I wish the valued readers a very happy Diwali due next Wednesday. On this festive day, the devout have a meeting with Mother Goddess Lakshmi, the deity identified with sampada (wealth) in major part of the country. May your prayers bear desired fruits, I wish. But remember, nothing comes just to one’s asking. One would need to be well geared by oneself. It is in this spirit that the devout try to rekindle their work-spirit afresh. Also, pursue aspirational urges literally in a prayer mode as we worship the Mother for the best result. Bear in mind; the word: Sampada is not limited to just material wealth. It also includes physical prowess and wisdom, but for which fruition of creative urges would not be possible.
The preparation for this festivity begins much in advance. We thoroughly clean up our houses, work stations, and the adjoining areas. We clear off all the junk piled up during the previous year. We refurbish and give a fresh look to our houses and work places. It is driven by the belief that Mother Goddess Lakshmi shuns filth and would make presence only in a clean environment, and hence so much of importance to cleanliness. The paradox, however, is that once the festival gets over, the sense of cleanliness just takes a back seat. That is what forced the Government to relentlessly carry on the clean India campaign.
The occasion also calls for giving equal emphasis to ensure a healthy living environment. Truth, however, remains that blindly chasing our materialistic urges we have unmindfully polluted the air and water resources so much that it is now threatening healthy existence. Ever since the environmental pollution level has acquired dangerous proportion, every year we have been witnessing a debate over the need to avoid playing firecrackers to contain pollution. The blind believers are bent upon carrying on the tradition unhindered. The environmentalist, on the other hand want the practice banned and have been seeking court intervention. Shall we ever wake up to the call of securing healthy existence all by ourselves? Can court interventions clean up our hardened attitude?
Let me add here that our age old Hindu tradition has never been rigid, we have rather evolved with time and adapted ourselves with the callings of time. A look into the history will reveal that in Vedic times, we worshiped abstract deities like Indradeva, Varundeva, Agnideva, and the like. They now find mention in our old books only. As of now, the deities like Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Ganapati are in circulation. For, the educative import of these symbolic imageries directly relate to human attributes of practical relevance. It is high time we give up our hardened attitudes in our own interest.
Even more important is the cleansing of mind on a daily basis. Remember, all that we encounter in life, good or bad, finds space within our memory, major part of which gets into our subconscious. Over a period of time, mind gets too cluttered with baggage load of inconsequential and even negative thoughts, thus restricting the mind-space available. We, are, thus, not left with the space necessary to process our thoughts objectively. Consequently, we fail to see things in the right perspective and with obvious consequences. These thoughts also keep rattling us from within, not allowing scope to pay due attention to our priority preferences. That makes it incumbent upon us to self-reflect on a daily basis and to at least clear off the clutter within.
On this occasion, it is important to make note of hypocrite mind-set of Indian populace. When it comes to religious practice, we identify all aspects of creativity with Motherly-forms — Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The concept, evidently acknowledges that female is at the root of creativity. Accordingly, we put in all our emotions to clay/stone moulds of the above deities seeking power. But when it comes to our domestic, social, and work atmosphere, we do not hesitate harassing our women folk. Many of the animalistic minds would not spare even kids. Otherwise, the need for spearheading the ‘Me too’ campaign against the mighty by such a huge number of harassed women would not have arisen.
Now that time is ripe for offering our prayers to Mother Goddess Lakshmi, let us be reminded that the living mother of Sampada in our families too are accorded a dignified status. In Eastern India, especially in West Bengal and adjoining areas, Mother Goddess Kali is worshiped on the occasion of Diwali. The underlying concept will be followed up in the coming issue.
The writer is an astrologer, vastu consultant and spiritual counsellor. Write to him atG-102, Bharat Nagar, New Friends Colony, New Delhi – 110 025