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Monday, November 2, 2015

True Essence of Diwali

Guest Writer: Latika Mishra
Triumph of light over dark, good over evil, truth over lie is not the only essence of Diwali. Ever wondered why do people in India, Hindus basically, have mass lightening of earthen-lamps and that too in the same season i.e.; around October and November every year? Is Diwali, a day singled out to spread noise and sound pollution due to busting of crackers? 
 Bursting of crackers and the noise and sound pollution are the evil modifications that have found close association with the celebration. Almost all over the world crackers are exploded on some occasion. Why single out Diwali, when on USA day more crackers are burst. Diwali is not a practice that adds to pollution only. There is certainly some added significance behind the festival.
Reasons although are hidden but they have the capability to mold and structure the whole civilization. If any layman would face the same question his/her approach would be different, but people close to science would explain it differently. Notwithstanding the spiritual reasons to celebrate the festival of lights, there is a scientific fact behind.
The season is marked by the abundance of an insect called 'tiny leaf-hopper' of the family cycadilladae.  This insect feeds on plant sap and can transmit plant infecting viruses and bacteria. These insects are of sporadic occurrence in the rice grown areas. They have piercing and sucking type of mouth parts and are serious threat to rice cultivation as they have the capacity to transmit the virus disease of rice. Nymphs and adults both have the capacity to damage the crop.

Diwali Insect
Rice is found to have a close association with every Hindu ritual. The great Indian sage Parashara has laid stress on essentiality of rice cultivation and sung in his treatise called 'Krishi Parashar', "Rice is vitality, rice is vigor too and rice is indeed the fulfillment of all ends of life. Gods, demons and human beings all subsist on rice."
The wise sages in order to protect the civilization from starvation, as rice is the principle crop in the subcontinent, devised a method. Now, if people who are ignorant are explained scientific facts, they would never understand as you should have the receptors, there in your brains to receive something that can act as stimuli.
So they found religion as a weapon to execute their motive. They said because King Rama has arrived in the kingdom and his rule has been established once again, so to welcome him every house must light earthen lamps. People approved as King Rama had his influence on people far and wide due to his policies that were just and morally proved. 
Every year the same event was practiced to remember his arrival marked by the victory and justice that was established. The sages as wise they were, thus were successfully removing the insect from the environment, as we know insects are attracted to the fire and are killed. So, this event is marked by the mass killing of insects- tiny leaf-hoppers and mosquitoes chiefly that are abundant during the same season every year, and pose a challenge to crop cultivation there upon human nutrition.

Present day concern is that people have stopped lightening earthen lamps, to find themselves more comfortable or at mark with the lifestyle fashion. You must have seen the electric bulbs and lamps that are on display before Diwali, in the markets. Do these electric lightening equipments serve the purpose? Certainly not! People must realize it is not only in the light, but there is certainly more than light. It owes more to fire than to the light that it illuminates.
Key Words: Diwali Insect, Rama, earthen lamps, markets