Laxmi was being worshipped everywhere during Diwali, but was this mostly black money? The currency ban will hopefully ensure that a cleaning up happens.
We are still relishing the left over sweets and savouries of Diwali. Some of the electric lights are still hanging and need to be packed till the next festive season. I can still remember the full swing pre Diwali cleanliness in homes across the nation to welcome Laxmi. But the real cleaning up is beginning now.
We were still settling down with the post Diwali hangover, when India got its own 9/11… a day when one stroke of a magic wand jolted the ever mounting corruption, the evil of printing counterfeit currency notes and cross border terrorist funding. It killed three birds with one stroke.
This move took cleaning to a deeper and higher level – cleaning the country of the filth of corruption and to some extent cleaning the conscience… the real essence of any festive season which got lost a long back in this hoarding of money and unethical use and boasting of power that money brings with it.
Diwali is synonymous with the heartfelt Laxmi puja and light prevaling over darkness.
Well, we all know Ganesha has rightfully reserved his superiority among all Gods to be worshipped before everyone else. But in other pujas, we do not put him along with the other idol. Here, in Laxmi Puja he shares an equal status and attention as that of the chief guest of the day, Goddess Laxmi. I remember my curiosity as a child –“Why is Ganesha worshipped along with Laxmi?”
I remember my Grandfather’s explanation about it. “Laxmi alone has the power to turn you crazy and out of control. Too much of her without a healthy conscience makes you crazy, drunken on power and leads you on to a filthy unethical path. So we bring the ‘Vinayaka’ along with her to enlighten our conscience, to respect that Laxmi and to control us from straying away.”
We witness the trio – Ganesha, Laxmi and Saraswati in many of the pictures and idols that we worship. According to our mythological belief, these three grew up like siblings under the love and care of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Like any other siblings, they love each other and love to stay together. Laxmi is happy and smiles when she finds her other two companions with her. She loves to thrive with her sister Saraswati (wisdom) and Vinayaka ( righteous conscience). Wealth with inner wisdom and awakened conscience is the real beautiful Laxmi.
The term instils an image of an ugly Goddess Laxmi – butchered by the misuse in the hand of the holder, suffocated by being stashed in air tight bags in dark lockers and hanging sweaty clothes in the cupboard. She belongs to others but has been made a captive by the wrong person, ill treatment and insult given to her other two siblings.
She turned ugly – draped in the fabric of evil practices and coated with the make-up of filthy corruption and eyes glinting with pain, shame and guilt.
She has been held captive and misused against her will. She was used to kick Vinayaka out and to stab Saraswati again and again. The conscience of people was killed. She supported cross border terrorism, made the rightful owners of the money feel low in the society as their clean notes could not afford what the lucre of the corrupt could.
Illegal and unethical educational institutions bloomed. She was forced to make mockery of her beloved sister Saraswati who soon left the society. Her ugliness thrived in a society where conscience was blanketed in the shades of fear and sin and real education and wisdom walked on crutches.
She suffocated each moment but the holders pretended to be unaware of it. They did grand pujas and celebrations to make her happy, framed her with her two beloved siblings to please her, did the grand gold offerings at religious places like Tirupati. She was used as a bribe against her own folks – the other Gods – to get rid of the sins done under her influence and affluence. She suffered and suffocated, and the evil doers thrived.
Now this move has come to the rescue. All the black money cannot be rescued from a morally paralyzed society but it definitely is a bold step to do so. With many such jolts to corruption in coming time, we the holders of clean notes in this country wish for a fast recovery of an ill Laxmi and wish for a more cleaner Diwali in the coming years.
So next festive season, when we worship Laxmi, we do it with a clean conscience. We worship a Laxmi who is free from the captivity of our illegal practices and unethical desires.
“Shubham Karoti Kalyanam ( let there be blessings and welfare to all)
Aarogya dhan sampadam ( let us be free of our unethical sickness and witness inner prosperity)
Shatrubuddhi vinashaye ( Let our consciousness awaken to choose the righteous path)
Deepjyoti Namostute ( Let’s salute the inner light)”
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