Monday, November 12, 2012


Deepavali or the Festival of Lights is an important and popular festival and one of the four main festivals celebrated In India. Deepavali. “Deepavali” derived from Sanskrit Deepa = lamp, awali = row, line, when It literally translated means “Row of Lights”. It means “row of lighted lamps” or the Festival of lights. It celebrates the victory of goodness over evil, light over darkness. During Deepavali people pray to Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth, light, prosperity and wisdom, but also to God Ganesha, the 'Remover of Obstacles' or the 'Lord of Beginnings'. Deepavali is associated with many legends.

Legends of Deepavali:-

One is that, on that day Lord Rama returned triumphant to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.

The second legend goes
it is the day when Shri Krishna killed “NARAKASURA” – the demon of sorrow and hell, who had kidnapped and imprisoned 16,000 princesses for his harem. 'Puranas' have it that Naraka, son of Bhudevi, acquired immense power from a blessing given by Lord Brahma after an evere penance. He soon unleashed a reign of terror in the kingdom of Kamarupa, harassing celestial beings with his invincible might. Unable to bear the tyranny of the demon, the celestial beings pleaded with Lord Krishna to save them from his torture. But Narakasura could not be easily killed as he had a boon that he would face death only at the hands of his mother Bhudevi. So, Krishna asks his wife Satyabhama, the reincarnation of Bhudevi, to be his charioteer in the battle with Naraka.

When Krishna feigns unconsciousness after being hit by an arrow of Naraka, Satyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly. Later Lord Krishna reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhudevi.The killing of Narakasura was a victory of good over evil. It is interesting to note that Bhudevi, mother of the slain Narakasura, declared that his death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. Since then, Deepavali is being observed by people every year with joyous celebrations. 

The third myth says that on this auspicious day, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and good fortune visits the houses of people. In the evening Lakshmi Puja is performed with great devotion. The second day is Amavasya when Lakshmi puja is performed. It is believed that on this day Goddess Lakshmi would be in her benevolent mood and fulfill the wishes of her devotees. One version says that it was on this day that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagara (Ocean of Milk) when the Gods and demons were churning the sagara (ocean) for nectar (Amrit).

Normally according to dharma shastram, one is not supposed to take an oil bath before sunrise on any day. But on Deepavali, there is an exemption. People get up early in the morning and have an oil bath in hot water especially before sunrise. This is equated to having a bath in the Ganges. On Deepavali chathurdashi day, Mahalakshmi resides in gingelly oil and Ganges resides in water until sunrise. So we get the blessings of Mahalakshmi as well by doing this.

What is the Message of the festival:-
All festivals of India have an inner divine significance. In Bharat the festivals are celebrated to prove the immanent divinity in humanity. The slaying of Naraka by Sathyabhama could also be taken to interpret that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they stray on to the wrong path. The message of Naraka Chaturdasi is that the good of the society should always prevail over one's own personal bonds.
Deepavali teaches a sacred inner meaning to humanity. During the night of Deepavali the myriad little clay lamps (diyas) silently send forth message of Deepavali: "Come, let us remove darkness from the face of the earth." No other element in this world is as significant as light. It is the light that shows us the way dispelling the darkness. It is because of the light that man is able to attend to his daily duties. The flame of a lamp has two significant qualities. One is to banish darkness; the other is a continuous upward movement. Even if a lamp is kept in a pit, the flame is directed upwards. The ancients have taught that the upward movement of the flame denotes the path to wisdom and the path to divinity. 

The dharma of fire is the same wherever it is: in a poor man's house, in a rich man's house, in America, in Antarctica, or in the Himalayas. It gives light and heat. The flame always points upwards. Even if we keep the lamp upside down, the flame will burn upwards. The message is that our mind should be focused on the the Self wherever we are. The lamps remind us of our dharma to realize our divine nature.
One lamp can light several others. You can even light another 1000 lamps, and still the flame and the light of the first lamp will remain as it is. By becoming manifold, the light looses nothing. Thus the rows of light teaches important lesson of unity the light that shines forth from the Sun, the moon, the stars, and fire is all the same. 

Riches may come or riches may go; scholarship may be acquired or may not be acquired; even joy may come and go. Whatever happens, man must be unmoved, he must not swerve from the path that he has chosen towards the right goal of truth and dharma. 

My Message:-

People celebrate this festival by bursting firecrackers signifying the victory of good over evil. One way it is rainy season and it is good for killing of insects and mosquitoes. And in another way it is very dangerous to people which creates health problems also. Please don’t use hazardous crackers which cause health problems. Moreover bursting firecrackers was not part of our Deepavali tradition. In all festivals I like and love Deepavali very much and I used to celebrate the festival with great pomp and enthusiasm. But when I am pursuing LLB degree I studied a public interest litigation case filed by Mr.M.C.Mehta which made me tear jerking and from that time onwards I decided not to buy crackers because as many kids are made to work in the fire cracker factories by giving up their golden life. So I decided I should not buy it to promote child Labour.
My appeal to all my fellow Indians is that on this holy day; Stop Buying and bursting crackers. Save a few children their lives and save yourself. Think about the children below 12 years and thousands of other Children involved in child labor in our Fireworks factories. For those poor kids this festival of light simply translates into more forced and hazardous work. Think about them before buying and bursting crackers. Please do not buy and burst crackers because if you do that then in a way you intend to help an industry that unethically and inhumanely employs thousands of children. Stop supporting child Labour. Moreover bursting firecrackers was not part of our Deepavali tradition.

Still if you have already bought them and definitely want to burst Please think twice if you want to burst instead of throwing away and not buy next time.

If you still want to burst, make sure to buy low decibel ones from brands which carry NCLE/NHLI (NO CHILD LABOUR EMPLOYED/INVOLVED) SEAL.

If you want to burst, make sure you don't cause trouble to neighbors, pedestrians and traffic.

Don't burst high decibel, high sounding crackers to cause panic to sick & elder people.

Don’t burst crackers from 10PM to 6AM - it is illegal as per Supreme Court orders

Fill the heart with the oil of love. Place in it the wick of single - pointed mind. Light it with the knowledge of truth and remove the darkness of Ignorance around you.

Best wishes for the festivals of lights. May the festival stir up within you the unconquerable desire to excel in the pursuit you are engaged. Have a sense of pride aiming at achieving excellence in what ever work you undertake. It must be your endeavour to throw your heart and soul into it and try to achieve high standards of excellence.


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