Friends, you must all be eagerly waiting for the festival of Deepavali (Diwali). You must bethinking, "When can we go out and enjoy Deepavali?" But friends,the real meaning of celebration of festivals is not just enjoying and being happy, but also spreadinghappiness to others.
The importance of lighting a lantern during Deepavali
A lantern is a symbol of bliss. Lighting a lantern eliminates darkness. During Deepavali, a lantern is lit inevery house, so that the life of every person, society and Nation becomes blissful. Let us introspectand ask ourselves a question, "Do we try to spread happiness and bliss to others in the societythrough our actions during the festival of Deepavali ?" Unfortunately, the answer to this will be 'no'.Remember, if we make someone unhappy through any of our actions on this festive occasion, it is like sin. So, let us try to spread happiness to others and thus acquire God's grace.
Avoid denigration of Deities through the medium of firecrackers
During Deepavali, children burst firecrackers having images of our Deities like Lakshmidevi on them. Animage of any Deity symbolises that Deity itself. When these firecrackers are set-off, the images ofDeities on these crackers are blown into pieces. This amounts to denigration of our revered Deities.Bursting crackers with pictures of Deities or National heroes is a very sinful act. Do not buy suchcrackers this Deepavali. Real worship of God lies in boycotting such denigrating products, opposingand providing guidance to people who buy such products. If you do this, God will definitely showerHis blessings on you. Children, will you burst firecrackers that have the pictures of your parentson them? No. Then why such casual attitude in case of God who always protects us and endowsus with Divine energy and knowledge ? So children, this Deepavali, let us resolve to put a stop to thisdenigration of our revered Deities.
No spiritual base behind bursting crackers during Deepavali
Children, there is no spiritual base behind bursting firecrackers during Deepavali. It is a false customthat has crept into our society. We must resolve to stop this malpractice. Just think, 'Doesbursting crackers spread happiness to people around us ?' No. Then why do we follow this falsecustom ? Due to these false practices, people have started to dislike this pleasurable festival ofours. Many misunderstandings about Deepavali have crept up in people's minds. Removing thesemisunderstandings from the minds of people is celebrating Deepavali in its real sense. For that, it isessential to impart education about Dharma (Righteousness) to society.
Harmful effects of bursting firecrackers
A. Physical injuries : Bursting of firecrackers can cause physical injuries such as burns or damage tothe eyes. Is it right to celebrate Deepavali in this way by causing harm to others ? No, isn't it?
B. Nuisance to small children and elderly people : Small children get scared due to the deafeningnoise caused by bursting of crackers. Fear grips their minds. Even senior citizens get distresseddue to that noise. Is it correct to celebrate Deepavali in this way by causing trouble to others ? Godis present in every being. By this behaviour, we are displeasing the God principle present in everybeing. So let us stop this malpractice and celebrate Deepavali happily.
C. Health problems due to smoke : The smoke caused due to bursting crackers causes varioushealth problems. The smoke causes great inconvenience to people who are already suffering fromhealth problems like asthma. Therefore, such people have to go and stay away from home duringthis festival to avoid deterioration of their health. That is why, children we should put a stop to thismalpractice.
D. Atmospheric pollution : We all have studied the subject of 'Environmental Science' in school;so we all know that it is our responsibility to protect the environment. During Deepavali, bursting offirecrackers causes reduction in the proportion of oxygen and increase the proportion of carbondioxide in the atmosphere, thus causing atmospheric pollution. Breathing of such polluted air causesvarious health problems. If are going to pollute our environment in this way, then what is the use ofstudying 'Environmental Science' ?
E. Wastage of money : Today our society is plagued with problems such as corruption, poverty, etc.In such a miserable situation, is it correct to waste money on such useless things like firecrackers ?Bursting crackers is like burning our own money. We can utilize this money for useful things likebooks and education. So, this Deepavali let us pledge that we shall not cause loss to our nation's wealthby wasting valuable money on firecrackers.
F. Destruction of Sattvikta and increase in the proportion of Raja-Tama in the atmosphere : Thesmoke caused by bursting crackers destroys the Sattvikta (purity) of the atmosphere and increasesthe proportion of Raja and Tama in the atmosphere. (Raja – One of the three basic components inthe universe, signified by activity & passion; Tama – signified by inertia & ignorance). This causesdestruction of the Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) present in the atmosphere. The purpose of celebrating any festival is increasing theSattvikta of our surrounding atmosphere. However, by celebrating Deepavali in this incorrect manner weare destroying the Sattvikta and Chaitanya present in the atmosphere. As a result, there is spread of unhappiness throughout the society.The root cause of all problems in society is the increase in the influence of Raja and Tama in theatmosphere. Thus, even from a spiritual point of view, bursting firecrackers is inappropriate.
Draw Sattvik Rangoli
During Deepavali a rangoli is drawn at the doorstep of each house. Deities are invoked throughthe medium of rangoli. Rangoli should be drawn as per the Hindu scriptures to attract theChaitanya (Divine Consciousness) of Deities. However, nowadays most people do notstudy the scriptures, they do not draw rangolis as per the scriptures; instead under the name ofmodernisation, rangolis are drawn in various distorted shapes. We should put a stop to this andresolve to draw only Sattvik rangolis as prescribed in our scriptures.
Light oil lamps instead of electronic lighting
During Deepavali, God's Chaitanya is present in a great proportion in the atmosphere. Lighting anoil lamp helps in attracting that Chaitanya and thus, spreads Bliss in the house. Also, an oil lampdestroys the frequencies of Raja & Tama present in the atmosphere and increases its Sattvikta. Onthe other hand, candles and electric lights increase the Raja-Tama. That is why, it is essential that welight only oil lamps during Deepavali instead of fancy electronic lighting.
On the day of Bhaubeej (which falls on the 2nd day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik), the sisterperforms ritualistic worship by waving an oil lamp in front of her brother. The brother in turn giftsher with new clothes. However, nowadays it is seen that brothers gift their sisters with Western clothes like jeans and T-shirts. We must realise that gifting such clothes takes oursisters away from our Hindu culture. We must gift our sisters with traditional and sattvik Bharatiyaclothes like Punjabi dress, saree etc. and thus, preserve our Hindu culture.
Children, we must try to learn the science behind celebrating every festival and celebrateit accordingly. Remember, we must celebrate every festival as per our scriptures and thus,contribute towards preserving our Hindu culture.
– Shri. Rajendra Pavaskar (Guruji), Panvel