on a grand scale. No doubt Covid-19 has brought a change among people-it has united the people in a big way. Today the Bishop gave a very pleasing message which touched all our hearts. Light gives us life, and everyone needs light. We need to make a difference in the lives of others. Knowledge is light. So during this Diwali season let us spread the message to love one another and maintain peace throughout. Let the light of Diwali shine upon us and take away the darkness and give us peace and prosperity,” added Prof Yadapadithaya.
Also speaking Mohammed Arif said, ” Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Amidst the joys and sounds of the celebration, Diwali continues to evoke deep spiritual meanings for us individually, for our country and for our world today. There is lots of hate and jealousy at present, and people are trying to create disharmony. India urgently requires “the light of love, the luminosity of justice, the torch of charity, the flame of truthfulness and the proper use of religion enlightened by true faith. We need to live in harmony. Every Indian should light up their “inner light” of truth, integrity, justice and peace to help the poor and the marginalized experience the message of Diwali. The absence of morality and spirituality is at the root of all our problems. Strengthening the moral and spiritual fabric of society is an important need of the moment. As we celebrate this great Indian festival, we pray for our country, our leaders and our people. May God bless us with prosperity, tranquillity, peace and harmony”.
Atul Bhat had made two Goodudeepa- one he made using 27,087 Buttons and the other using 48,687 Matchsticks. It took him 1 month to assemble both Goodudeepa with the help of his family members and relatives
17 participants had taken part in the Goodudeepa contest- and prizes were distributed to the winners- 1st prize was bagged by Adithya Bhat; 2nd Prize- Jagadish A; 3rd prize- Atul Bhat, and two consolation prizes were bagged by Yogesh and Ganesh Kotekar. The programme began with a prayer rendered by the team of Fr Walter Albuquerque Memorial Choir, Mangaluru, followed by a welcome dance by the team of Kala Saraswathi Natyalaya, Jappinamogaru. The welcome address was delivered by Roy Castelino-the President of the Vedike. This programme was also in association with Swaranjali Music School-Yekkur, Lions Club of Mangalore Bejai; Saregama Trust, among others. The vote of thanks was proposed by Ms Flavy D’Souza- Vice President of the Vedike, and the programme was eloquently compered by Sunil Kumar Bajjal-the Secretary of Vedike. The formal programme was followed by cultural events from Swaranjali Music School-Yekkur, Fr Walter Albuquerque Memorial Choir, Mangaluru and Kala Saraswathi Natyalaya.