Deepavali is popularly known as the “festival of lights“, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”. The celebration of Deepavali as the “victory of good over evil”, refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. Symbolically we all are taught to celebrate Diwali by lighting up small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमया।
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः॥
Aum śānti śānti śāntiḥ
(Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Aum peace, peace, peace
However, the actual practice has taken a new turn altogether in recent times. We have lost the complete consciousness about the festival. For us it is all about enjoying the holidays by consuming highly calorific sweets, burning crackers, smoking highly toxic air, scaring all those dumb animals/birds with the noise pollution and much more. Have you ever thought about how badly we are messing with the ecosystem in the name of a festival? For the momentary happiness spread over a couple of days, we are abusing the earth and its atmosphere. Not sure if we are heading into an irreversible situation from where we can never recover!
It may be tough for many of you who have kids at home to stay away from fireworks. But certainly not impossible once you show them these pics. These pics are seen on International Labour Organisation website. These kids were at work in Sivakasi where more than 80% of overall firecrackers are manufactured in India.
Photos © International Labour Organization[ILO] / Browne D
Is it fair to enjoy by bursting crackers during Diwali at the cost of child labour through out the year? I am not complaining that all companies follow such practices, but again, still we are responsible how minute ever may be the involvement. I am sorry to say this – if you say yes for firecrackers, you are indirectly supporting child labour too! Think again.