Diwali ~ A festival of lights? Or a festival of darkness?

Rangoli decorations , made using coloured powder or sand, are popular during Diwali. Diwali, or Deepavali, is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. It falls on the day of ‘Amavasya’ or new moon. This year, it will be observed on November 7, 2018.

Introduction

The five-day celebrations begin with Dhanteras and conclude with Bhai Dooj. On the third day, people collectively participate and partake in the celebrations of Diwali by exchanging greetings and gifts with loved ones and indulging in lavish feasts. They also clean and furnish their houses and decorate them with rangolis (an art form), diyas (oil lamps) and bright lights, and worship goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, and Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. [Source]

Diwali (Dipavali in Sanskrit, IAST: Dīpāvalī , meaning "row of lamps"; also spelled Deepavali) is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the climax occurring on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November. [Source]

Observances by other Religions

Some other faiths in India also celebrate their respective festivals alongside Diwali. The Jains observe their own Diwali, which marks the final liberation of Mahavira, the Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas to mark the release of Guru Hargobind from a Mughal Empire prison, while Newar Buddhists, unlike other Buddhists, celebrate Diwali by worshiping Lakshmi. The festival of Diwali is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia (except Sarawak), Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. [Source]

This blog-post is not about bashing people of Indian descent or the people of the Hindu religion, but it is solely written showing the erroneous ways of the religion of Hinduism and more specifically, in this instance, the ‘celebration’ of Diwali. Within the Hindu faith there are over 300 million idol deities that they worship as gods and/or goddesses. As can be seen from above, two of the millions of idol gods worshipped are Lakshmi and Ganesha. A short description of each follows:

Raja Ravi Varma, goddess Lakshmi, 1896 - goddess of fortune, wealth, prosperity & beautyLakshmi (/ˈlʌksmi/; Tamil: இலட்சுமி, IAST: lakṣmī) or Laxmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. She is the wife and shakti (energy) of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism and the Supreme Being in the Vaishnavism Tradition. With Parvati and Saraswati, she forms Tridevi, the holy trinity. Lakshmi is also an important deity in Jainism and found in Jain temples. Lakshmi has also been a goddess of abundance and fortune for Tamils and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Hinduism. Goddess Lakshmi in Hinduism: The goddess of abundance and fortune, Sri Lakshmi, reflected the accumulated wealth and financial independence of the Tamil monasteries.

Archaeological discoveries and ancient coins suggest the recognition and reverence for Lakshmi by the 1st millennium BCE BC. Lakshmi’s iconography and statues have also been found in Hindu temples throughout southeast Asia, estimated to be from the second half of the 1st millennium CE AD. The festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima (Kojagiri Purnima) are celebrated in her honour. [Source]

Ganesha Basohli miniature circa 1730 Dubost p73 - god of new beginnings, success and wisdom. Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश, Gaṇeśa), also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, Pillaiyar and Binayak, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia), Bangladesh and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.

Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured Philadelphia Museum of Art - Ganesha, Madhya Pradesh, c. 750, Indiaat the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

Ganesha likely emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE AD, but most certainly by the 4th and 5th centuries CE AD, during the Gupta period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions. [Source]

The True LIGHT Enters the World

This festival is a ‘celebration’ of idol gods, the lighting of artificial light, fireworks and feasting. We will now look at who is venerated during Diwali comparing it with the Holy Scriptures handed down by GOD the Creator to HIS creation.

You will note that the aforementioned Hindu idol deities emerged in the 1st millennium BC (Before Christ not Before the Common Era) through the 2nd century AD (Anno Domino – In the year of our Lord – not Common Era) when the earth was created by the Creator GOD (YHVH) in or about 4004BC according to the genealogies of the Holy Bible that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. You can read of GOD’s family lines from Creation all the way to the birth of HIS only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ, “a Saviour which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), in the Old Testament Books: Genesis 1,4,5,11,15,17,21,29,30,35; 1 Chronicles 2:3-5,9-12,15, 3:5,16,17, 11:3; 2 Chronicles 26:1; 2 Samuel 5:3; Ruth 4:17-22; 1 Kings 2:12, 14:21,31, 15:8,24, 22:50; 2 Kings 14:21, 15:7,38, 16:20, 20:21, 21:18,26, 24:6; and in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew 1:2-16 and of Luke 3:23-38. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ divided time on earth into BC and AD.

The all existing eternal GOD “In the beginning created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and said, “Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). GOD reveals further in HIS Holy Word, for it is written,

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
2  The same was in the beginning with God. 
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 
6  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 
7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 
8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-14

The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is revealed and known as the King of kings and Lord of lords (see Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16) is the manifestation of the Creator GOD for we read, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). This is the historical record of GOD visiting HIS creation in the person of HIS Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

GOD reveals in the Book of Isaiah, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22), and continues by speaking through the prophet Isaiah, GOD reveals that HE is “the first, and with the last; I am he” (Isa 41:4) and, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isa 42:8). It is clear from this statement that GOD will not let HIS glory be usurped by any other gods and/or goddesses. This puts Hindus and the religion of Hinduism in peril with GOD since they worship the graven images of  Lakshmi and Ganesha, for GOD reiterates and brings an indictment against idolaters in Isaiah 42:17,18, “They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.”

Whilst GOD might be speaking to Israel, HE most certainly being the Only True and Living GOD makes known that all HIS creation must worship HIM alone and no other. For the prophet Moses reveals Who the GOD of creation is, when he writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as we read, “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:6). Jacob got a name change from GOD; he was renamed Israel, “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel” (Genesis 35:10). Therefore, the GOD of creation whom we all are to worship is the GOD of Israel, a GOD many nations, peoples and languages despise because of their own man-made religions!

The prophet Isaiah continues GOD’s History when he records, 

10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ~ Isaiah 43:10,11

15  I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. ~ Isaiah 43:15

The prophet Isaiah continues writing what GOD makes known to him that the GOD of creation, the GOD of Israel, the One and Only True and Living GOD is One GOD who will not compete with idols and false gods, for we read, for it is written,

25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
26  Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. ~ Isaiah 43:25,26

6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ~ Isaiah 44:6

24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; ~ Isaiah 44:24

5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: ~ Isaiah 45:5

7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. ~ Isaiah 45:7

9a  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! . . . ~ Isaiah 45:9a

18  For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. ~ Isaiah 45:18

20  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
21  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 
22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 
23  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. ~ Isaiah 45:20-23

This Old Testament “every knee shall bow” is magnified again in the New Testament by the apostle Paul when he preaches “to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi” (Phil. 1:1), for it is written, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10,11).

Further, this is all summed up in the Second Commandment that was given to GOD’s prophet Moses upon Mount Sinai by GOD, which reads as follows,

3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6, read also Deuteronomy 5:7-10

GOD makes known that no graven image (idol) is to be made in the likeness of HIS creation, not in human form or animal form, like Lakshmi and Ganesha respectively, and those who worship and serve these idols – in statue or picture form as graven images – are cursed to the third and fourth generations. Parents, or ancestral forefathers, who teach their children to worship idols will not be blessed as they often say, but the curse of GOD will proceed through their family lines to the third and fourth generations, and will so continue in like fashion until the generational curse is severed through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). For the apostle John confirms this when he writes, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). GOD also makes known that idols are useless when HE speaks through HIS Word by the psalmist, and says,

1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 
2  Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 
3  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 
4  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 
5  They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 
6  They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 
7  They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 
8  They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. ~ Psalm 115:1-8

GOD says in verse 8 here above that they (idol worshippers) are like their idols, lifeless; dead in their trespasses and sin! Hindus are not the only people who find themselves in this graven images predicament. So too are Roman Catholics (with their crucifixes with a Jesus still on the cross, the wafer-god in the Mass, Mary worship and other Saint statues), Buddhists, Darwinian Evolutionists (read Romans 1:20-23), the Jains of Jainism, Islamists, and the like.

There can much more be written where the True GOD of creation (YHVH – the Hebrew name being YEHOVAH) will shed True Light on the Truth.

In Conclusion

A typical Diwali vedic prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad celebrating lights is this example of the Pavamana Mantra:

Asato ma sat gamaya | (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya | (मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi || (ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)

Translation:

From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

As can be seen from the preceding Holy Bible Scriptures one needs to know, or rather be known by, the True GOD. We will look at the Diwali prayer above and show the error of its ways and show what GOD truly says as HE reveals (my emphasis added in bold):

TRUTH

4  For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. ~ Psalm 33:4

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

LIGHT

1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1

12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. ~ John 8:12

ETERNAL LIFE / IMMORTALITY

1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 
4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 
5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
~ John 17:1-5

9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~ 2 Timothy 1:9,10

PEACE, PEACE, PEACE

11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. ~ Psalm 29:11

6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ John 14:27 [JESUS The Prince of Peace speaking]

Why we preach / share the Gospel of Jesus Christ

As Christians we are commissioned to make known to the world the TRUTH (see Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 8:1,4) and as soldiers enlisted, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Our love for GOD is to reach as many lost souls for HIM as we possibly can. As Paul the apostle exhorted the believers by writing an epistle “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Colossians 1:2), we read,

26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: ~ Colossians 1:26-28

Our hope and prayer is that as many Hindus, or just sinners, who would read this treatise and come to repentance through GOD’s calling, then this too will be your message, for it is written,

5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 
6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ~ 1 John 1:5-7

Today while it is still today repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ ONLY, the Only True GOD and Saviour, for that is your only hope. Know this: Diwali is not a festival of true light, but darkness.

Soli Deo Gloria __________________________

Sources: The Authorised Version of the Holy Bible (King James, 1611) and Wikipedia.

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