Dhanteras Special (21st Oct 2014):
Diwali Special (23rd Oct 2014):
VASTU TIPS FOR DIWALI
Everyone is enjoying the festive season. The slight nip in the air and cool evenings somehow seem to enhance that lovely feeling of bliss and bonhomie. Of course, there is love in the air. This magical season makes it an ideal time for celebrations. And Diwali is certainly one of the best occasions to celebrate. On this day, kids look forward to burning crackers, housewives get busy in cleaning and decorating their houses and the men folk prepare to appease Lakshmiji, the Goddess of Wealth, for their financial prosperity.
Diwali is celebrated after about 20 days of Dussehra on the dark night of Amavasya of the Kartika month. It has two festivals – Dhanteras and Naraka Chaturdasi (chotti Diwali) – before its celebration and two festivals – Govardhan puja and Bhaiya Duj – after it. The two festivals, which come before Diwali day, are related to cleanliness, hygiene and health. On Dhanteras, the first festival before Diwali, Lord Dhanvantri, the physician of Gods, appeared from the ocean with amrita kalash (a pot full of nectar) for the welfare of mankind, as a result of samudra manthan (churning of the sea) by Devas and Rakshas. The next day, Naraka Chaturdasi, celebrates Lord Krishna’s victory over Narkasura, the embodiment of untidiness, dirtiness and diseases.
The festival immediately after Diwali is Govardhan puja. This also marks the commencement of New Year for the business community. On this day Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain. The final festival is Bhaiya Duj that depicts the loving ties between brothers and sisters. It is believed that on this day Yamaraja, the God of Death, visited his sister, Yami, and she put the auspicious tilak on his forehead.
The ‘festival of light’, which has two festivals before it and two after, needs to be celebrated befittingly. A befitting celebration does not mean mere fun and frolic, it means reaping the full benefits of the benevolence of the Gods and Goddesses of this festival. Although people follow the traditional way of celebrating Diwali, they can reap much more, if they just adapt the principles of Vastu to the traditional way.
Vastu, the science of placement, can be put to good use in your home and workplace on Diwali day, not only to bring positivity inside, but also to receive the blessings of the reigning deities of this festival.
Decorating your house
● Use diyas (earthen pots) with pure ghee for lighting the house. In case, this is not possible, linseed and mustard oils can be used. These oils have beneficial health affects and kill harmful germs and insects. Do not use candles, as they only add to the pollution without any health benefits. Using electric lights avoids pollution, but has no health benefits.
● When placing the diyas on the parapet and the boundary walls, ensure that they are in multiples of four, as each diya represents the reigning deity of Diwali – Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh, Lord Kuber and Lord Indra – you would not want to separate them!
● Rangoli is the colourful design made on the floor. In a traditional household, the lady of the house begins her daily chores by drawing rangoli lines in front of the puja room and the tulsi. This is said to purify her and make her stay fresh and lively the entire day. Rangoli is a must on Diwali day too, to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Make it at or near the entrance to the house and also in front of the puja room or puja space. Use the traditional material for it, like sand or rice powder mixed with food colouring. This infuses positivity in the environment.
● Another way to make the home environment positive is to place a crystal bowl filled with water and rose petals on the centre table of your drawing room. Float five diyas or candles in it and light them after sunset.
Setting up your puja room
● Welcome Goddess Lakshmi to the puja room by stamping small footprints from the entrance of the house to the puja room. Make sure they are not placed haphazardly. These footprints also bring in positivity.
● There is a Vastu compliant way of placing the statues of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, Lord Indra and Kuber. Locate them in such a way that the worshipper faces the North East or North or East while praying. Lord Ganesha statue is to be kept on the left side of Maa Lakshmi. Kuber and Lord Indra should be placed either in front of them or on the left side.
Colors of wears and gifts
Do not give fire crackers in the shape of the gifts to the friends or the near ones. It is not good for them and the givers.
Do not give leather and knives in the gifts, because in certain cutlery items knives are there. It is not auspicious for both giver and takers. This is the festival of ties and love and knives work for cutting. It affects the relationship and or the health. Leather items are made of the dead animals’ skin and hence not treated to be auspicious, as we use to infuse lively spirits in each other. We have to give the encouraging life to the people belong to us in any way.