I am reminded of one of Gandhiji's favorite bhajans, "Raghupati Raaghav,"
रघुपति राघव राजा राम[Transliteration and translation here (a paraphrase, not literal)
पतित पावन सीताराम
भज प्यारे तू सीताराम
ईश्वर अल्लाह तेरो नाम
सबको सनमति दे भगवान
And a link to an online recording of this bhajan. See the left column, half-way down]
"Your name is Ishwar, your name is Allah;
may God bless everyone."
An apposite prayer for this occasion. And prayers for peace. Especially since the calendars have conspired to put Eid-ul-fitr (the end of Ramadan, or Ramzaan in Urdu) immediately after the Diwali festivities, on Wednesday.
Happy Diwali to all! Best wishes for the new year! And, of course, Eid Mubarak in advance as well.
- Message to Hindus on the Feast of Diwali from the Holy See.
Dear Hindu friends, let us continue to collaborate in finding solutions to the problems we face, whether they be small or great, whether local or international. Diwali celebrates light, goodness, reconciliation, peace, harmony and happiness. I wish you all a very happy feast.
- Message to Muslims on the end of Ramadan from the Holy See.
- As I've remarked on several occasions, it never ceases to amaze me how a festive greeting can be construed as offensive. All this anxiety over Happy Hanukah versus Merry Christmas versus whatever. This sense of walking-on-eggshells. I refuse to adapt to this bizarre mentality of my adoptive homeland. I'll wish everyone. Get over it. :)
- *For Christians, the decisive victory over evil was won by Christ on the Cross. The seeming victory of evil turns out to be the death-knell of death itself, as He rises triumphant from the grave, "taking captivity captive" as the Fathers put it. How this squares with the continuing experience of evil and suffering is a mystery for sure, but that is a separate topic.