Diwali is a time to celebrate the victory of good over evil symbolized in the light of the diya, tens of thousands of which will be lit in homes and community spaces across our country.
The light of the diya is a reminder that even in the midst of darkness light will ultimately prevail; knowledge will defeat ignorance, and compassion will triumph over despair.
Diwali is a time to recommit ourselves to duty to self, to family, to community and our nation.
We are blessed that in our rainbow country we can put aside our differences and celebrate as one family the triumph of light over darkness.
Light is a symbol for God and for truth and we must see all light – the light of the sun, the moon, the stars and fire – as reflecting the eternal light of God. It is a light that resides within our hearts and soul, guiding us to choose between good and evil, to seek enlightenment over ignorance.
We must let our inner light radiate outwards and touch others so that all the enemies we face – hunger, greed, jealousy, hatred, pain and illness – can be conquered in the same way a tiny flame flickering in the darkness provides light to guide us.
Light symbolizes knowledge and darkness represents ignorance. Only through light can we eliminate the darkness and conquer ignorance, which takes many forms in all spheres of life – social, cultural, economic, political and religious.
Ignorance devalues us and our societies, causing human suffering that oppresses our societies. Each of us must consider it a duty to work tirelessly to eradicate the darkness with the light from within, which represents God.
My fellow citizens; my sisters and brothers, Open your hearts and minds the same way you will open your doors to welcome Mother Lakshmi. Let the light of Diwali shine on our nation so we conquer darkness.
On this auspicious occasion I want to wish you a Happy Diwali on my own behalf and from my family and my extended UNC family.