A very short post on Deepavali.
Deepavali or Deepotsav is not a tradition nor a ritual nor a celebration nor a way of life.
Deepavali is Dharma.
Every follower of Sanatan Dharma is required to follow these specific Dharmic activities in these days. These days are overloaded with energy which must be channelised into our lives, our bodies, minds and souls in a positive way. You have to invoke energy of the highest levels, call on the Eternal Consciousness and generate positive intentions. The power of this time, space and the mantra power your intention and turn your desires into reality. This happens only once a year so make the most of it.
This week long Deepotsav starts with
Rama Ekadashi – Ashwin Krishna Ekadashi – Here we do pujas of Devi Laxmi in her form named ‘Ramaa’ रमा. This word means opulence, splendour, good fortune, wife, the one who is constantly engaged in happiness, also the one who constantly grants us happiness. We request the Devi to keep us always happy and ensure prosperity in all forms in our life.
Govatsa Dvadashi – Ashwin Krishna Dvadashi – on this day we do pujas of a desi humped cow and her calf and we feed them sweet food, ie chapati with jaggery is also a good option. This is in gratitude for all that the cow does for us, from giving us her milk to energising our surroundings by her mere presence. Being grateful is the first step towards the divine, genuine gratitude is a rare emotion, so try to feel this today for the Go who nourishes us on so many levels.
Dhana Trayodashi – Ashwin Krishna Trayodashi – on this day we do pujas of Bhagwan Dhanvantari. We request him to free us from all types of aliments, ie the Aadhyatmik, Aadhidaivik and Aadhibhoutik sources of pain, to keep us healthy and grant us Arogya, complete health and Ayusha, complete life. We also request him to grant us the Amrut, ie the essence of non-death.
Naraka Chaturdashi – Ashwin Krishna Chaturdashi – on this day Shri Krishna killed Narakasur and freed the 16000 women who were imprisoned by him. The esoteric meaning is that we pray to the Eternal controller of the Mahapran of this Universe to energise the 16000 nadis in our body, to remove all blockages in them. To elevate our consciousness from the merely human to the Eternal. We request him to annihilate the Narakarur, ‘the dissonance/karma that the individual soul/ jivatma suffers under’. We request him to take up his Sudarshan chakra, ie use the power of time/space in motion, to remove all Adharma and to establish Dharma in our life.
Deepavali Amavasya – Ashwin Amavasya – this is the biggest and the most powerful Amavasya of the year. The radiance that the Devi is clearly shines forth. Everyone must do pujas of the Devi in some form on this Amavasya. Depending on the cultural context, Devi Laxmi or Devi Kali or Devi Lalitatripursundari or any other form of the Devi Prakruti is worshipped on this day. This day comes only once a year, make the most of it.
The Chaitra month is the start of the solar year, so we worship Shri Ram in this month. Our new year still begins with the day when Shri Ram was crowned as the King of Ayodhya. As per the Valmiki Ramayan, Ravan was killed on Phalgun Amavasya and Shri Ram Rajyabhishek was on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, a new era. So our new year even today is in remembrance of our King, Raja Ram. We reaffirm the King is always Raja Ram, none other. Then Ram Navmi is a celebration of his birthday also falls in this month. This month is the best for performing Satyanarayan puja.
And exactly 6 months later is the Ashwin month. The lunar energies are at the maximum, so we worship the Devi in all her forms. We celebrate the Ashwin Navratri, the brightest energy of the Devi, either the Dasha Mahavidya are worshipped or the Nav-Durga. Vijayadashmi is the puja of Devi Durga as she vanquishes the Mahishasur, ie ‘the great dissonant energy of the limited self ego’. The Kojagiri Pournima of the Sharad Rhutu is exclusively for pujas of the Moon.
So Ashwin Amavasya is the day when the Devi is all powerful, listening and ready to give you what you desire if only you ask her. So make it a point to request and ask her to give you what you really desire.
Kartik Shukla pratipada.
On this day the husband gets gifts for his wife and she in turn blesses him with all auspiciousness. Children do namaskar to their elders and are given gifts / blessings on this day. Businessmen start their new financial year on this day, they do pujas of their workplace and of the account books. Devi Shri is willing to give all prosperity to all new endeavours started on this day.
- Bali pratipada – In Dakshin Bharat, this day is for remembering Raja Mahabali. We think of him with gratitude and respect and request him to grant us his specific power, knowledge, wisdom, humility and his ability to completely surrender to the Eternal Divine. (River Narmada is the dividing line between Uttar and Dakshin Bharat)
- Govardhan Puja – In Uttar Bharat, this day is celebrated as Govardhan Puja. The mountain Govardhan is worshipped, we request protection and nourishment from him. Also Shri Krishna is worshipped as the eternal protecter of Dharma.
Yama Dvitiya – Kartik Shukla pratipada. This day is called Bhai dooj or Bhau beej. On this day sisters bless their brothers with all auspiciousness. The brothers get their sisters gifts and promise their protection.
This day is in remembrance of Bhagwan Yam and his twin sister Devi Yamuna. Yam is the ability to control and Yamuna is the ability to use this controlled power in the right way. These two are the children of Suryadev and his wife Devi Sanjana.
In Sanatan Dharma, the woman always has more power to give on the energy levels. And the men have more power to give on the physical levels. So it is her responsibility to protect her brothers, husband and children with her energy. And it is their duty to protect her in the physical sense. There is always a fair exchange of energy in Dharma.
During the Deepotsav, we cook sweet dishes with our own hands, offer them to everyone, share them with our relatives and loved ones. The house is decorated, garlands/ toran of marigold flowers and mango leaves are tied on the doors. Paper lanterns are hung outside the house. Earthen lamps with sesame oil are lit and placed inside and outside the house at the evening twilight. We draw Rangoli /Kolam outside the main door, these designs are from the mandala derived from the Shri chakra. The household deities are worshipped with all devotion. We wear new clothes, go to the local temple and offer our prayers to the deity who protects our town. Elders are respected and children are given gifts. Firecrackers are burst and there is a general feeling of happiness and exhilaration all around. These are beautiful days.
During Deepotsav we request our deities, ie Devi Ramaa, Shri Dhanvantari, Shri Krishna, Shri Yam, Devi Yamuna, Devi Mahamaya to establish Dharma and help us walk the Dharmic path. But this can happen when we also behave in a way that assures Them that we are serious about what we are asking. So if you feel it in your hearts, do this following scheduled Dharma everyday of your life, no exceptions.
- In the morning after you have a bath etc, give Argya to the Sun, ie a cupful of water poured in the direction of the Sun, with a simple ‘Om Suryaya namah’. Sun is the visible source of energy be grateful to him.
- For 5 mins, do the puja of your Kul-devata/ household deities, ie offer flowers, light a sesame oil deepak, recite your mantra or sing your favourite bhajan, ring the bell, blow the Shankh etc and put a tilak on your forehead. Kuldevata is the protector of your family, ancestors, children and your house, show your gratitude to him.
- Maintain a Tulasi plant in your house. In the evening, light an agarbatti/ incense stick before the plant and request Devi Laxmi to bring prosperity to your house. A living Tulasi plant is the establishment of Devi Laxmi, ie ensures prosperity and Satva gun in your life.
Do this yourself and encourage your spouse and children to do this much for Dharma daily. Also your relatives, nieces, nephews and other families and children whom you know. Each one has to to his own bit in establishing Dharma in our lives. If we follow Dharma ourself, the society too will follow it. Start on the Dharmic path, live your life as per Dharma and Dharma will protect you.
Thus praying that the Devi Mahamaya grants us all Dharma in this week long celebration of Deepavali utsav and establishes Dharma in our life.
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥