Everyone whether Rich or Poor, lights candles on Diwali.
Those who can afford, to go in for the ornamented versions and those who cannot go in for those white or colourful ordinary ones.
The reason is quite simple.
The process of lighting a candle and just positioning it at the required spots is quite simple as compared to the cumbersome task of washing and drying the old-fashioned clay lamps, preparing and arranging the wicks, filling them with oil and lighting them, and collecting them back once done with.
And oil being costly, everyone cannot afford it.
To add to it, living in a showbiz era everyone is competing to be the best.
“Get more for less” as the saying goes hence many more candles at the price of a few Diyas. Hence more decoration.
Moreover portraying to be modern is also important,
The traditional lamps have become so old-fashioned. Who uses them now, except in temples?
I had visited an exhibition in Delhi where ready-to-use so-called diyas were being sold and the quite knowledgeable English-speaking modern seller’s explanations for the Diyas he had formulated were
A. According to him “Dhoopam Dipam Samarpayaami ” is what is uttered before God and not “Gheeam Tailam” meaning thereby that we appease God by offering him Incense sticks and Diyas but not Ghee and Oil.
It is not mentioned anywhere in our scriptures.
B. Secondly everyone is busy in today’s modern-day world and the ladies of the house are working too, hence where is the time to undergo the cumbersome task of cleaning, preparing, and lighting those lamps? Hence such products are the need of the hour.
How very easily he picked up a few words from our scriptures and used them for his benefit.
He seemed to be a representative of the so-called modern learned class, who can find any reason to argue against our traditional culture and if there is no valid argument then shortage of time becomes the prime reason for adopting modern-day practices.
Do you remember that movie in which Sridevi adopts a glue-based bindi instead of the traditional kumkum one, she used to adorn herself earlier with, and gives various reasons to her husband on being asked about the change?
I suppose it’s Judaai.
Just remembered that scene right now while writing because her reasons were quite similar.
We all have collectively shed our culture and traditions that have been followed for centuries and kept them aside for the sake of modernising ourselves.
The same is with Diwali.
We have forgotten the real reasons behind the rituals that used to be observed.
The original essence has been lost.
We still remember the rules that used to be followed, but we have neglected the reasons behind observing those rules, for our convenience.
For instance the logic behind lighting lamps at intersections.
Diwali nights as everyone knows are the darkest nights of the year, hence the System of Illuminating the nights by lighting the Diyas started.
During these nights, Diyas were lit all over, especially the crossroads passing through the village so that the unknown travellers and passersby would not confuse their path due to darkness.
This logical tradition has taken the form of lighting them at junctions today to Ward off evil eyes.
( Hahaha such a weird change and most of us blindly and religiously follow it)
Next is this.
Our today’s debate between these outdated earthen lamps and candles.
Candles have replaced them in almost every family.
We, The Learned Lot have forgotten the significance of lighting these small lamps with certain particular oils only.
There were specific reasons behind it. Fumes from these particular oils act as air purifiers and kill harmful bacteria, especially during this season and the smoke emanating from them is good for our overall health.
But we turned over to candles.
Let’s see how much good we have done for ourselves while approving this change.
Coming to the constitution of the candles first.
The basic ingredients that go in to produce those beautiful candles are–
1. Parafins, which are fairly long chains of hydrocarbons, are oil-based and are equivalent to burning fossils.
2. The colours added to enhance the beauty are made up of dyes and pigments made up of microscopic suspended particles.
What happens when this most commonly used paraffin-based candle is burnt
1. It produces toxic chemicals like toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and soot.
2. It releases particulate matter and volatile compounds into the air which is a mixture of extremely small liquid droplets and particles that can enter our lungs and extended exposure can lead to heart and lung problems.
3. Paraffin-based candles release carcinogens and other chemicals raising the risk of asthma.
After reading this, what do you think have we left behind?
Old-fashioned unmanageable techniques or the scientific benefits of our traditions.
Please give candle burning a rethink.
Let’s get back to our traditional cute Diyas.
If you don’t have much time and energy, just light a few of them but make sure to use them.
You will be doing a lot of good for your environment.
Plus the added benefit of helping those poor Potters and their Children celebrate Diwali by purchasing their beautiful handmade clay Diyas.
Won’t your heart feel proud?
Please let’s take a step towards a pure healthy and safe Diwali
One more argument to end with–
Candles are Burnt
Diyas are Lighted.
The difference between the two words speaks for itself.