The message of Diwali Celebration

    12-Nov-2020   
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Diwali is the festival of prosperity, health, wealth, and God's grace. Diwali festival starts from Govatsa Dvadashi. Cow with a calf is worshipped. Cow and calf is a sign of prosperity. It is followed by Dhanatryodashi. This day Kuber (God of wealth) and Dhanwantari (God of Health) are worshipped. Then comes Narakchaturdashi, the victory of good over evil. Krishna, who defeated and killed Narakasura and freed sixteen thousand women detained by him, is worshipped. It is followed by Laxmi (Goddess of Fortune) Pujan. Furthermore, Kartik Pratipada being the first day of the year on which new account books of businesses are worshipped for prosperity.
 
Diwali Celebration.jpg_1& 
 
We have developed a bad habit of ridiculing our tradition and culture. We do not feel offended by the movies portraying a merchant exploiting the poor and worshipping Laxmi. At the same time, we are under the wrong assumption, that our culture is pro-abstinence (Nivrutti), where endeavour to acquire wealth is downplayed, and bhakti and path of poverty are always glorified. This is why Lakshmi Puja is considered as the lust for money and ridiculed. It is hence important to understand the concept of Aishwarya.
 
What our Shastras said about acquiring wealth?
 
न कंचन वसतौ प्रत्याचक्षित । तद् व्रतम् । तस्मात् यया कया च विधया बहु अन्नं प्राप्नुयात् ।
 
This command is from Taittiriya Upanishad. It means, no one who comes to you should be rejected for shelter. It is a firm practice (Vrata). For that purpose, one should try to get much food.
 
मोघम् अन्नं विन्दते अप्रचेताः वध इत्सतस्य ।
 
One who does not use the food acquired for the sake of good people and his family acquires food in vain. From such food, one accumulates sin. The Rig Veda states that such becomes the cause of one's death.
 
Bhagavad Geeta proclaims that,
 
अप्रदेयेभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः|
 
A person who eats without giving to others is a thief.
 
It means that one shall not be selfish. When one wants to acquire something, he should do it for family and society and that also without exploiting the others.
 
It is said in Ishopanishad,
 
ईशावास्यम् इदं सर्वं यत् किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्य स्विद्धनम् ॥ १ ॥
 
Everything in this world belongs to God. So do not enjoy without sacrifice and do not steal from others. Acquisition of wealth is a must. However, it is for the needy and without the exploitation of others.
 
Maharshi Kanad explains Dharma in his Vaisheshika sutras,
 
यतो अभ्युदय निश्रेयससिद्धिः सः धर्मः ।
 
The one from which Abhyudaya means worldly prosperity and salvation both are achieved is called Dharma.
 
As stated in Ishopanishad,
 
विद्यां चाविद्यां च य: तद् वेदोभयं सह।
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययामृतम् अश्नुते ॥ ११ ॥ (ईशोपनिषद)
 
Vidya and Avidya are two different things. Vidya leads you to (Mukti) salvation, and Avidya is responsible for acquiring material prosperity. One should know both. Avidya is required to avoid death by poverty, and starvation and Vidya is required for salvation. It is further said that he who follows only one of vidya or Avidya enters in the dark.
 
Kautilya in his Arthashastra states,
 
अर्थ मूलौ हि धर्मकामौ||
 
It means wealth is the root of Dharma and Kaama. That means money is needed if you want to follow Dharma and fulfil your desires.
 
In Shukra, Neeti Shukrachaarya explains ways to acquire wealth and ways to spend it.
 
नत्याज्यौतुक्षणकणौनित्यंविद्याधनार्थीना
सुभार्यापुत्रमित्रार्थेहितंनित्यंधनार्जनम् ||
दानार्थेचविनातुएतैःकिंधनैश्चजनश्चकिम् ||
 
अतोयतेततात्प्राप्त्यैनरःसूपायसाहसै:
सुविद्ययासुसेवाभिःशौर्येणकृषिभिस्तथा ||
 
कौसिदवृद्ध्यापण्येनकलाभिश्चप्र्तिगहै:|
ययाकयाचापिवृत्त्याधनवान्स्यात्ततथाचरेत्|| (शुक्र नीति अध्याय३ )
 
He who wants knowledge should not give up the moment, and he who wants wealth should not give up the particle. Always earn money for wife, sons (a term also include daughters), friends and also for charity. So a man should try to get money with all good measures, i.e. from a good education, good service, bravery, agriculture. Also, a man should be rich in any way like collecting interest, trade, art, rewards etc.
 
Cow, Dhanwantari, Lakshmi are the gems out of fourteen gems gained in (Samudra Manthan) churning the sea. To acquire these gems, much effort is required. These gems (health, wealth, prosperity) when used for society are the signs of Aishwarya, that is the presence of (Ishwar) God. There is no place for demonic attitudes. To become rich by working hard without exploiting others, use that wealth for the welfare of society. This is the message of Diwali celebration.