Diwali: Celebrating health of mind and soul

Diwali: Celebrating health of mind and soul

Diwali, also spelled as Divali, lasts for four days from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashwin to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term Dipavali, meaning row of lights (row of healthy lights).

Looking to traditional principles of Ayurveda, Deepavali is rooted in ancient traditions of wellness when celebrated traditionally. The festival arrives at the start of healthy season winter, and it’s actually the start to follow the regimes of winter for the health of 12 months. The first day, known as Dhanteras, is dedicated to cleaning homes and purchasing small items of gold. The Dhantrayodashi is celebrated by all Ayurveda Physician fraternity as Lord Dhanvantari Jayanti.

Dhanvantari is believed to be the God of Medicine, who came on earth for its health. Special prasad of Dhanvantari is rice puffs (lighter for digestion) and sugar candy for instant energy, and coriander seeds to cool the body. Here, the importance of organic rice puffs as energetic food is shown.

The second day, called Narak Chaturdashi, marks Krishna’s victory over demon Narakasura; and the day is celebrated with the crushing of Kartoli (spine gourd), a healthy fruit, which is a symbol of Narkasura. Accordingly, Kartoli fruits are eaten for health in winter. This practice shows the importance of fruity vegetables that may be heavy to get digested in other seasons. Prayers are offered to the souls of ancestors to seek blessings.

The start is Abhyanga Snan with the application of warm Sesame Oil or Abhyanga Oil as all have to start massaging in the season to keep bones, joints, and skin healthy from the cold season. Application of Ubtana Herbal powder is now assumed to be the best soap, gel, or so for health all over the world.

After the royal bath, heavy food is followed, where a variety of sweets, little oily nutritious food are consumed, and they are to be consumed for the whole winter, not only those five days. Food consumption is to restore the body’s health, as appetite increases due to natural heavy nutritious foods. It can be consumed and digested, whereas other seasons do not give appetite to digest.

During the festival, diyas are lit, homes are decorated, and floors inside and out are covered with rangoli, consisting of elaborate designs made of coloured rice, sand, or flower petals. It is to have a pleasant healthy atmosphere making your body ready to rejuvenate in the new form of health.

On the next day, Lakshmi Poojan, families seek blessings from Lakshmi to ensure their prosperity; light diyas, candles, and fireworks; and visit temples. It is the main day of festival where wealth for health is worshipped, but now, all worship health through traditions for a healthy body and mind.

The doors and windows of houses are kept open in the hope that Lakshmi will find her way inside and bless the residents with wealth and success. Families awake till midnight allowing the coolness of nature to have health benefits, thus curing heat ailments of season. Although, happiness to mind and soul is seen over here.

The fourth day, called Bhai Dooj, Bhai Tika, or Bhau Beej, celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters pray for the success and well-being of their brothers. Here, it’s a symbol of love towards sister where it is assumed Lord Yama hid sisters relations of integrity. Thus, Diwali is the festival of Light, colours but it is really a festival of health year-long... culturing mind and soul.

**Happy Healthy Deepavali**

Article by: Vaidya Vikrant Jadhav, International Ayurveda Consultant

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