India is facing difficult times fighting corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many nations are bearing its adverse consequences. People are dying in huge numbers with everyday increase in positive cases around the world. There is no vaccine and medicine available as on date against this virus. Government has taken steps to contain its spread, declared nationwide lock-down for 21 days. It has impacted Indian & global economy causing problems for common man. Many migrant workers are facing their worst face in life with empty bowls. Hospitals are facing severe shortage of beds for patients and inadequate supply of mask and ventilators. Looking to the situation, Government has taken proactive steps and measures by advocating social distancing, self-quarantine and nationwide lock down to restrict the movement in largest populated country of the world. There is only one solution to tackle this virus – PREVENTION AND PRECAUTION.
Lightening of Diyas a solution to the Virus – NO
Yes lightening of Diyas is not a cure neither a medicine to treat virus. But the Prime Minister of India, Narenda Modi, had requested 1.3 billion people to lit diyas from their balconies or homes following social distancing & quarantine on 5th April 2020. The main reason was to bring positivism, show solidarity of oneness, positive strength and inspiration of 1.3 billion Indians to the world. Not the so called Adh-Vishwas as proclaimed by some people.
In Indian culture, lightening Diya or Deepam near God is considered to be holy with signs of health, wealth, prosperity and Happiness. It is well noted that this symbolizes removal of enemies or here negativity from our life. Diya signifies purity, goodness, good luck and power. It eliminates darkness and evil forces. It symbolizes hope, faith, calmness, spirituality, victory, celebration and solidarity.There is also a trend in our Indian Army of lightening Mashal after victory over enemies at border which symbolizes the light of spirit, victory and winning against an evil force.
In hospitals doctors and nurses are working day and night treating patients, risking their lives. Indians were asked to salute in a traditional way of lightening Diyas for unsaid heroes like Police, cleaning staff and many people who are working on ground to save us. With lightening of Diyas the main intention was to spread positive energy, courage and spirit with gratitude from entire nation.
In India, almost every household has a custom of lighting a Diya or Deepam in their houses during festivals. This slowly became a part of prayer. All ceremonies, daily worship rituals, auspicious functions, religious occasions as well as new ventures start with lightning of the lamp. Diya is essential in Hinduism because it signifies purity, goodness, good luck and power. The presence of light means the non-existence of darkness and evil forces.
During Diwali people light millions of diyas. These beautiful diyas hold a deep significance and are symbolic of our journey to enlightenment. Since, Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day when there is supreme darkness everywhere; people light millions of lamps to get rid of the darkness. It is believed that evil spirits and forces gain power and become active when there is no light. So diyas are lit in every corner of the house to weaken those evil forces. Evil forces in the current context can be referred to the negative forces or the virus as symbolism.
There is a deeper significance to the diya. The oil in the diya symbolizes the dirt in the human mind such as greed, jealousy, hatred, lust etc which human beings tend to nurture. The cotton in the diya is symbolic of the atma or the soul. The diya gives light when the oil is burnt by the wick. Hence, lighting of the diyas signifies that one needs to get rid of the selfish and materialistic thoughts. This frees one from all forms of sadness, guiding the path to enlightenment and to connect with the Supreme Being.
Hindu philosophy or belief further states that after the realization of Atma our Soul, one must learn to love and serve others unconditionally, without any expectations of rewards in return. Such selfless service would bring contentment, happiness in our lives. The external materialistic rewards are only illusions. Hence, as a part of purification on Diwali, one must endeavor to make one’s atma purer. Instead of trying and expecting to change the world outside, change inside. There is a shloka in Sanskrit: ‘Tamso-ma-jyotir-gamaya’ which signifies the journey from darkness to light. While the Rigvedic rishi’s shloka linguistically means moving from darkness to light, it is a mantra dedicated to the goddess Maha Lakshmi. Lighting candles or diyas help us move from darkness to light. They invoke goddesses or angels to bless us with divine wisdom which helps us move towards unconditional love.
Prime Minister Modi had tried to implement same traditional approach on 5th April by lighting up diyas to steps on from darkness to light, solidarity with millions of Indians and to show strength to disinfect virus from our country. He did not mean by anyway that this Diyas will kill virus, but it was a symbolic gesture of bringing unity and showing positive strength of 1.3 billion people to the word in these hard times. We pray God to bless our country and bring brightness and happiness to all across the globe.