Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Celebrating Life with Silence
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
How to manage to stay in the present moment on a day to day basis?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
First of all, we are always in the present. We are in the present, we only have to bring our mind to the present.
When you appreciate the beauty of something, you are in the present moment. When you are concerned about an issue, you are in the present moment. When you have fear, you are in the present moment. So, extreme emotions also put you in the present moment. At the same time, when you witness all these emotions as not you, when you realize that they come and go, then you are in the present moment. With mindfulness or alertness you can be in the present moment. And all these practices like pranayama and meditation help you to be in the present moment.
How to be peaceful and yet prosperous?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, peace and prosperity go hand in hand. Where there is no peace, there cannot be prosperity. And this is what is happening with all the Naxal affected areas. Since there is no peace, there is no economic development at all.
All other districts have developed except the 200-odd districts that have Naxal problems? Why? Nobody wants to start any business there.
Now how to be peaceful? This one should learn. If you have mental peace, you have energy to work. If you are disturbed and are feeling upset, then you do not want to do any work. When you do not do any work, your productivity will be zero. And if you have zero productivity, you will have no income. So through meditation develop your intuition and increase your peace and enthusiasm, and you will be prosperous.
How to achieve universal peace?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, universal peace starts with individual peace. If individuals are peaceful, families are peaceful, societies are peaceful, it all will contribute towards universal peace.
Quantum physics has completely removed this last straw of doubt from the minds of people that your vibrations do have an effect on everybody else.
People say there is something called Manglik Dosha. What does it mean and how do I get rid of it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, Manglik basically means that the person is a little hot-headed, that's all. All these planetary positions indicate your physical and mental status, and they can always be remedied by meditation and chanting. All these remedial factors exist to get rid of these doshas. It is not fatalistic, it is always changeable.
If God has no form or shape, then why does Hinduism have so many idols and temples?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The ancient Vedic people discovered that (as human beings) we cannot relate to something that has no form. You are talking to me, but do you talk to the space next to me here? If you do, then you must have gone mad and you will be taken to the mental hospital. What do you relate to? To a form! We can only relate to forms. This is why they created so many forms and said, "When you need to relate to the highest spirit, relate through this form".
Gods and Goddesses have subtle forms (light forms) and not physical forms. They have subtle energies. The ancient people connected a particular type of energy to a particular form. It is totally scientific. If you go deep into it, you will be amazed by how beautiful this ancient knowledge has been.
How to come out of suicidal thoughts? I am being made the culprit for so much negativity, which I can't bear.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Time and again, what happens is a cloud of negativity comes and bombards your head, isn't it? From college kids to retired people, this is a problem. In fact, it's not even a problem, it's a challenge. Suddenly negative clouds appear and everything seems so bad and life appears to be hopeless. Everyone appears to be cunning and you feel people are after you. So this negative cloud comes and takes over your mind. What to do? This is the time you have to remember to push the negative clouds away and save your mind. Make a resolve to yourself, " I won't let any negative clouds take over me and my life".
It is all about our perception. Our perception gets so distorted with the negative clouds and we keep doubting everything and everybody. And life appears meaningless and depression takes over. So when negative clouds hound you, first know that you are under the influence of a negative cloud. Second, stand up and say, "I am not going to be a victim of this, I am not going to be overcome by a negative cloud."
It is only for you to have this awareness and strength that we have satsang, sadhana and the Guru. Otherwise what else are they there for? So remember this – I have a Guru in my life, I have knowledge, I have wisdom, and I have meditation. And so I'm not going to let the negative cloud (which is an illusion) take over me. I will win over this illusion!
You will need to have this conviction.
Negative clouds are like a shadow. If you have your back towards light, what will you look at? A shadow! And a shadow appears small or big? It appears very big because you are not looking at the light! When you simply turn around and look at the light, the shadow disappears! One little turn is good enough. And that is what is calledGurumukhi –turning yourself towards the knowledge. Vimukhi is having your back towards the knowledge. When you turn towards the light, then you do not see the shadow and you will never be afraid of it.
Paramātmā – Param is that which is beyond the Atma. Atma is the Self.
Nobody can deny Atma. If I say I do not believe in anything, at least I believe in this sentence that I am saying. If someone says, "I do not believe in anything", that means he does not believe in what he is saying either! Got it? It is next to impossible to say something and not believe in what you are saying. So when someone says, "I don't believe in anything", they mean, "I don't believe in anything other than myself". But who is this myself? This you need to find out.
Keep God in one corner – don't worry about God. First find out – Who am I? What is my life? Where was I before? Where will I go later? Just these three to four questions are good enough; the journey has begun.
The way to find out who you are is meditation. Kabir Das has said, “When I was saying Hari, Hari (a name of God), I could not meet Hari. But now that I am settling into myself, Hari is behind me, calling me Kabir, Kabir”. So be still! Stillness of the mind is the main thing.
There are so many emotional surges that come into us from time and again – you like something, there is a huge wave; if you do not like something, then again you are shaken. The mind is shaken by both cravings and aversions. So you have to take a leap, take a jump from this. And that is why you are all here! You are in the right place, doing the right thing.
Dearest Gurudev, could you please tell us what is the relationship between Shiva and Krishna? Are they friends? Are they colleagues? If yes, is there any hierarchy among them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When you try to know any one of them, you will get to know both because they are one and the same.
If there is a cup and I move the cup from here to there, is it the same space or has the space changed? It is the same, yet different, isn't it? The space in the cup here is the same, when you move it, it is still the same space, yet it is different. It is just like that with Shiva and Krishna.
Krishna walked on this planet Earth. Shiva was not a person, it is an energy, it is in the subtle only. Inside all of you is Shiva, when you realize this, that is Krishna. That is why we sing (the song) "Shivoham, Shivoham (I am Shiva, I am Shiva)". God is not sitting somewhere up in the heaven. Just sit, be still, and you will see that there is nothing other than Shiva in the whole Universe.
Do you know how they describe Shiva? They say, "The whole universe is your Jata". The whole universe is the body of Shiva, that is why Shiva is depicted in blue. Blue is not the color of somebody, it is just the energy in which we are always living, and that energy is Shiva.
Gurudev, our true good actions might cause troubles to someone else. How do we handle the affected person?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If your intentions are correct, then that is all that matters.
See, a doctor also cuts open the stomach of a patient and a thief also puts a knife into someone. They both are using the knife on someone, but for very different causes. One is to keep someone alive and the other is to kill someone. And there are chances in both cases that people may die, and in both cases people may survive. So what matters here? It is the intention.
In quantum physics, there is the concept of quantum teleportation, which is similar to that in ancient days when Gurus used to disappear and reappear wherever they wanted to. Is the new algorithms of teleportation the same as how it was implemented in the ancient days?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, our subtle bodies can do that. In the subtle body, you can appear in many people's dreams at the same time. All that is possible.
For the physical bodies, in theory, teleportation is possible because we are all just energy. If an image can be transported from one place to another by transforming it into electricity and then get printed somewhere else (referring to the fax machine), then anything is possible.
There are people who have done The Art of Living course yet they exhibit such angry and egoistic behavior. How to manage these people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Suppose these people would never have done The Art of Living course, then how would they have been? They would have been much worse.
Some people do The Art of Living course, but they do not practice the exercises after the course ends. If they do not practice it, whose fault is it? Is the course at fault or the people at fault? If they have done the course, and they are showing some ego, then what is needed? Practice! They need to do the exercises again and again!
Six or eight hours after eating, you will feel hungry and need to eat again, isn't it? You cannot say, "I ate food yesterday, how come I am getting hungry today?" You take shower everyday but you do not question, "Why do I have to take bath again? I took bath yesterday, why am I smelling today?" So if you have taken bath once, that is not enough. You have to take a shower again and again. If you have taken a bath, that freshness lasts for half a day or one day. But again and again, you have to repeat certain things.
Gurudev, I am a soldier. Will doing sadhana reduce my zeal and enthusiasm?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
No, not at all. In fact, doing sadhana will help you strengthen and maintain your enthusiasm and positivity. Do not think that by doing sadhana you will become passive and lose the will to fight. If that was the case, then why would the Bhagavad Gita have been recited in the midst of the battlefield? Why would Lord Krishna encourage Arjuna to fight? Lord Krishna’s very purpose behind reciting the Gita was to fill Arjuna with enthusiasm from within. Arjuna had become dejected and lost the will to fight; he just wanted to run away from the battlefield and retire into the caves of the Himalayas as a recluse.
He told Lord Krishna, “O Lord, what would I possibly need? Just two square meals a day to sustain myself? I would readily get that there also. Why engage in all this bloodshed? I can live off the fruits from the trees”.
But Lord Krishna persisted and told Arjuna, “O Arjuna! It is not so. All this is just the weakness of the mind that you are caught up in. Drop all this and fight”.
See, sometime or the other, even a strong soldier gets caught up in emotional weaknesses of the heart and mind. He may feel loneliness, or he may be overcome with doubt and fear. For a soldier to be able to rise above all such negativity, sadhanawill be of utmost help. So do not ever think that one loses enthusiasm and zeal because of doing sadhana. Yes, by doing sadhana, one becomes free from the clutches of anger, aversions and envy, but you will never lose your sense of duty and responsibility.
Do not think that if there is no sense of hatred or aversion, then you will not be able to fight. It is not so. Hatred and aversion only make you weaker. A person filled with hatred may appear to be angry and very strong on the outside, but in reality he gets shaken because of this and the mind becomes weak and unsteady. Even our muscles and sinews grow weak. So when you fight, do not fight out of hatred and feverishness; instead fight with a firm determination and steady mind. There is a huge difference between these two states, When you fight, fight with full enthusiasm and also with total awareness. This is the spiritual path, this is Dharma.
Gurudev, it has been 15 years since my father passed away, but I am still not able to forget him. I remember him a lot. What do I do to overcome this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Why are you making efforts to forget him? It is okay to remember him. You do not need to do anything about this.
Just like your father, there are thousands of fathers who will leave this world one day, and there are so many who have left, and there are also many who are going to be born as well. You have limited your life to a very small space and are feeling stuck in it. Everyone has to go one day or another. Why grieve for those who are certain to leave (this world)?
No one is going to be here permanently. You too will leave this world one day, isn’t it? But till the time you are here, be happy and cheerful, spread peace and love. Do good deeds, be in knowledge, and spread knowledge to everyone around you.
I will not sympathise with you and tell you, “Do not cry. It is such an unfortunate thing that has happened to you”. Instead, you will get a tight slap here (so that you wake up and realize the truth). And a slap from me will only make you smile. All your crying and grieving will stop.
Gurudev, what is the importance behind Anna-daan (donating food grains in charity)? Is there any special significance of doing Anna-daan on specially auspicious days such as Shivaratri, or Navratri?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, the very first layer of our body is the Annamaya Kosha (the gross or outermost layer of the body nourished and sustained by food). Food affects the prana (subtle life force) and our prana has an effect on our mind. The mind is the seat of knowledge and knowledge takes one to joy and bliss. This is the way of life. So food is responsible for our existence. That is why food is necessary for all living beings to nourish and protect the prana . It is the most basic source of sustenance. What will happen to you if you do not get any food? If you do not get any food to eat, then you will simply discard all the knowledge in the dustbin. What will be the value of all the education you have received without any food? It is of no use. Having food to eat gives value to all the other aspects of life.
Food is the basic foundation of life. This is why donating food is a noble deed that one can do. Even if you cannot do this every day, at least once every few days you should do so. You can donate on your birthday, or you can choose a day to donate food in the memory of your ancestors. This is why in our culture, we have specific days set aside especially for this. On such days, we donate food in the name of our ancestors; or during festival days we prepare good food and share it with everyone. This has been a regular part of all our customs.
In the Ashram, not only do you get good knowledge, you also get good food to eat. Isn’t it so?
Even when you go to a temple, you don’t just get to see the deity, you also get someprasadam (sacred offering) to eat before you leave. So this is the importance of Anna-daan. This has been in practice in India since many centuries.
It is said,“Anna-daanam param daanam vidhya-daanam tat param”. It means thatimparting and giving knowledge to others is even higher than the act of donating food. But at least to start with, one can always begin with donating food grains from time to time.
Gurudev, if we are all born yogis, then why do we have to learn and practice yoga?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Well, that is because you lost touch with it somewhere along the way. Yes, everyone is a born yogi, but if you had retained that same child-like innocence as you grew up, then there would have been no need to learn and practice yoga again. We have moved away from that child-like innocent nature and have collected so many impressions (samskaaras) along the way. We have spoiled our balance and peace of mind. This is why we need to do yoga and sadhana in order to keep our body, intellect, mind and emotions healthy and in balance.
Gurudev, one has to make some effort in order to gain something in this world. Even on the spiritual path, one has to engage in seva and sadhana in order to make progress. Until I become enlightened, even seva is like some work for me and I seem to be tired. What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, when you get tired, just relax and meditate. You will go deeper into meditation then. We need to make meditation a part of our lifestyle.
When you feel tired doing seva, relax and meditate for a while. When you become bored of meditating, then get up and do some seva. When you grow tired of both, then read or listen to knowledge. There are so many options given to you here. Why is it so? It is because we know that initially it all feels like you have to strive and put in efforts to get something. Over a period of time, you yourself will realize by your own experience that in the beginning it does take some efforts. And you should make some efforts in the beginning as well. After some time it will all seem so effortless to you, as if it is your very nature.
Just do one thing: for one whole week, do not do any sadhana, do not do any meditation at all and see what happens to you. See what the state of your mind is. When you sit somewhere by yourself, you will automatically go into meditation. Then you will realize, “Oh, this comes so naturally. It is my very nature”.
It is possible to grasp the reality of the present moment totally only when you see everything that has happened in the past as a dream. When you discard everything that has happened until now as a dream, only then can you understand the truth of the present moment.
It is the bhootkala (the past) that has overwhelmed and burdened our mind. Without being free of this bhoota (here meaning the past) you cannot attain the Bhootnatha (a name for Lord Shiva). To attain Bhootnatha we need to see everything in the past as a dream. And this is not a very difficult thing to do. All that we need for this is a little awareness.
You must have seen cats and dogs, sometimes they roll in water or dirt, but when they get up, they immediately shake everything off their body and walk ahead. In the same way, you too can play in the water or the mud, but every once in a while, just stand up and shake everything off and come into awareness. Then you will find that Lord Shiva is right here, right now. When you do this again and again, this realization begins to dawn and deepen within you.
Many times people become dejected and say, “Oh, I do not find interest in anything”. For you to have interest in something, you need to wake up and shake everything off. Why does one’s interest wane? It is because the clear mind is consumed and burdened by events of the past.
Whether pleasant or unpleasant events, whether it be your friends or enemies, all these entangle and burden the mind so much. They seem to take up so much space in your mind, as if you have given that part of your mind on rent to them. The past lives in your mind, but you don't really get anything in return (laughter). There is only loss in this entire transaction (by letting the past take up space in your mind).
So every once in a while, you will have to stand up and say, “This is my home”, and discard the past, else the tenant (events of the past) will think it is his home and he will take control, and then you will not know who the real owner is. So don't let the past consume your mind, displace you, and make your miserable.
When this awareness comes up in our life, even if for a few minutes every day – that all that has happened in the past, whether good or bad, is nothing but a dream, then you gain the strength to face whatever comes up in life. Then you will experience a surge of energy and expansion in your consciousness that was earlier clouded by these events.
Now this is not some mood-making technique to keep fooling or tricking the mind every now and then by saying, “Oh, it is all a dream”. When you feel hungry, then you do not see it as a dream. You feel it is real, isn’t it? So there is some practical truth to this.
So, every once in a while, stand up and just shake off the past and see that everything is a dream. This is the essence of sadhana (spiritual practices). Sadhana does not mean to venture off into some other realm or dimension. It means to be here and now, doing all your duties and responsibilities, but also withdrawing from it all and awakening ( to the higher truth ) from time to time. It is awakening and kindling one’s awareness towards the ultimate truth. When we keep rekindling this awareness from time to time, I tell you then, life becomes so wonderful. Not just for yourself, but also for all others around you . Then all the people who come near you will also experience peace and happiness. You will have so much positive energy and good vibrations around you. And this is the only way to create that positive energy in and around you.
Time and life is such, it comes like a storm and swabs your mind. Let me put it this way: the negativity comes like a storm and takes over your mind and swabs you out. Hasn’t this happened to you? (Many in the audience raise their hands). It does happen. Negativity just comes and takes over your mind.
Just being aware that this is happening itself is a big step. It is like an airplane having the facility to takeoff in spite of all the dark clouds. The airplane pierces through the dark clouds and starts flying above clouds. Do you see what I am saying? We need to put such a mechanism in our mind (of being aware). When negative clouds come and takes over, you should be able to soar high above them.
It is true that there is something in you that never dies, but at least remember: this world is all temporary, and one day it will all vanish.
What helps you to soar above them is wisdom. And what is wisdom? It is knowledge and experience, together. Wisdom is not just knowledge, it is not just experience. It is both – knowledge and experience that this is all temporary, everything and everybody is going to die.
You know, if people only remember that they are going to die, they won’t be greedy, they won’t be jealous, they won’t be angry. Our problem is anger, greed, jealousy, attachment, lust, etc., because we forget that we are going to die! Or we have never put attention on the fact that we are going to die and that all of this is temporary. Nothing is permanent here.
Now if you say, “I will never die”, and if you go to that philosophy, I will tell you, “Okay, it is true that there is something in you that never dies, but at least remember: this world is all temporary, and one day it will all vanish like the dew drops on the grass. Jealousy, anger, greed, none of these will exist!
How much money do you want to enjoy? Even if you get all that money, one day you might have a sudden heart attack and you are gone! Then what will happen to all the money you have stored underneath here and there; or in the banks in Switzerland, Luxembourg or anywhere else? So many people have put money like that and have died, and the banks don’t know who the money belongs to. There are billions in the bank, I was told. They must have earned all that money with so much heartache, pain, greed and jealousy, put it in the bank and then died. And later, it belongs to nobody. Whole life wasted just for some money!
I am not saying that you should empty your bank account tomorrow, but I want you to just take your attention and awareness there (that life is ephemeral). I am not saying you should go and jump off the cliff today and die, no! I am telling you, we are all going to die one day, at least put your attention on that. Then the knowledge of it puts you on right track. It puts you at peace. It will take you out of all the negative clouds that you get sucked into. This is one part, i.e., the knowledge.
The second part is experience. In the past also negative clouds have come to you; even when you were a child. In childhood what happened? You had a toy and another boy or girl came and they broke it, and that’s it, you became so negative. Your parents made you come out of the toy shop before you could get all the toys you wanted, and you got upset. Then you got upset with your friends at school and college. You got upset when you didn’t get the right grades. And you got into such a negative mood with your boyfriend or girlfriend. My goodness! So many times this has happened in your life. Now when you look back at your past experience, you see that it was all nothing. When you see this, it helps you rise above the clouds of negativity. This is life's experience.
We are all going to die one day. When you put your attention on this, it puts you at peace. It takes you out of the negativity that you get sucked into.
Another way is remembering the experience of inner peace and tranquility because recollection of that experience gives you again the same experience.
Many of you must have experienced this that when you are very upset, suddenly you start doing short kriya. This is because the mind wants to go back to that state of tranquility which you experience after kriya, So when the mind is disturbed, it knows that rhythmic breathing will get you out of negativity, and you do get back to that state of tranquility.
So, experience and knowledge, both can take you out of the cloud of negativity.
When you are under the influence of a negative cloud, you will find everybody is wrong. You will find mistakes in the best person. You will find fault with everybody including yourself. First you will blame others, you will say, “This person is wrong, that person is wrong”, because you don’t see your fault. And if you see your fault, you will start blaming yourself also. And then the next step is getting into depression. This is the mechanics; this is the way it happens.
Now, you have to get over this with wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge and experience. Knowledge is knowing that everything is temporary. Experience is remembering that these situations come and go. When you realize this, the smile comes back on your face. Then even if you get a little disturbed, you will not mind it.
You are pure space my dear! Nothing can ever touch you!
"Happy Diwali to everyone! So today is Dhanteras, Diwali starts today. Dhanteras is where you feel abundance, you feel everything is there. From abundance, abundance grows. So everyone feel content and abundant. Walk with the feeling that whatever we need is already with us. This is the message of Dhanteras. Whatever we want will keeping happening, will keep coming to us. Abundance."
"Whenever there is victory, it is due to some grace. Whether it is victory in sports, in lottery, in studies, you win a competition or in politics, that happens through grace alone. If a person forgets that and gets into ego then their downfall takes place. So always remember that whenever, wherever there is victory, it is through grace."
Our life is like a lamp. Just like a lamp needs oxygen to keep burning, the same is with our life. If you were to be locked up in a glass cage, then you would be able to survive only as long as there is oxygen in the cage. In the same way, if you cover a lamp with a glass, then the lamp will burn only as long as there is oxygen. So there is definitely some similarity between a lamp and our life. That similarity is fundamental to the celebration of Diwali. It is to remind you that you too are a lamp.
Diwali celebration has been celebrated in our country since time immemorial. Life is like a light, it has always been associated with light.Our soul is also a light, it has always been associated with light. That is why whenever someone dies, it is a custom to light a lamp near the head of the dead body. Whenever a child is born in a house, the first thing people do is light a lamp in the house. So the lamp has a very unique relationship with our life.
It is not sufficient to light just one lamp to bring light. All the lamps in our society need to be lit (here meaning people need to shine with joy and wisdom). Only then can our society make progress. That is why in Sanskrit we chant, “Sangachhatwam”, which meanslet us all walk together, and may there be light and happiness in everyone’s lives. This is the unique message of Diwali. That is why on the festival of Diwali, we light not one but a 1000 lamps. Lighting one lamp alone does not suffice to dispel the darkness (here meaning the darkness of ignorance and negativity). Many thousands of lamps need to be lit to dispel the darkness. That is why in Diwali we light so many lamps during the night and come together to celebrate. That is why it is called as Deepawali.
There is a strong relationship of the festival of Diwali with our ancient epics and scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Many events in the Mahabharata and the Puranas are related to the festival of Diwali. For example, when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile, everyone in the city celebrated His return by lighting lamps everywhere. There is a deeper meaning to this as well. It means that once the light of knowledge dawns from within, then there is light everywhere in the world around us. The whole world starts scintillating with the light of knowledge. To convey the unique importance of spiritual knowledge in our life, we celebrate Diwali.
Lord Buddha said, “Aappah Dipo Bhavah”. Lord Buddha says that one should not think that one has really celebrated Diwali simply by lighting oil lamps in the house. The real essence is that you too should shine with the radiance of knowledge, so that you can illumine the path of many others in life. This is what Lord Buddha has said. So everyone should meditate regularly.
In the Yoga Sutras, Rishi Patanjali has said, “Murdha jyotishi siddha darshanam”(Vibhuti Pada, #32). It means that once you recognize the (Divine) light within you, you will attain perfection, and many Siddhis (extraordinary abilities) will be awakened. Your intellect will be refined and illumined. This is what is said here.
So this Diwali, light the lamp of knowledge within you, be happy, content and spread this happiness to many others around you. Drop all the problems and negativity of the past and put it aside. Be in harmony with everyone else, let there be sweetness and gentility in your behaviour towards everyone.
During Diwali we burn firecrackers to bring our mind to the present. Have you noticed, when your mind is disturbed with too many cravings and aversions, you feel as if your head will burst, isn't it? That is why when you burst crackers, the burst on the outside settles something inside, and you feel light and more alive. Also, in the earlier days, there was no electricity, and so children used to burn fireworks to have fun and feel happy. Today we are living in the age of electricity, so you all do not need to burn fireworks. You can light up so many places using electric lights instead of using firecrackers. This will also prevent air pollution. It is alright to burn a few crackers, but again you should not burn crackers that are very loud and create too much smoke. So many birds and animals get very disturbed because of the noise. They experience a sense of shock because of these fireworks. You know, birds experience trauma because of loud crackers. So, I would suggest you all to refrain from fireworks this Diwali. If at all you cannot keep yourself from bursting firecrackers, then you can light a few sparklers and celebrate. There is no need to burn loud crackers which create so much sound and disturb everyone. Even the birds and animals in the environment get so scared because of these disturbing fireworks.
Also, it is not necessary to eat a lot of fried foods to celebrate Diwali. Have food that is healthy and nutritious and serve the same to others as well.
Remember the vastness and eternal nature of your life and feel a deep sense of gratitude for all that you have received in life. Light lamps to spread light everywhere and also remind yourself that you too are a beautiful lamp and are here to spread the light of joy and knowledge. Everyone who comes to you should experience the light of joy, no one should feel sad. This is what you should pray for.