Navratri, Diwali, and If a Mediator is a Healer?

woman sitting on brown wooden buffalo trailer surrounded by trees


I would like to preface this writing by sharing that I have been brought up around a Hindu cultural environment. If I may make a statement here, I personally do not adhere to any specific religion. However, certain customary practices that I have witnessed around me evoke thoughts in my mind. These self-reflective thoughts attempt to align my experiences in the field of mediation. 

The images used in this writing are selected from a list of freely available Pexels free photos. They are meant to convey the ideas behind the text, and I hope they do not cause offense. If they do, I apologize in advance, as there is no adverse intention. Care is taken in aligning my thoughts with the selection of an appropriate photo to convey the ideas in my writing.

Background of Thoughts

Navratri, which translates to “nine nights,” is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. It spans nine nights, during which people engage in various rituals and celebrations to honour different expressions of the divine being. These nine nights are dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, who represents divine feminine energy and is regarded as the ultimate source of power and strength.

person holding fire on black steel bowl

During Navratri, each night is dedicated to a different form of Goddess Durga, each with her unique attributes and symbolism. These diverse manifestations of the divine being symbolise various aspects of life, including courage, wisdom, compassion, and protection. The festival serves as a time to recoup energy and force, connecting with these different divine expressions, and seeking blessings for strength and transformation in our inner and outer life.

a plate of assorted desserts on wooden table with candle lights

Diwali, often referred to as the “Festival of Lights,” signifies the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and is a special time for Hindus to connect with family and friends. The festival is celebrated with grandeur and joy, and it signifies the start of a fresh chapter in life. It is a time for families to come together, clean their homes thoroughly, decorate with oil lamps, or diyas, and create colourful rangoli designs to welcome the new year.

The lighting of lamps symbolises the removal of darkness and ignorance, paving the way for knowledge and enlightenment. People also exchange gifts, prepare delicious sweets and snacks, and burst fireworks to celebrate the joyous occasion. Diwali is a time for introspection, forgiveness, and seeking blessings for prosperity and well-being in the year ahead.

light people art water

In summary, Navratri is a nine-night festival that encompasses various expressions of the divine being, offering an opportunity to connect with different facets of expressions and seek blessings for personal transformation. Diwali, on the other hand, is a festival of new beginnings and is celebrated with the lighting of lamps, a focus on the triumph of light and goodness, and as a special time for Hindus to connect with family and friends to celebrate the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

In my thinking thoughts: Mediation, much like the enthusiasm that permeates festivals such as Navratri and Diwali, is a process that brings parties together to recoup their emotional and mental energy and force. Much like Navratri, where each of the nine nights is dedicated to different expressions of the divine being, mediation allows parties to explore their variety of expressions, unique perspectives and grievances. It serves as a beacon of hope, akin to the removal of darkness and ignorance, helping individuals gain clarity and understanding in the midst of disputes.

silhouette of person in water during sunset

In the spirit of introspection and forgiveness that these festivals encourage, mediation provides a space for parties to reflect on their differences, seeking common ground and understanding. Just as Diwali marks the start of a fresh chapter in life, mediation offers an opportunity to close one chapter and open another, embracing resolutions and new beginnings.

Navratri, Diwali, and If a Mediator is a Healer?

Navratri, Diwali, and whether a Mediator is a healer –– we’ve just completed the nine auspicious nights, rejuvenating our energy and vitality. With this newfound energy, we are now moving towards embracing new beginnings and starting a fresh chapter in life. We believe that these renewed energies have been bestowed upon us to welcome the transformation set to unfold on the first day of our new year.

In the coming days, each household will engage in thorough cleaning sessions. Closets, curtains, windows, kitchen cabinets, vehicles, bookshelves, TV stands, shoe racks, that cherished corner – all will undergo meticulous cleaning. Simultaneously, family members will prepare a list of ingredients required for making sweets, snacks, and delicious dishes to be enjoyed on the first day of the new year.

scent fume of burning incense stick against black background

Some enlightened individuals will also embark on the profound journey of purifying their souls. They’ve absorbed the special forces from the recent nine auspicious nights into their personal evolution. For them, it’s essential to cleanse their spiritual energy with equal focus on their physical, emotional, mental, and vital aspects. They won’t stop here; they will also put in extensive effort to cleanse their everyday speech and language, the emotions that accompany their words, their expressions that convey feelings like luggage on a conveyor belt, and the mental state that determines the timing of their words’ delivery.

Cleansing is taking place diligently, methodically, religiously, and, hopefully, with a touch of love to sustain the process.

My observing eye ponders a long-standing question that I’ve been on a journey to unravel. Hopefully, this discussion provides answers or at least advances my quest: i.e. If a Mediator is a healer?

When we think of a Mediator, we envision a neutral party who is skilled, trained, certified, accredited, and, ideally, aware, conscious, a good listener, non-judgmental, and free from any hindrances that might impede the mediation process. Mediators are called upon when people find themselves in difficult situations with others, seeking their assistance in navigating discussions, dialogues, and challenging conversations. They believe that a Mediator can guide these conversations peacefully, maintain decorum, minimise the use of hurtful words, and ensure that no further harm befalls those already in troubled waters.

Then there’s the concept of a “healer.” Some might associate it with a priest, others with a doctor, a spiritual guide, or even an occult practitioner. No judgments here; each person has their own interpretation of a healer for the purposes of this discussion. It’s not like I have a definitive answer on who a healer is, but I can concede that anyone genuinely working to repair and restore could be considered a healer.

temple worship traditional items evening aarti arti rituals gods god pooja india prayer instrument kartik bell thali table durga kalash havan red family food festival set

Now, let’s return to the question: Is a Mediator a healer?

Before my fellow mediators start firing back guidelines with “NO! A Mediator is only a facilitator,” “Mediators don’t provide solutions,” “Mediators shouldn’t act as judges,” “Mediators solely facilitate the process,” and so on – hold on and take a deep breath.

I’ve contemplated the idea of a Mediator being a healer, but I acknowledge that a Mediator isn’t a healer because the points mentioned earlier hold true both in theory and practice. I diligently follow these guidelines as cautionary measures that I, as a mediator, must adhere to.

But, you know what?

I can’t help but award the title of “healer of the process” to a Mediator with conviction and a genuine heart.

Consider a house and the cleaning process. Why is there such an emphasis on deep cleaning during this time of year? Whether it’s curtains or your emotions, why engage in such thorough cleansing as if it’s a necessity? 

We clean to attain mental clarity, to appreciate the well-organised surroundings, to feel good, to maintain hygiene, and because cleanliness is essential for embarking on a new beginning. 

red flame ivy flower

Following the cleaning, a priest (pandit or a knowledgeable Brahmin) is invited, or a senior family member may take on the responsibility of conducting rituals and ceremonies (pooja) for the house and its residents, attempting to connect with the divine forces they revere. This is akin to appointing a mediator who conducts rituals to enable the residents to establish contact with the divine forces and have a harmonious conversation.

If you find this analogy unacceptable, that’s perfectly fine – let it be. I also understand that calling upon a priest isn’t always about connecting with the divine. The relationship between people and the divine differs significantly from the relationships in mediation. In mediation, individuals are often in conflict, demanding, and claiming from each other. But I don’t interact with the divine in this manner; I only express gratitude and have nothing to ask for.

In a human context, this holds true to its core. The relationship between humans and the divine is seldom in question. It’s the relationship between humans and fellow humans that often needs mediation. Although I was tempted to draw parallels between the terms we emphasise during this time of year – cleaning, clearing, sorting, organising, preparing, arranging, praying – and the idea of a Mediator as a healer, I understand that the dynamics are different.

medical stethoscope and mask composed with red foiled chocolate hearts

Mediators clean, sort, organise, prepare, arrange, and assist in discarding the unnecessary, during the mediation process. Individuals in difficult situations approach a mediator for help as they navigate their challenges. Just as a patient seeks help from a doctor while battling an illness, battling is a personal journey. Seeking assistance is a choice. Praying for healing is a divine gift. Bringing in a mediator is an extended hand of help that we reach for. 

Now, can’t Mediator be seen as a Healer? Or more closely, can’t Mediator be seen as a Healer of the Process? 

To all the self-healers out there reading this piece of writing, please accept my hello, respect and regards. 🙂

woman with delicate flower in white water

Conscious concluding remarks: 

In conclusion, the confluence of Navratri and Diwali in the context of mediation raises intriguing questions about the role of a Mediator. The festivals themselves provide a rich composition of symbolism, deep cleaning, and a fresh start, akin to the processes involved in mediation and dispute resolution. While a Mediator isn’t a traditional healer in the conventional sense, there is an undeniable synergy between the qualities celebrated during these festivals and the qualities that effective mediators possess.

Just as Navratri allows individuals to connect with diverse expressions of the divine, mediation encourages parties to explore unique perspectives and grievances. Mediation serves as a beacon of hope, akin to the triumph of light over darkness during Diwali, facilitating clarity and understanding in disputes. The spirit of introspection and forgiveness that pervades these festivals finds a parallel in the mediation process, which fosters reflection and common ground.

This writing uses analogies between cleaning a house, cleansing one’s soul, and the role of a Mediator to suggest that just as cleaning helps bring clarity and a fresh start, a Mediator assists in resolving conflicts and facilitating healing in human interactions. This metaphorical connection can (MAY) be meaningful to some readers, as it ties together themes of renewal, conflict resolution, transformation, and personal growth. However, it’s important to note that the link between these themes is not being explicitly defined or straightforward. This writing relies on extended metaphors, which may require you to make some mental leaps, which is only a choice. 

chairs and table on street in evening

The connection between the themes of cleaning, renewal, and the role of a Mediator as a “healer of a process” is more abstract and may (WILL) ask an abstract way of reading. This writing is seen as a transcending piece of thoughts going beyond the strict straightforward drawn lines, delving into the territory of metaphor and analogy to explore the profound relationship between cultural festivals, conflict resolution, transformation, and personal growth.

Thank you for reading, and for your time. Happy festivals.