This is a big festival week of lights but due to COVID-19 lockdown consequences, there is darkness in human lives. People lost their jobs, students yet to resume schools, the local trains called as the heart of Mumbai are shut, and the city is on roads in long and never-ending queues on buses, shops, and almost every place. It should be time to have fun while stocking up on candles, handicrafts, gifts but affording all this is a real task. But then this is 2020, the year like no other, and the fear of the coronavirus lurks everywhere, compelling. In another year, there would be fairs, with rides, food, and shopping aplenty, as institutions, malls, individual localities, and condominiums organised their own carnivals. As cases spike Mumbai has been reporting hundreds of cases a day and its Covid count still not in control, nobody wants to take a chance. So, organisers of the time-tested Melas and fairs had to halt here. Because of Covid this year no large-scale exhibitions, fairs nor people are expected to be taking part physically. Gold to Sweets, Diwali snacks to flowers the prices have gone up. Vegetables are costly, petrol is not affordable, long hours travel due to traffic congestion. The festival of lights has got many limits.
Once upon a time, the Celebration was the nature of the spirit. The ancient sages brought sacredness in every celebration so that you don’t lose the focus in the hustle-bustle of the activity. Observing rituals and religious practices (called Puja) is simply showing one’s gratitude to the Divine. This brings depth to the celebration. At this time of the year, people around the world are getting ready to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. One of the biggest festivals of the East. And today is called ‘Dhanteras’ – Dhanteras means the day of wealth. It means feeling a sense of abundance, and whatever is needed will come! Remember all the blessings you have received in life and feel grateful for it. The tradition is to put all the wealth you have earned in front of you and feel the abundance. When you feel lack, the lack grows but when you put your attention on abundance, then the abundance grows. In the Arthashastra, Chanakya says, ‘Dharmasya Moolam Arthah’ which means, “prosperity is the root of righteousness.” Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be partially immersed in the oil. If the wick is completely drowned in oil, it cannot bring light. Life is like the wick of the lamp; you have to be in the world and yet remain untouched by it. If you are drowned in the materialism of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. By being in the world, yet not drowning in the worldly aspect of it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate this profound truth of life. Light the lamp of wisdom and love in every heart and bring a radiant smile on every face. Diwali is also called Deepavali, which literally means rows of lights. Life has many facets and stages to it and it is important that you throw light on each of them, for life to be fully expressed. The rows of lights remind you that every aspect of life needs your attention and the light of knowledge. Every human being has some good qualities. And every lamp that you light is symbolic of this. Some people have forbearance, some have love, strength, generosity, while others have the ability to unite people. The latent values in you are like a lamp. Don’t be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand! You need to light many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. By lighting the lamp of wisdom in yourself and acquiring knowledge, you awaken all facets of your being. When they are lit and awakened, it is Diwali.
So drop the regrets of the past and the worries of the future and live in the moment. It is time to forget the bickering and negativities that have happened throughout the year. It is a time when you throw light on the wisdom you have gained and welcomes a new beginning. This year it was very tough for poor and common people, all those who can afford to share, please make some charity by feeding poor people. Donate clothes, donate lamps bring light to the dark lives. Promote swadeshi handicrafts, buy handmade clay lamps (Diya), and also kandils, so that the poor could earn some money. We should buy things made in India. You should go to the shop and purchase them. Purchase your maximum stuff from local retailers directly. By doing it they will earn some money and celebrate Diwali with their family.
COVID-19 the deadliest pandemic of recent times. The entire world is fighting this pandemic with its full capacity. Lakhs of people have died already and many are being treated. Because of Corona most of the world population is in quarantine or lockdown. There are many ongoing tests being conducted across the world to find a vaccine for Corona. There is news that the vaccine has been found. Time will tell how effective that vaccine is. No one knows when the world can get rid of Corona completely. I know this Diwali 2020 will be completely different as compared to previous years, but still, we can share the love and make contributions to fellow human’s lives.
Happy Diwali Dear Readers!