The True spirit of Diwali
The festival of lights Diwali is here. Oh yes Diwali is one festival that transcends regionalism and is celebrated with equal fervor and joy across the country. It is the time of the year when we go on a shopping spree both actual and window, literally spoilt by choices, spring clean our homes, light lamps, perform pujas, binge on sweets and delicacies, burst crackers with relatives and friends and since festivals bring out the best in us we also indulge in charity. All this is good but also seems superficial as over the years the true essence of celebration has taken a beating and traditions are compromised to suit our lifestyle and activities. We tend to ignore the vital aspect of a festival that is the simple traditions and customs associated with which are the guiding sentiments and have a deep meaning.
In North India Diwali is the day when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya along with Sita after 14 years of exile. The word Deepavali means Deep is for lamp and Awali is for lighting in a row as it is believed that people of Ayodhya lit lamps in a row outside their homes to welcome Rama.
People in the South believe that it is the day that Krishna along with Satyabhama (his wife) killed the ferocious demon Narakasura after a hard fought battle hence the name Narakachturdasi. While dying his last wish was that people should celebrate joyfully his death every year and wanted to bathe in the Ganga to attain moksha. Then Krishna struck and arrow on the ground from where Ganga emerged and bathed the dying demon. This is the season we get up early in the morning before sunrise and have oil bath as it is in this auspicious time that Ganga is supposed to be present in all water, that is why it is called Ganga Snan where we purify our body where new clothes is again a symbol of purity and burst crackers which is synonymous to removing all evil from within us just like how Narakasura was destroyed and all this is done before sunrise.
Today though we celebrate this festival as a family, the celebration itself is very disjoint. Often we find children in their own world of crackers, men folk busy with their mobiles or TV time and we women end up toiling both in kitchen and outside to make them all happy.
Either this or in some families due to their hectic schedules and time constraints most of the work right from house cleaning, preparation of sweets and even cooking is outsourced so that quality time is spent in enjoying the festival. But even in such cases each member has their own social circle to mingle with.
The aim of any festival is to bring a true sense of togetherness and bonding which can happen only if we women take the initiative.
Rather than making elaborate plans if we come down a little we can involve every family member to contribute in the celebration. Children and men folk should help so that it’s not tedious for only the women. The basic idea of a festival is to celebrate togetherness. When we talk about togetherness its togetherness in good times and bad times, togetherness is in cleaning, cooking and celebrating.
Finally if we achieve the spirit if togetherness within our family we can spread it outside and this I believe is the True Spirit of Diwali.
‘Wishing You All A Happy And Safe Diwali’.