Diwali 2021: Celebrate and cherish the festival of lights with your loved ones the Chanakya way

Can this Diwali make us not just come together, but also make us work together? Here are a few things you can do with your family as you prepare to celebrate Diwali.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai Updated: Saturday, October 30, 2021, 10:53 PM IST
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Diwali, the festivals of lights, is here. For centuries, our country has been celebrating it with pomp and glory. Traditionally, it is connected to King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years in exile during which he defeated Ravana, the king of Lanka.

Apart from this, there are many other significances to the festival, including Lakshmi puja and other important aspects, depending on the region and the customs of communities. It is the biggest festival in our culture.

But, apart from joy and celebrations, it is also the festival of responsibility. Yes, you read it right. Even person has to play their role in the celebrations. Like all events, we need to share responsibilities during the fun and feasting.

Chanakya said,

“He should place in their appropriate positions even the members of his family” (7.16.27)

Chanakya believed in collective responsibilities. The leader is supposed to distribute the responsibilities among his family members as per their capacity and capabilities.

One person cannot do it all alone. Even in celebrations, let us contribute. Can this Diwali make us not just come together, but also make us work together? Here are a few things you can do with your family as you prepare to celebrate Diwali.

Clean up

In most houses, Diwali is the annual clean-up time. Old clothes, furniture and unwanted stuff are discarded and replaced by new ones. Shopping increases. We can not only buy new things, but also contribute to the clean-up process.

Don’t just leave it for the elders or women in the family. You do your bit. Open the drawers and wardrobes, just throw away the unwanted things. Give the unused stuff to the less privileged. It will create space in your house and also in your mind.

Try the Japanese method of cleaning up the house. There are some YouTube videos you can watch on this. It is not just a physical activity, but also emotional and spiritual in nature. Giving up old, drains you. But we should do it.

Meeting friends

People meet friends and family during the festival. Go along with your parents. It’s fun to be with everyone during this time. You can even collectively plan whom all to visit and schedule it. You can also make a list of gifts that you can give.

Meeting and eating are nice but add a bit of collective planning and make it fun. The discussions and debates of what to give whom will help you learn about others’ choices. Surely there will be differences of opinions but remember in a family, the strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

Also, many don’t like meeting some people, yet make it a point to patch up a broken relationship, or connect with a family member with whom you have not spoken for a long time.

Contribute to expenses

Festivals mean extra expenses in every family. It’s important to contribute your bit to the expenses during festivals. Each person can contribute especially when the house is getting painted, or while buying a new fridge or a television set. It becomes a joint purchase rather than an individual expenditure.

Even if you have money, when someone contributes, it feels nice. It is a great feeling when others in your family take up financial responsibilities. Money is not everything. Yet, it is something that is required at a practical level. And yes, money does make everyone happy - especially during festivals.

And Diwali is one festival, when we forget ‘I’ and start working as ‘we’. Together, we create memories for life. Make sure you take a lot of photos and record videos. These are going to make you smile when you look back at them after many years.

(The writer is Founder Director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a best selling author and an expert on Chanakya’s teachings. He can be followed on his twitter @rchanakyapillai)

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