Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Diwali reasons to pray, say Amen !

Diwali was always my favourite festival, for the crackers up in the sky beyond our house in the hills and for the general cheer it spelled for every one. My mom taught me the Lakshmi Pooja legend much later but I remember she told me first that it was a day to share our blessings, spread the cheer and pray for us and others. The prayer we used to say from the Upnishadas in addition to the usual Lakshmi and Ganesh puja was :

असतोमा सद्गमय ।
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace

This Diwali when I will say this prayer for my usual reasons and two reasons that are a constant for the last few years :
  • The Girls of India are my reason to pray always whenever I do. I pray for a better life for them, for a more equal and respected and wanted existence, where they crack board meetings and fly the jets but do not  still remain shackled when it comes to religious rituals. May they overcome the discrimination in religious practices and places and may the lives of the girls in this goddess-worshipping nation change for the better.
  • The child labourers of India, the ones who make the crackers, bake the diyas but the light and joy still evades them. Someday I pray our Diwali will be more meaningful and would not need a 8 years old slogging in Sivakasi all year through for the 30 minutes of fun for a city kid.

Biologically like most of us I had only two grandmoms, both passed away before I had my own home and family and now live on only in sepia memories. So when it comes to rituals I had no one to guide me or tell me the dos and the don'ts . So for even the most basic rituals and elaborate ones like those on Diwali I have always been in the experimental DIY mode or at most I seek help from my third adopted granny- the Internet.

This time for We-do-it different-every-year-Diwali-puja at our place I am surely going to use the unique Lakshmi Pooja Pack from Cycle Pure Agarbathies available online at Pure Prayer that saves me the trouble of hunting for the various little essentials and comes with instructions too.

I am sure this is also the best way to recreate an authentic, traditional Diwali ambience for my 4 years old who shows increasing curiosity for religion, rituals and Diwali and their significance.

May the light reach more souls and we all have a meaningful Diwali !

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The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
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