When Lord Rama returned home victorious with his wife Sita and loving brother Lakshmana by his side, the people of Ayodhya lit up diyas of ghee to welcome their prince who had been in exile for 14 years. The whole kingdom rejoiced as Rama returned. His brother Bharath, humbly stepped down the throne to give Lord Rama his rightful place in the palace.
This is one of the stories behind our Diwali celebrations. Most Indians also worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day hoping to cajole the illusive Goddess to shower her blessings on them and make the year ahead a prosperous one. The festival of lights is celebrated with great joyfulness throughout the country. So let us talk about the most important aspect of this festival – lights.
In remembrance of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya we light up our homes too. But with time, diyas have been replaced with electronic lighting systems. Many of these electronic string lights are good only for single use. Some do not even last the whole festival before they stop working. But we have become accustomed to these lights and we have forgotten the beauty of earthen lamps.
While the diyas will last just one night and you will have to refill them the next night, the electronic lights are easier to use and hence preferred over the diyas. But when you toss away a diya, it can easily mix into earth without harming the surroundings, but electric lights are difficult to toss away. They do not decompose or break down to return to earth without doing any harm. These lights end up creating a carbon footprint and most of them cannot be recycled.
So on this festival of lights, consider using earthen lamps instead of electric string lights. You will notice that there is a beauty to these diyas which the electronic lights can never completely achieve.