Sadhguru | Why banning firecrackers during Diwali is not a good idea
If you are concerned about air pollution, as your sacrifice for the children, walk to your office for three days and let children have the fun of bursting crackers
Diwali is celebrated for various cultural reasons, but historically, it is called Naraka Chaturdashi because Narakasura, a very cruel king, was killed by Krishna on this day. Because of that, this celebration happened in such a big way. But, evil need not necessarily come in the form of demons. Desperation, depression and frustration can cause much more damage to one’s life than the demons that you have not seen. Diwali is a reminder to slay all that is negative to our life.
The celebration is auspicious in so many different ways. On this day, it is said that if someone needs money, Lakshmi will come in. If someone wants health, Shakti will come in. If someone wants knowledge, Saraswati will come in. These are dialectical ways of expressing that it will lead to well-being.
In Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the — 365 festivals in a year — because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. Today, people usually celebrate only around eight or ten festivals annually because we have to go to the office or do something else daily. Unfortunately, festivals nowadays mean they give you a holiday, and you wake up only at noon. Then you eat a lot and go to a movie or watch television at home. It wasn’t so in the past. A festival meant the whole town would gather in a place and celebrate in a big way. A festival meant we got up at four in the morning, and very actively, lots of things happened all over the house.
To bring this culture back to people, Isha celebrates four important festivals: Pongal or Makarasankranti, Mahashivrathri, Dussehra and Guru Purnima. If we don’t create something like this, by the time the next generation comes, they will not know what a festival is. They will just eat, sleep and grow up without concern for another human being. All these aspects were brought into Indian culture just to keep each person active and enthusiastic in so many ways. The idea behind this was to make our whole life a celebration.
If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is, if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it. If they think it is not so important, they will become lax about it — they don’t show the necessary involvement. In India, when someone says, “He is serious,” that means his next step is, you know where.
A lot of people are in serious condition. There is only one thing that is going to happen to them which is of any significance. The rest will bypass them because, with anything that they think is not serious, they are unable to show involvement and dedication towards that. That is the whole problem. The passage, the secret of life is to see everything with a ‘non-serious’ eye, yet be absolutely involved — like a game. That is why the most profound aspects of life are approached in a celebratory way so that you don’t miss the point.
The idea of Diwali is to bring that aspect of celebration into your life — that is why the firecrackers—to set fire to you a bit!
Nowadays, certain people are saying we should ban firecrackers because of environmental concerns. Concern about air pollution is not a reason to prevent kids from experiencing the joy of firecrackers.
I have not lit a cracker in quite a few years. But when I was a child, how much it meant! From the month of September, we would be dreaming of crackers. And even after Diwali was over, for the next one to two months, we would save the crackers and continue bursting them every day.
If you are concerned about air pollution, as your sacrifice for the children, walk to your office for three days and let children have the fun of bursting crackers. Let not people who are suddenly environmentally active say, “No child should have crackers.”
Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan”, India’s highest annual civilian award, by the Government of India in 2017, for exceptional and distinguished service.
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