Divine Diwali

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Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of India, and is celebrated in almost all states, and by all, with great fever and festivity every year ! Diwali is not just a day affair but has festivals for five days in a row.

Dhanteras- Dhanteras is celebrated two days before diwali, and is a festival for businessmen, and is celebrated with shopping in decorated markets…….mainly of Gold, silver, clothes, utensils and household goods.

Narka Chaudas- This comes a day before Diwali, and is commonly celebrated as Choti diwali. This is a day to clean and decorate the houses (whitewashing is done in advance, and usually around Diwali) and special cleaning of the body too.

Diwali- Main Diwali day is celebrated as Laxmi Poojan…….Ganesh and Laxmi are worshipped this day. Goddess Laxmi, for money and financial success and since this also happens to be the beginning of the Hindu business year, blessings of Ganesha are invoked too.

Gobhardan Pooja – This is celebrated a day after diwali, for prosperity, with great feasts and offerings of varied variety of food to the Gods (AnnKoot )

Bhaidooj- the Deepawali season ends with Bhaidooj, being celebrated two days after Diwali, a day when siblings reinforce their relationship and bonds by exchanging sweets and gifts.

This is the conventional Diwali………………Diwali that is celebrated by all…the way it has been celebrated since eternity! We have come a long way, and with education and consciousness, we deserve to do more than just the traditions and conventions and should move ahead and progress to celebrating diwali with a difference!

Instead of cleaning the house from inside and the body from outside……………lets for a change,do the opposite……………………… clean the body from inside and the outsides of the house!

Following are few suggestions for the various occasions on diwali

Dhanteras –Buy a set of clothes, or utensils for someone needy and who cannot afford, other than for those with whom you exchange gifts.

Narkachaudas –Lots can be done on this day, other than the routine cleaning of the house

• If you are near the Ganga or any river, clean whatever you can clean in it, within your resources

• Clean any water body in your vicinity, big or small, on this day

• Help an old couple, living alone, to clean their house • Collect your friends and neighbours and clean the roads, lanes and drains around your vicinity.

• Plant some good trees to beautify your area

Diwali – What better way of worshipping Laxmi, than offering Laxmi (Money) to some needy……….so celebrate diwali, by offering some money in charity to any needy person or a charitable institute

Gobhardhan pooja – Utilize food to the fullest, and please the Gods to the maximum, with the food and dishes you have and you have cooked, by feeding children at an orphanage, old people in an Old Age Home or beggars in the street

Bhai Dooj – Choose someone, preferably of your age, and of opposite gender, as a foster sibling, someone who doesn’t have a brother or sister, may be from an orphanage, old age home or the neighbourhood. Gift him or her a present and be in touch with the person during the coming year and share some love and happiness by spending time together.

I would like to emphasize here, that whatever you plan to do should be within your capabilities and resources, and whatever you decide to give in charity, to gift and to spend should be, whatever your pocket permits. There is nothing like big or small, or much and little in good deeds……….anything done willingly for charity is big enough, no matter how small it may be, even if just few words of love and concern .

It may also be remembered that the beneficiary of any of the above should not be a friend, relative or family member .It should be someone, from whom you don’t expect anything in return. Our domestic help should also not be included in this, as by helping them, we often look for better services. They should be looked after, but that should not be part of this task! So let’s add excitement to Diwali this year by celebrating it differently and have a Divine experience

Happy Deepawali to you and your family……..wishing you all health, wealth and prosperity in this festive season!

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