Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2017 Contents A20
Thursday, October 12, 2017
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Building on T&T's triumph
T&T was yesterday rejoicing in the Soca Warrior's 2 1 Concacaf
Zone World Cup victory over the United States. The result res-
onated across the sporting world, especially in the US, where
they were angry at being knocked out the 2018 World Cup by a
country they gave little respect to before the match.
Yet there were two groups among those celebrating---those
revelling in the team inally paying the USA back for knocking
T&T out of 1990 World Cup contention and those hoping that,
for once, a coach may have found a formula on which to build
for the future.
Indeed, this performance could be a catalyst for the future,
especially as a contributing success may have been the fact that
the squad was made up of mostly locally-based players. Just like
the Strike Squad of 1989, coach Dennis Lawrence's local players
inally went to the pitch with the commitment and determina-
tion expected of them much earlier in the Hexagonal campaign.
This newspaper thus congratulates the team on their success,
but also notes there are other pieces of the puzzle for the T&T
Football Association to put together if they are to build on the
achievement. These pieces, however, will come not only from
the TTFA but the business sector and the public going forward.
It's dif icult to see if anyone on these islands can really under-
stand---and explain---what is going on at the Port Authority and
its related businesses, especially the sea bridge.
The iring of the acting Port Authority CEO/GM, Charmaine
Lewis, is just another twist in a saga that even the most creative
iction writer would struggle to come up with.
Even if Ms Lewis has a case to answer---and we hope she will
be given a fair chance to put her case forward---the problem now
with the Port Authority is lack of credibility.
This is not a good place to be when you are already the centre
of attention for so many errors and you are about to go through
the tendering process designed to put the whole sea bridge saga
There's one thing the Port Authority and the Government can
do to try and restore at least some con idence in the matter: full
disclosure, with all relevant documents and decisions published
as quickly as possible. We live in hope.
Feel the love
We are proud to be carrying today a special supplement, put
together by FEEL---the Foundation for the Enhancement and En-
richment of Life---to mark its 25 years of valuable contribution
to those in need. This is particularly poignant as the publica-
tion also comes with sadness, following the recent death of its
founder, Clive Pantin.
The review of the organisation's contribution is a powerful
celebration of its founder's life and commitment to important
causes like education and poverty reduction. We hope FEEL
will continue strong, helping improve lives in our country and
reminding us of all of Mr Pantin's aspirations.
If you were to ask any
young child about Divali,
the response would be,
it is the festival of lights.
Some will say it signi ies
light overcoming dark-
ness. Others may go further and
say that it is the time of the year
when Goddess Lakshmi is wor-
shipped, who in turn bestows
wealth and prosperity upon all.
These answers are the result of
what they have been taught. They
are all perfectly correct. This con-
tinues to be one of the beautiful
hallmarks of our country. There
are certain festivals which tran-
scend every creed, race, religion
and class. Divali is one such fes-
tival where the entire citizenry
joins with the Hindu community
in celebrating the triumph of good
In my previous articles relating
to Divali I have pointed to certain
traditions which Hindus continue
to upkeep. A couple of days before
Divali (the dwaadashi tithi) we ob-
serve "Dhanteras" which is an aus-
picious occasion to buy utensils,
gold, silver and other household
items. Hindus also light a four
wicked deeya or "Yam Deep," at
the front entrance of their homes
to prevent untimely death of the
habitants of the home.
The next day is "Narak Chatur-
dashi." The garuda puran (a fa-
mous Hindu scripture which
speaks of life after death) tells us
that all souls embark on a jour-
ney in the hereafter after mortal
death and the path to be travelled
is sometimes illed with darkness.
Hindus, therefore light 14 deeyas
on the southern side of their
homes in honour of Yamraj, the
God of death, who takes such light
to the pathway which our ances-
tor's soul is traversing.
On Divali day, Hindus rejoice
in praise and honour to Goddess
Lakshmi. We worship Lord Ga-
nesh (remover of obstacles and
the Divine Supreme Deity who
must be worshipped irst); Mother
Lakshmi in her eight forms; Lord
Vishnu (the sustainer of the uni-
verse), the consort of Goddess
Lakshmi; Lord Indra, the king of
the gods for royalty; and Kuber
who is a yaksha (demi-god), for
wealth and prosperity. These are
all different representations of the
one Supreme Lord.
The day after Divali
is auspicious for
erdhan puja" and
Krishna. The bhag-
wat puran (a Hindu text) tells us
that Lord Krishna lifted the Gov-
erdhan mountain on his little
inger to shelter the citizens of
Gokul and ordained that Mother
Radha, an incarnation of Mother
Lakshmi, grati ies those who wor-
ship Lord Krishna and Goverdhan
on this day.
This day is also celebrated as
"Bhai dooj." On this day, brothers
visit sisters. Sisters honour their
brothers and pray for their hap-
piness and well-being. Brothers in
turn bless their sisters with pro-
tection. These ive days have been
termed worldwide as the ive days
of Divali. We celebrate this ive-
day period in Trinidad also.
At a spiritual level, Hindus be-
lieve that an individual's soul is
about the size of their thumb- in-
ger and that its shape is just like
the flame of a deeya. When we
light deeyas during Divali we lit-
erally remove darkness from our
surroundings. By honouring God-
dess Lakshmi with the lighting of
deeyas, the Supreme Goddess re-
moves the darkness and negativi-
ties surrounding our souls.
Reincarnation allows us the
opportunity to acquire spiritual
merit such that we can ascend in
oneness with the Supreme Lord.
The ability to earn spiritual merit
and the grace to ascend in spirit-
uality is through the blessing of
the Supreme Goddess Lakshmi
Every year Divali brings im-
measurable blessings and
rewards. People lose their self-
ishness and self-centred nature.
And no person pleads his or her
individual case. We become proud
of our community, society and na-
tion, while history and heritage
are cherished in a much deeper
way. The economic as well as the
spiritual development of commu-
nities can be seen as the Goddess'
grace and blessing.
Trinidad and Tobago is fortu-
nate that every year Divali is cel-
ebrated with such magnanimous
pomp and ceremony. Next week
Wednesday, we in T&T celebrate
Divali with a public holiday.
Goddess Lakshmi's blessings to
Jamie Edoo, left and Shalini Juteram light deyas on the opening night of the 2017 edition of the Divali Nagar in
Chaguanas on Monday.
PICTURE SHASTRI BOODAN
Shubh Divali 2017
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