Mother Earth Bhudevi’s son Narakasura, who had become a menace to all things good on earth, was killed in a battle by Krishna and Sathyabhama. Suprisingly, Bhudevi asked people to rejoice and celebrate the day as Deepavali, to mark the vanquishing of all evil.
Krishna, whose body had become blood-spattered after the battle had an oil bath to cleanse himself. Therefore, the ‘Ganga snanam’ on Deepavali day is akin to taking a bath in the Ganges, therefore purifying the self; while Bhudevi’s declaration of Deepavali marks the universal victory of good over evil.
In today’s context, our Deepavali can become more meaningful if we practise some basic strictures, thus turning the occasion into a yagna for mind-purification and the cleansing of the heart. Here’s how:
1. Gift good quality, new clothing to at least five children in an orphanage or to the children of maids or your staff.
2. Gift sweets and savouries to at least ten children in an orphanage or from poor families.
3. Donate toy or gift boxes to children in an orphanage, and sweets to the inmates of an old age home.
4. Perform the Ganesh, Lakshmi and Kubera Puja on Dhana Thryodasi day (Dantares) – the evening of Friday, October 25 between 6.57 pm to 8.47 pm and on Sunday, Amavasya day – October 27, between 10.45 am to 11.45 am (you could also perform the Sri Sukta/Avahanti Homam), with Sankalpa, for your own self-interest and also for society and Humankind, as well as removal of poverty from society.
5. Avoid buying leather, silk garments and wasteful or expensive gifts so as to promote non-violence and humility. Sacrifice your self-interest for your family’s and for society’s interest.
6. Ensure that you keep safe when you burst crackers; maintaining harmony with neighbours and society and following all rules and regulations.
7. Distribute Deepavali Marunthu to friends and relatives, along with sweets and savouries.
8. Ensure that you gift only sugar-free or healthy snacks to friends and family who are diabetic.
9. If you receive gifts of sweets and savouries in excess, consciously ensure that they are consumed by you or the family, or distribute them to others before they expire.
10. Be liberal and compassionate. Share your joy and happiness this Deepavali with as many people as possible, consciously.
Wishing you all a Happy Deepavali. Plan for a season of shared joy and happiness.