Divali, the Festival of Lights, is a time of new beginnings—a time to invite abundance into our lives and to renew our efforts in fostering goodwill and generosity.
In India, one of the ways people celebrate this festival is through the preparation and sharing of special foods. Cooks combine grains, sugar, nuts, milk, ghee, and delicate spices into sweets called mithai. These mithai take a variety of forms, such as diamond-shaped barfi, raisin-studded laddus, bright orange twists of jalebi, and milky basundi. Savory treats are made as well—among them chivda (a fragrantly spiced mix of beaten rice, nuts, and dried fruit) and chakli (crunchy spirals of deep-fried dough).
On the Siddha Yoga path, the cooking and sharing of food is accorded a hallowed place. The Siddha Yoga Gurus teach us that food is sacred. Food provides nourishment so that our bodies may be strong, healthy, and fit for sadhana. Food communicates welcoming and respect for others. And, ultimately, food is an expression of the earth’s abundance. In preparing food with great care and then partaking of this food with family, friends, and neighbors, we celebrate and share the abundance in our lives.
In celebration of Divali, Siddha Yogis share their experiences of offering seva in the kitchen with Baba.