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Aao phir se diya jalayen..!

   By Vijay Darda | 11-11-2023

Hum padaav ko samjhe manjil, lakshya hua ankhon se ojhal, vartaman ke mohjal mein, aane wala kal na bhulayen…

Vijay Darda

Bhari dupahari mein andhiyara,
Suraj parchhai se hara,
Antartam ka neh nichoden,
Bujhi hui bati sulgayen,
Aao phir se diya jayalen!


You may have read or heard this poem composed by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but I am fortunate that I got the privilege of hearing this poem face to face from Atal ji. I had asked him what it meant to light the lamp again? He gave me a familiar look and recited the next lines of the same poem again:


Hum padaav ko samjhe manjil,
Lakshya hua ankhon se ojhal,
Vartaman ke mohjal mein,
Aane wala kal na bhulayen,
Aao phir se diya jalayen!


Today, Atal ji is no longer with us, but his timeless poem lives on, and I believe that anytime we read or listen to it, we gain new vitality. This poetry, like a lamp, inspires confidence to combat even the most dense darkness with its modest light. Not only Atalji, but Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s composition on lighting lamps is also noteworthy. He penned:


Aaj phir se tum bujha deepak jalao,

Ragini, tum aaj deepak raag gao,

Aaj phir se tum bujha deepak jalao,

Aaj tum mujhko jagakar jagmagao,

Aaj phir se tum bujha deepak jalao!


So the question is, do we ever try to rekindle an extinguished lamp on our own? You may argue that on Diwali if a lamp is extinguished owing to strong winds, you immediately relight it, but this is only a question of festivity. Do you ever attempt to light a lamp in real life?

The first question is, what does it mean to light a lamp? This requires us to consider the lamp as a symbol. The lamp is a sign of knowledge in both Indian and spiritual cultures. The lamp flame is so precious that following the Aarti, we catch the heat of the flame in our palms and apply it to our forehead. This signifies that in this mortal world, there is nothing higher than knowledge. The more you fill yourself with the light of knowledge, the brighter your inner self will be. Purity will follow if the mind is clear. When purity arrives, bitterness will begin to go away. You will become sinless. Right from Lord Mahavir, Lord Buddha to all our sages and religious preachers, they have all given the same message but unfortunately in the present times, we are losing the brightness and purity of mind. The darkness within us is obscuring our entire environment. The storm of hatred is raging, and it is raging swiftly. It is not only spreading here but all over the planet. Who can dispute that this tempest of hatred is set on uprooting humanity’s roots? The question is, how many people are really worried?

You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about on this joyous occasion of Diwali! Yes! This is the only opportunity to talk like this. Diwali is a festival of happiness, and if any segment of society in any area of the world is sobbing in the dark night, it is certainly a cause for concern. We should not only light the lamp in our own lives but also light the lamp for others. This is our culture’s distinguishing feature, and it is this specialty that distinguishes us as the greatest in the world. Who will act if we, the people with a higher culture, do nothing? Great singers like Tansen were born in our land. There is an old story that when Tansen sang Raag Megh Malhar, it would start raining and lamps would light up. According to legend, the emperor of the time, Akbar, summoned him to his court. Akbar had declared unequivocally that he would only listen to Raag Deepak from Tansen. Tansen was forced to submit to the king’s obstinacy. He sang Raag Deepak, and the lamps flared up, but the atmosphere got so heated that everyone in the room fled to save their lives. Tansen died as a result of the same heat. I’m not sure how much truth and scientificity is contained in this narrative, but the moral is clear that if you want to spread light, you will have to light the lamp and if necessary, you will have to sacrifice yourself. That is why Atal ji wrote:


Aahuti baki yagya adhura,

Apnon ke vighnon ne ghera,

Antim jay ka vajra banane,

Nav Dadhichi haddiyan galayen,

Aao phir se diya jalayen!


So, this Diwali, my only prayer is that we all work together to kindle the light of humanity on the dark disparities of caste, creed and religion. Happy Diwali to all of you! I especially congratulate the Annadata farmers, labourer brothers, and the soldiers, who are engaged in thwarting the uninvited guests at the borders far away from home, and their family members. My heart is saying:


Hum deep se deep jalayen,

Pyar ke geet gaayen,

Jise jo mil gaya,

Ya jise jo na mila,

Unke ghar bhi deep jalayen,

Hum deep se deep jalayen!

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Tujhe salaam!