“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Diwali, the festival of lights, the most important festival of Hindus will be celebrated in the last week of October this year. Hindus believe that Diwali is the most auspicious day to worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
However, if you are a writer or an artist, this ancient Indian tale may inspire you to celebrate your creativity this Diwali.
In ancient times, Kalidasa was the royal bard and dramatist in the court of King Ananda. One day, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, appeared before him at dawn, and said,
“Kalidasa, I will be leaving your house on Diwali night. After I leave, you will lose all your wealth. Even worse, you may never write another word of poetry.”
“But why?” asked the bewildered Kalidasa.
“Because you sit in the royal court all day and night, engrossed in matters that don’t concern you. You have stopped writing poetry and stories. And you have stopped helping your students and the poor.”
Laxmi disappeared and Kalidasa wondered if her visit had been real or a dream. He thought, “Well, if she is going to leave me after a week, I’ll lose all my wealth and creativity. So I better make best use of the time left to me.”
Kalidasa stopped attending court. Instead, he wrote plays and composed poetry all day. He also invited his students to his palace to write poetry and stories. In the evening, he read some of their work and instructed and encouraged them.
By the end of the week, Kalidasa has written two great plays and three books of poetry. Even on the auspicious day of Diwali, he worked from early morning to late evening, writing and teaching his students. In the evening, he gave away all his wealth to the poor and needy.
At dawn, Laxmi again appeared before him.
“I guess you are leaving today,” Kalidasa said.
“No, My son, Kalidasa, I am not leaving. You have gained much virtue in this one week. Not only will you not lose your talent and wealth but your fame will spread far and wide and endure for a long time.”
If we consider Goddess Laxmi as the personification of creativity and wealth then the moral of this ancient tale is:
The best way to worship the gods is to use your wealth and abilities to make a positive change in your own life and in the lives of others.
Let us continue the conversation in the comments below.
What ways do you use to nurture your creativity?
(22 October 2014)