Thursday, 27 October 2016

Happy Diwali

The festive season is on and all across the world people are celebrating Halloween and Diwali!
Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated across the world by Indians by following traditions and rituals with sincerity. These traditions are common, no matter which part of India you come from.
Since childhood, Diwali has been a festival I have also looked forward to. As a child, the new shopping, gifts, delicious food, rangoli* fascinated me and I waited for the morning when my friends and I got dressed up in our new clothes and went to wish everyone Happy Diwali and collected sweets and chocolates in return. I grew up in a neighborhood so big, that we ended up collecting, at least 400 chocolates each. It is a different story that my mother never let me eat them and ended up distributing it to my classmates for my birthday, which falls after Diwali.

As I grew up, got married and have my own house now, celebrating Diwali is not only a tradition I wish to continue but also a responsibility. When I say that, I mean I am responsible for decorating the house, prepare the delicious food and offer the respect the festival demands.

This year, I want to draw the Swastika as a rangoli. I have always seen my mother make it on any auspicious occasion but never understood why. I never bothered to question until recently when I was talking to my father and told him I plan to use the Swastika for my rangoli design. He said I will answer this to you on your blog.

So here is my next contributor Girish Asher, who has shared his writing with me explaining the importance of the Swastika.

The word Swastika originates from the Sanskrit words -SWA and ASTI, meaning GOODLUCK and WELL BEING.

In Hindu sacred texts, the four sides of the symbol denote the four purusharthas (Dharma, Aartha, Kama and Moksha),the four vedas (Rig Veda,Yajur Veda,Sam Veda and Atharva Veda),the four varnas and the four ashrams or stages of life(Brahmacharya,Grihastha,Vanprashta and Sanyasa) and it also is a symbol of four Nakshtras (Shrawan,Chitra,Revati and Pushya).

It is not just a religious symbol but also a potent scientific ensign that encompasses the secrets of Mother Nature, and has the potency to draw divine power from the twenty-seven nakshatras or constellations and disperse it around.

However, to obtain the desired result, this symbol has to be drawn with a special mixture of kum kum,
turmeric and saffron. All these ingredients have disinfecting properties and are sacred and vibrant.
For drawing the symbol in the traditional manner, one has to first draw a line from east to west, and then crossing this line in the center, another line is to be drawn from north to south. After this, the symbol is to be drawn clockwise (as per the law of nature, the present moves to the future clockwise)

The traditionally drawn swastika does not remain a mere symbol; it becomes an enlivened emblem that emanates divine vibrations for well-being.

I give credit for this post to my father and also to Ashwini Parvatikar, a contributor, who shared the idea of writing about Rangoli and designs, in the first place. I always check Pinterest for new ideas and would like to share my favorite Rangoli Designs with you through this blog.

Have a Happy Diwali and enjoy the read!

Image Courtesy:

*Rangoli is a design drawn outside the house with colored powder / paint / any other art material