Festival of Lights-Diwali-an Ayurvedic overview
The festive atmosphere of Diwali has just begun.
This Hindu festival, also known as Deepavali, meaning “rows of lamps” in Sanskrit, sees people decorating their homes with lamps (diyas).
Relishing festive sweets and savoury dishes, bursting fire crackers, drawing rangoli art at the doorstep and exchange of colourful gifts for five days ,the atmosphere is filled with joy and enthusiasm.
This festival also marks the celebration, the triumph of light over dark and good over evil.
Let’s see Diwali in light of Ayurveda.
It might come as a surprise to many, that traditions and rituals followed in Diwali are rooted in Ayurvedic medicine.
These traditions of celebrating each festival are based on an ancient science, Ayurveda to nurture health, peace and happiness.
Diwali comes in autumn/fall season when weather is becoming dry, cold and windy.
It is called “Vata season” because autumn/fall has the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, dry, light, clear, and moving. These external environmental changes increase same qualities internally in body and mind, cause imbalance of Vata.
The traditions and rituals followed during this festival of Diwali are to pacify Vata energy.
Ayurveda recommends doing Panchakarma (Ayurvedic complete detox and rejuvenation) in changing seasons especially in fall and spring to purify internal environment and to achieve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Rituals in Diwali:
Ayurveda recommends waking up on 'Brahma Muhurta'. It is a pre-dawn period when Brahma, pure sattva energy is high in nature that can bring peace of mind.
The traditition of Abhyanga Snan (a full body massage with perfumed oil and ritual bathing at brahma muhurta on the first day of Diwali)is followed during Diwali.
Instead of soap, people use an Ayurvedic herbal scrub.
This use of herbal powder over the body is called Udvartan.This herbal scrub mainly consists of Kapur (camphor),sandalwood,turmeric,rose petals,and vetiver.
Use of herbal powder (Utane) instead of soap preserves natural moisture of skin, cleans impurities, revitalizes skin and freshens senses.
Benefits of Udvartan:
Warm shower increases blood circulation, relieves stiffness in body and improves digestive fire (Agni).
Health cannot be accomplished without spiritual wellbeing.
We perform Lord Dhanvantari pooja and Laxmi pooja (goddess of wealth) to attain good health, peace and prosperity.
Diwali, “festival of lights” signifies “The awareness of inner lights”. Let’s illuminate the light within the soul to remove the obstacles, conquer the darkness and connect the lights shining within all of us.
With the blessings of Lord Dhanvantari“May the divine light of Diwali spread into your life Peace, prosperity, good health and happiness”