Episode 23 – Diwali, crackers & Shri Ram (23 min)

All spirituality is the discipline to eliminate the unnecessary.

acharya prashant

Diwali is a festival of light and prosperity. We have all heard and read this line in our childhood textbooks, but what is its real significance? What is the real meaning of the festival of Diwali?

And then of course – the central question that occupies our social media around this festival – should we burst crackers on this day?

And going even deeper – what can we learn from the life of Shri Ram? What did that famous story Ramayana essentially represent?

I tackle these questions, and some more, in this episode, with a sincere hope that it resonates at least as much with you as it did with me.

I personally think this is one of my best episodes, given its timeliness and relevance to the way religion and spirituality is viewed and practised in the modern society these days.

Do I live up to these claims?

Only one way to find out.

Dig right in.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Peace out.

What is the real meaning and significance of Diwali? Should we burst crackers on Diwali? What does the life of Sri Ram teach us? | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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As of the time of my writing this, Hindus all over the world have just finished celebrating the festival of Diwali. For millions of Hindu households across the globe, it is the pivotal festival in their calendar.

But every year around this time, especially since the last few years, there are quite a few questions that turn up and demand to be answered sincerely and convincingly.

What is the real significance and meaning of Diwali?

Should we, or should we not, burst crackers on this day?

What does the life of Shri Ram teach us?

In this episode of my podcast, I try to tackle these questions in the only way I know how to – as honestly as possible. And honesty in itself is a funny thing. Remember that beautiful quote by that beautiful poet David Whyte:

"Honesty is not found in merely revealing the truth, but rather in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are."
P.S. I build on this quote in a video on my YouTube channel here – do check it out.

So yes, back to the topic at hand. In this episode, I try to walk through these questions as honestly as possible. Of course, not stopping at what could be hard to talk about or listen, or in the modern lingo, not stopping at what could be triggering!

I think there are lessons in this episode that both followers and non-followers of religions and rituals can very easily pick up on and apply to their everyday lives outside of the domain of the discussion here.

If you’d have noticed, I used a quote from Acharya Prashant at the top of this webpage. Even in this episode, I do talk about the stance this man takes when it comes to the question of Diwali and Shri Ram. I think it is one of the most potent meditations I have heard in recent times. He is truly a gem of a teacher in all regards and must be appreciated. I hope it resonates with you too.

To time it in the episode, the section where I talk about this is close to the 17th minute.

Here is an outline of the episode for easier reference:

(00:00) – Intro
(00:47) – Diwali & the backdrop
(02:50) – The question of crackers
(04:12) – My personal stance on crackers
(07:40) – Some common(?) sense
(08:16) – The faults in others
(10:20) – It is all a ploy
(12:12) – It is a ritual after all
(13:20) – Should we do this on Shri Ram’s day?
(16:10) – The real light & prosperity of Diwali
(21:08) – Ending

Check out the complete episode now.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here