Making Diyas – an activity for the whole family!


You can make all kinds of diyas with vibrated clay, water and colors. Diyas are a great gift also as they can be made with pure vibrated products. This way we can fill people’s homes and hearts with vibrated art made with love (Priyanka J.

The story below is taken from the blog “Monsoon Masala” run by Priyanka Joshi, a freelance journalist and mother of a 5-year old son. Enjoy and get ideas for your creativity!

“Have you ever seen a diya with traditional patterns from Turkish/ Japanese/Jewish/Namibian/Uzbek/Filipino/Mexican/American Indian/Iranian/Thai design, architecture and embroidery styles?

For 3 years now, I’ve been adding this international touch to Diwali by involving my friends from different countries to make diyas with traditional patterns found in their native cultures. For me, this is a deeply gratifying and a great “building bridges” activity between communities. For the whole month of October, we have been opening our home to people from all walks of life. They bring their kids, their parents, their neighbors. We share our stories of arriving in America, making it our home more and more each day as we drink tea, laugh, talk about life, raising kids, and Diwali. After some time, our fingers mold clay into diyas almost on autopilot, and our kids jump around us, gluing beads, feathers, fabric and sequins to these diyas. Even my 5 yr old son who doesn’t talk to girls (“…because they’re weird, only play with Barbies, and don’t like Spiderman”), gets okay with them while making diyas.

My dream is to, one day, have these beautiful Ukrainian/Greek/American Indian/Syrian/Jewish/Pakistani diyas displayed at a museum as a testament to how the community is coming together. Let’s honor the sentiment of collectivity and value eachother, value our diversity. We’re taught in India that there’s “Unity in Diversity“. That’s why India has remained a secular nation. So, we focus on our similarities and not the differences. I interpret William Blake’s epic poem to the same sentiment of respecting nature, individual spiritual seeking while respecting the idea of collective evolution:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Happy Diwali! Where else in America could I have done this? I love you!”



For those who do not know what Diya is:

Diyas are made with clay, working with the Mother Earth principal. You can use vibrated water to mold the clay, vibrated turmeric and kumkum to decorate them. We used regular air dry clay from the craft store. This clay needs no firing/baking in the oven. It dries in about 20 minutes and the diya is ready for use. Diyas make great hand made presents. If you intend to use the diya for lighting, you can either put oil and a cotton wick or a tea light in the diya.

To speak of the term ‘Diya’, it has also widely been used by Shri Mataji  in many of Her earlier lectures of Diwali. They are basically clay containers meant to light lamps (used in Indian homes since ancient times and prevalent till the modern times ) to celebrate Diwali Festival or light lamps at the alter of Gods in Indian homes.

Shri Mataji  once spoke on the subject of preparing the Diyas. Interestingly the earthen shaped small containers like ‘eye’ shape in varying sizes are subjected baking first to redden it and later before the use they are properly soaked in water for long hours , so that the porosity in them are sealed and restricts soaking or absorption of excess oil. Oil can vary from mustard to any kind of oil (not petroleum of course/or cadles ) are used. Even Ghee (a condensed form of butter made out of milk) are best used while lighting these earthen lamps before the altar of God.

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