13 November 2020
Care home manager Maheshwaree talks about Hinduism and its importance
My name is Maheshwaree Aryan and I was born in a Hindu family. I grew up following Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma ("eternal spiritual path") which began about 4000 years ago in India.
Can you tell us a little about Hinduism?
There are 33 million gods in Hinduism, for example Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga are the deities my parents pray to, and so do I.
Hinduism teaches one to see the presence of God in everything and thus honour the whole of creation. With this perspective, there are no heathens or enemies. Everyone has the right to evolve spiritually and will at some time realise the truth. Hinduism is, in a sense, generous; souls are not limited to one life - many lives offer many chances for elevation. At the same time, Hinduism is rigorous; people are responsible for every action they perform, through the Law of Karma.
I have always been inspired by Lord Shiva who is the Lord of meditation, yoga, time and dance; and now Yoga and meditation is part and parcel of my life. I believe one can meditate anywhere and anytime. We often forget to breathe, for example instead of getting frustrated while waiting in a long queue; why not just focus on your breath and learn to be more calm.
Faith is indeed that golden thread underpinning everything at my work, at home and with everyone I meet in my daily life.
What impact, if any, does your faith have on your work?
I have been working in the care sector for over 20 years, and I am now working as a Registered Manager at Anchor Rose Court. Hinduism teaches that “Service to Man is Service to God”. One should have empathy, compassion, love and a caring attitude to be able to work in the care field and our aims in Anchor Rose Court is making life better for our residents, as well as creating a pleasant atmosphere for colleagues to work. This is how I grew up - looking after my younger sisters, my grandparents while my parents were working and when I came to the UK, I happily joined to work as a care worker. The more I climbed the ladder towards promotion, the more humble I become. This is because I chose the spiritual side of Hinduism rather than the religious side.
Diwali is approaching this weekend, can you tell us about this festival?
Diwali is my favourite festival of the year and I celebrate it with lots of enthusiasm with my family members and friends. Diwali is called the festival of lights because we celebrate it by lighting lots of diyas and candles. We worship Mother Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity on this day. We offer prayers so that Goddess Lakshmi will visit our houses and bestow prosperity.
It also marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and the homecoming of Lord Rama after an exile of 14 years. According to legend, the 10 heads of Ravana represent ten negative emotions, a human life owns- ego, attachment, regret, anger, hatred, fear, jealousy, greed, lust and inertia/insensitivity. Through daily meditation and with an attitude of gratitude one can definitely works towards recognising these negative emotions and thus changing to become a better and more humble person.
Diwali is a traditional and cultural festival celebrated by each and every Hindu person all over the world. People decorate their houses with lots of candles and small clay oil lamps indicating the victory of good over evil. On this day, lots of different sweets are made and our traditional Mauritian sweet for Diwali is sweet potato fritters which are filled with freshly grated coconut and sugar, cardamom and fennel powder. We distribute sweets as well as food among relatives, friends and neighbours even if they are of different religious beliefs. This festival also creates a sense of oneness among the people. It becomes a symbol of unity.
I went to Scanda Vale and I absolutely loved this quote by Guru Subramanian:
Love is the cornerstone of religion, if you have no love, you have no religion.
Hence I believe we should keep spreading positivity, love and keep smiling to brighten ours and others life.
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