While growing up in an Indian Hindu family, my sister and I and other Hindu kids in the neighborhood were frightened into waking up before sun rise, bathing and getting dressed and doing pooja else face some very dark and evil happenings. Kali Chaudas was always portrayed as something bad.
The festival is also called as “Kali Chaudas”, where Kali means dark (eternal) and Chaudas means fourteenth, this is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark half of [[Aaso month)]. In some regions of India, Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Mahakali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the asura (demon) Narakasura. Hence also referred to as Naraka-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life. Narak Chaturdashi, celebrated just one day before Diwali, is also known as small Diwali.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naraka_Chaturdashi
Destroy Your Demons
Kali is the destroyer of Demons. Why not be inspired by Kali an destroy your demons? In the west we have the concept of “New Year’s Resolution”; it is when people decide that they are going to make some positive changes in their lives, which usually means exercising and eating healthy for most people. In some regions of India, New Year’s is the day after Diwali, and it is when people start something new to bring good luck to their new ventures.
If the Nutan Varsha (new year) is to start something new and good, then I say make Kali Chaudas to end something old and bad. Get inspired by Kali,the demon slayer to end your own demons, and lets face it, we do have our demons as individuals and as a society.
Say no to fireworks
How about start with deciding that you are not going to light firecrackers, which only pollutes the ground with the air around you. Our environment needs all the help that it can get.
And speaking of the environment, how about adopting a vegan life style. Did you know:
“It[Animal Agriculture] is responsible for somewhere between 20 and 33% of the fresh water usage in the world”
“…livestock, and the production of feed for them, occupy about a third of the earth’s ice-free land.”
“animal husbandry is responsible for up to 91% of the deforestation in the Amazon region.”
“Cows produce from 35 to 40% of the overall methane emissions of the planet”
“Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of the powerful and long-lived greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_husbandry
What are you Demons?
What other vices would you like to destroy? Perhaps it is something personal, like anger and greed, or cruelty towards yourself in the form of self doubt, fear and negative thoughts, or perhaps it is holding onto painful memories.
Maybe there is clutter in your house or at work that you would like to destroy, or those extra pounds that you have gained because of the pandemic ( I know I have). Have you abused yourself with addictions like alcohol, processed sugars or gambling? Maybe it is time to destroy those demons.
I cannot tell you what your demons are. You may not even want to share with others, but you know what they are. It is Kali Chaudas – it is time to destroy your demons.