Deepavali is around the corner. Let us pay our obeisance to Yama Dharma Raja, to eradicate untimely death and bless us with a long and healthy life. This is done on the evening before Deepavali night on Thrayodashi day. We should light as many lamps as the number of persons living in the house and keep them outside the house or in a nearby temple. This is supposed to eradicate all our “papams” and “fear of death”. In North India, the lamps are kept burning right through the night in reverential adoration to Yama, the God of death. In North India, ghee is used, but we, here, use gingelly oil. It is individual choice. The following shloka can be chanted: Mruthyunaa paas(h)dandaabhyaam kaalaena s(h)yaamayaa saha Thrayodas(h)yaam deepadaanaath sooryajah preeyathaam mama May my deepa daanam please Yama Dharma Raja, who holds Paas(h)am and dandam in his hands, shines with Shyama daevi and Kaaladaevan and is the son of Suryan. Love & regards, Chithra.