Don’t Run Away From Laddoos This Diwali

Diwali also known as Deepavali means the festival of lights. We celebrate Diwali each year with a lot love, fun and yes Mithai (sweets). But all those on a so-called “Diet” want to run away or hide during this period. Why?? Because – if I eat mithai – I will become fat!!

So – as usual I have a few thoughts and few questions and I leave it to you to decide if you want to Run and Hide or instead this Diwali – have a big smile and enjoy the Ladoos with your loved ones!

Historically, there are many reasons on the origins of this vibrant festival. Diwali was the celebration of Lord Ram’s homecoming to Ayodhya after victory over Ravan. Also on this day, the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated during the churning of the ocean, hence the association of Diwali with Goddess Lakshmi. Diwali is generally associated with abundance and thus we invoke Goddess Lakshmi ~ so that we are blessed with  prosperity and abundance – in love, friendships and relationships, wisdom, creativity, good health, care, enthusiasm, confidence, peace of mind, wealth etc.

Diwali is also to celebrate the victorious return of Lord Krishna, after victory over the demon Narakasur and then rescuing 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival. According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was this day when the mighty and righteous Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice.

So basically – Diwali signifies celebration – the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, right over wrong, good over evil. And yes – when we celebrate these blessed moments – it is natural to rejoice and bond over food too. Exactly why – mithais are made in every household.

In every house during Diwali sweets are made. As a matter of fact, after we make these sweets with lot of love and care with carefully selected ingredients like ghee, dry fruit, jaggery or sugar, etc. We then keep aside a small portion of this and place it in our temples as an offering to God. We invoke the blessings of God and then eat this mithai as a Prasad.

So, now my turn to ask questions – If the mithai was so-bad or dangerous – would we offer it to God? Would we ever think of making mithais with oil instead of ghee or with sugar free substitutes and then serve it to God? Or do we believe in serving our Gods the real thing?? Then why are we running away from it? Why is the God inside of us made to suffer – by giving it substitutes? Why can we not choose to nourish our own selves too? Is food only numbers for us ? Have we forgotten that we eat to get energy, to nurture our soul?

Now –  I am definitely not advocating madly eating insane amounts of sweets, but yes why not a piece or 2 of the laddoo. Why not share this mithai with our family, our loved ones? Why not celebrate the Goodness of our meals?

Shine your inner light this Diwali.. Also eating ghee-wala mithai – helps bring a glow on our face too because – ghee is made of essential fat.  We need fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A and E. Both work as antioxidants and are rich in anti-ageing properties and thus the glowing skin 😉Diwali

Fasting and Feasting – in the name of God

We first revered the Father (Shiva), then indulged the Son (Ganpati) and now as we dance and rejoice we pay our respects to the Mother (Shakti) during Navratra or Navratri. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped, which represents the Divine Feminine Principle within us.

Many observe a strict fast during this period. Today fasting is frequently heralded as the “miracle weight loss” for those who have tried all else without success.

Actually Fasting in Sanskrit is called ‘Upavas’. Upa- means near and Vas means to sit. Thus Upavas is sitting next to or residing in close proximity to the Divine or simply a Connection with the Divine

A fast also is one of the best ways of controlling our mind and senses, especially our Tongue. They allow us to withdraw our senses from the outside world and become refocused on our own inner divine nature and our connection to God. Unfortunately today, most of us have forgotten much of the purpose of a fast. Today, we either see people feasting in the name of fasting. Or we see the exact opposite – starvation. People starve for various reasons – to please God or to even lose weight. Starving is the ideal way to increase your abdominal girth, as when we starve the adrenal gland kicks in, stores the fat and lets go off the muscle, bone and water. Though you may be few kgs lower on your scale, your Fat percentage just jumped further up, putting your body into more danger and more closer to a heart disease.

So just like on a normal day, even when observing a Fast, sensible eating is required. The food restriction during a fast is not a punishment, but rather to practice self-restraint. Fasting typically means to eat a healthy diet comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, protein, healthy carbs and fat, which is essentially called a “Sattvic” diet in Ayurveda. This in turn leads to clarity and equanimity of mind while also being tremendously beneficial to the body – thus bringing us to a state of balance.

The so called restricted diet gives us a chance to get in touch with our tummy. Everyday everywhere we see a  variety of food on in front of us and somewhere we forget that the body needs only a certain amount of food for sustenance for the stomach can hold only so much physically. It is our senses continue to crave, and we give in to those cravings very often.

These fasts just come as a break for us to get in touch or rather friendly with our stomach, to get clarity of what we want to eat, when we want to eat and most importantly HOW MUCH to eat, for it is only we ourselves who know how much we need to eat in that moment – no doctor or dietician can tell us that.

So if you really want to fast – let go of your past. Give up criticizing yourself. Give up on the tags and labels you put up on yourself.  And ‘feed’ yourself only certain things then – put yourself on a diet of self – love. Nurture yourself. Celebrate yourself. Be thankful to yourself. Strictly follow a diet like this just for a Week and Witness the Wonders 🙂

Found this beautiful poem and just had to share –