On Light, Harmony and Peace

Sunil Sharma

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।

तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।

मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Lead us from the unreal to the real

Lead us from darkness to light

Lead us from death to immortality

Aum peace, peace, peace!


---(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28)


Light---inner and outer!

It plays a significant part in the human culture and civilization across the rolling ages. It is a foundational symbol.

Its symbolic value gives meaning and a spiritual significance to both the individual and collective existence, enriches the human experience and elevates it further into the stratosphere of luminous truths.

Light also leads to inner realization and illumination---peace, harmony and tranquillity, the end results.

Light is fundamental to a lifelong quest for enlightenment via a well-lit path of righteousness and highest ethical value-orientations and framing standards of moral actions. 

Diwali symbolises all this and more.

This time, Diwali was celebrated on the 12th of November.

The perpetual triumph of light over darkness.

The Festival of Light lit up homes in many places in Toronto and elsewhere, adding beauty to a beautiful and serene landscape.

Lights---electric and of the earthen-lamps---lent an ethereal beauty to the quiet homes and sent a warm signal to the diasporic community about the enduring appeal of the annual cultural festival.

The good thing was that Diwali was more light than sound here.

Let the inner-and-divine light guide the lives of the believers.

And empower them further in a fight against darkness within and without.

Let peace prevail!

Let darkness disintegrate.

Darkness of hatred and ignorance.


Poetry plays a great part in our lives.

Love often makes one a poet by heart.

If by choice, you are a poet, you are exalted being!

Creating music and melody through words and images.

Poetry adds colour and meaning to the canvas of life.

This month, noted poet-scientist-photographer Gopal Lahiri guest-edits the annual feature focussing on Indian Poetry in English and some representative voices of this vibrant form, increasingly becoming popular among Indians. It is his fifth year of selecting the voices that best represent this field of writing.

Talking of his experience, Gopal says: "In ‘Voices Within-2023’ there is something shining and pure- a radiant clarity, a luminous stillness- at the heart of the most of the poet’s work. They write about life in fresh, surprising, and original ways. The voices shift from shorter fragments to the longer narratives. And the feeling of identity helps give order, structure, and value to the poetic landscape."

We remain grateful to Gopal and these gifted 36 poets and other featured creatives featured in this issue that has got more than 41-lakh views so far!

The bilingual Setu congrats the winners of this year's Setu Awards for Excellence-2023. 

Eight distinguished creatives chosen for their sterling contributions to the arts.

A brief report on the annual awards can be found elsewhere in this edition. The Setu global family wishes them more power and happiness in coming years!

Please enjoy the monthly fare!


Sunil Sharma,

Editor, Setu (English)

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