I hear this being said a lot during Diwali. That it is the Festival of Lights, when good overcomes evil. This word is evil is something I am not so comfortable with especially when it is brought into the context of Hinduism. But before we go any further let’s explore the definition of evil.
1. In certain religious contexts evil has been described as a supernatural force. Oxford University Press. 2012.
2. Morally bad, causing harm or injury to someone, marked by bad luck or bad events. Merriam-Webster
3. Profoundly immoral and malevolent:
– (of a force or spirit) embodying or associated with the forces of the devil:
– harmful or tending to harm:
– (of something seen or smelled) extremely unpleasant:
To me evil relates to a supernatural force, devil, satan, etc.
In Hinduism, one of the core beliefs is that God permeates everything. “Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.” Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Dancing with Siva). Since God permeates everything one of the subsequent beliefs is then that there is no being that is intrinsically evil. God is within everything.
My hiccup, and this could only be me, with the statement “good overcomes evil” is that it does not align with the core beliefs of Hinduism as outlined in the Vedas, the core scriptures of Hinduism.
Perhaps the other line that is often used with Diwali, light overcoming darkness, is a better one to use.
So, Happy Diwali! Enjoy the Festival of Light where light overcomes darkness.
And remember, God is within and all around you. You are God. And God is you. My paramaguru (my guru’s guru), Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, once said “There is one thing God cannot do. God cannot remove himself from you.”