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Narakasura – Dipāvali*

Chapter 65

Ramachandra Iyer came here from Madras recently. One day he was seated in the hall going through an old notebook and correcting some dates and numbers in it. Seeing that, Bhagavan asked what it was. He replied, "This is an old notebook written by Bhagavan. I am looking into the numbers and dates in it, and entering them in the printed book. "Give it to me," Bhagavan said, and taking it and turning over the pages, said to me, "There are some Dipāvali padyams (verses) in it. Have you heard them?"

When I said I had not, he read them out and gave the meaning thereof as follows: "He is Narakasura (a demon) who feels attached in the thought that he is the body. That attachment to the body itself is a Naraka (hell). The life of a person who has that attachment, even if he be a Maharajah, is hellish. Destroying the attachment to the body, and the self shining by itself as Self is Dipāvali. That is the idea contained in those verses." I asked, "Are all these verses in Nool Thirattu?" Bhagavan said, "These were all composed extempore on the spur of the moment from time to time. Why include all these in that book?"

After the first publication of the book, when these verses were read out in Bhagavan's presence, he asked, "Do you know why I wrote those verses?" When I said that I did not know, he said, "Is that so? One Dipāvali day, Muruganar wanted me to write something about Dipāvali. "Why don't you write? Why should I?" I asked. He said that he would also write if I did. I agreed, and wrote these verses. I did not write anything without reason. There is a story behind every verse that I wrote." So saying he showed me the verses (in Tamil). I give them below with the meaning:


He is the king of hell who says that he is the body which is hell itself. He is Narayana who ascertains who Naraka is, and destroys him with His vision of wisdom, Jnana Drishti. That is the auspicious day of Narakachathurdasi.


The false belief that this hell-like house called body is me, is Naraka himself. To destroy that false belief and let the self shine as Self, is Dipāvali.

* Reproduced from the Dec 2007 issue of the Saranagati newsletter.