Why do we clean house on Diwali?
Significance of cleaning house and the living premises during Diwali is mainly to spread light, positivity and share the happiness. A clean, decorated, bright home will always attract any positive energy. People who visit your house too will feel happy and positive. A clean, naturally well decorated home will certainly create a great positive ambience. Start with the lighting at the entrance itself. Some people paint the footsteps with Goddess Lakshmi’s picture, hang different types of a toran of fresh flowers, tulsi leaves on the door, to get a traditional look. All these arrangements creates the perfect ambience for attracting prosperity, happiness, positivity not only inside the house, but also in the mind of guests who visit your home.
"Cleanliness is the Hallmark of perfect standards and the best quality inspector is the conscience" - J. R. D. Tata
Diwali or “Deepavali” is widely known as the festival of diyas. Diyas means the lamp of light. We all know that light is the only thing that removes the darkness. Deepavali is the festival with rituals and ceremonies. Hindus welcome the visitors to house with lights for prosperity and welfare. People all over the country celebrate the festival of lights, with great enthusiasm. The preparations made during the festival season itself shows the gratitude towards the God. Cleaning the house is not taken as a burden. Preparations start by cleaning home completely so as to make it new. It is the preparation to welcome Goddess Lakshmi who is the bestower of wealth and prosperity. She also brings peace in the life of householders. All scriptures uphold the words: “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. Let us look at some of the significant aspects which perfectly explains the importance of cleaning our house during the occasion of Diwali festival. Cleanliness becomes more auspicious when divinity is present in our thoughts.
Welcoming Guests as an Athithi to participate in Diwali celebration: India is a country with rich culture and traditions rooted with spiritual values. We respect a guest who visit home more than anyone else. Festival is an important occasion where many guests tend to visit our house. Indians always see divinity in the guests or visitors home. It is quite natural that we would need our guest to be welcomed in a clean environment. Indians believe, “ATITHI DEVO BHAVA”. In Sanskrit, ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ means, a guest is none, but God himself. It has ceremonial connect. One of the legends believed as part of Diwali is the death of Narakasura. People of Dwaraka welcomed Lord Krishna with lamps lit in the streets and houses when He returned after killing the demon. Naraka”asura” means the demon king. His death is considered as the victory of righteousness over the evil. Lighting the lamp is the symbolic meaning of spreading the light of knowledge over the darkness of ignorance. In few parts of South India, it is a ritual to visit neighbors, relatives by doing Aarati on the day of Naraka Chaturdashi, observed as welcoming Krishna by the people of Dwaraka. Lighting of the lamp cannot be in an unclean house. A neat and clean home alone can satisfy guests with auspiciousness.
Marks the beginning of New Year: Diwali, the festival of lights is also observed as new year by the people, especially in the Northern India. New year is always to be welcomed by lighting the lamp of prosperity and knowledge. It is essential to clean the house at this occasion as part of the festival. Festive occasion of Diwali gives rise to new beginnings. So obviously for making our new beginnings filled with positivity & for bringing positive aura into our house, cleanliness cannot be ignored. Apart from the general way of exchanging of gifts and sweets, an important aspect of Diwali is one that starts much before the actual festival, cleaning of one’s home in order to give it a bright and shiny look for the celebrations. Right from good old days till now, every Indian in any part of the world gets absorbed in household dusting, cleaning, whitewashing, sorting out and turning over clothes and closets, and giving away old things.
Invitation to Goddess Lakshmi: Diwali is a also a festival occasion to perform Puja of Goddess Lakshmi, the bestower of wealth and prosperity. Hindus believe that God can sit in the heart of a devotee if the mind and heart is pure. Here, we should assume that a mind with dirty thoughts is not a good seat for deities. Purity of mind is essential for devotion. Internal purity has to start from external purity. Because of all these, it is important to have the house clean and tidy to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Puja to Goddess Lakshmi can be complete in all dimensions only if it is performed after cleanliness. No one will show interest in entering a house which is not at all clean.
End of monsoon season: If we look at the season when the Diwali is celebrated, there is another scientific reason behind the cleaning. Diwali falls in the month of October/November. This is right after the monsoon ends. As part of Diwali, cleaning process ensures that all the germs are killed. Entire house and the ambience is cleansed.
Basically, it is letting away the old and welcoming the new. Buying new kitchen utensils, starting of the new account books etc. is part of this festival. This too is another way of cleaning up. Everyone feels happy about the Diwali celebration by renovating house, cleaning drives & blooming with new missions in life. Lights always push away the evil spirits by bringing positivity in the surroundings. Positivity at homes will bring in good health and wealth. Diyas are used to lit the entire house and puja room.