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How to increase literacy rate of a country with special emphasis on rural areas including girl child and minority communities?

How to increase literacy rate of a country with special emphasis on rural areas including  girl child and minority communities?

Answer

 Best Answer:  We in India have more than 70% population living in rural areas. These people have to be educated about the need of education for their cohesion and adjustment with the educated people living in the urban and metropolitan cities in this highly surcharged atmosphere of competition. In order to teach more people, we have to reach more people; especially in rural areas. Although Government aided and  run educational schools and colleges are fulfilling the needs of the populace, yet, there is a urgent need to enhance the educational pursuit through people oriented programmes. The following are some of the aspects which are to be taken into account for spreading literacy amongst the people.

a/ Making the people aware about the need of education  through print and electronics medias. 


b/ Opening more schools and colleges in the less accessible areas. 


c/ Provide reading and other educational aids’ including books to the needy. 


d/ Providing uniforms to the needy. 


e/ Provision of scholarship to the needy. 


f/ Picking up the meritorious students for higher studies from the rural areas. 


g/ Give specialized type of education to the physically challenged children/children with special needs. 


h/ Periodically monitor the educational standard of the people areawise and devise measures for its improvement. 


i/ Provide grant-in-aid for needy for meeting needs arising out of educational pursuit. 


j/ Provide computers and other modern electronic aids for the schools. 


k/ Proper training and education for the teachers for making the educational pursuit a successful venture. 


l/ Make the people aware about teaching women folks with a view that if we teach a girl you teach a family as a whole.


m/ As far as possible make educational pursuit possible for adults also so that they could also assimilate in the society and get benefits that are accrued.

n/ Those amongst us who could not educate themselves due to some reason or the other, starting special classes for them so that they adjust with the society as a whole. NGOs should chip in for this.*

*Literacy rate of any country depends  on the facilities available in the forms of schools/educational institutions, needful infrastructure for these (study rooms, proper and clean toilet facilities – separate for boys and girls,  adequate number of trained teachers proportional to the students  so that individual necessary playing equipment/toys for specially needed children (for varieties of disabilities) with physiotherapist and specially trained teachers who could meet the needs of these gifted  children etc.

 

In rural India, there is a need of girls’ education because there is wide disparity in the literacy rate of boys and girls. It is well known fact that when we educate a girl, we educate the entire family as such because the child in the initial stage of growth and development, first lesson is imparted by the mother and if she is educated she can amply do so. Illiteracy of the females negatively impacts the entire family to which she goes after marriage. If she is literate and well educated besides cultured one; well versed in value system including traditional modes of behaviour then she can conveniently transfer/impart that value system to her children which doubtlessly will help afterwards in life when a child grows up and faces life. The sluggishness in females’ education could better be removed through the joint and sincere efforts of Government and parents. Efforts should also be made to convince the parents to send the girl child for necessary schooling.  An idea should be spread that both boys and girls need education for adjusting in the life. More so for girls for they have to assimilate themselves in different sort of environments after their marriage. Though in urban and metropolitan cities the literacy rate of girls has improved manifold yet in rural areas there are glitches like non-availability of more schools, teaching staff and other requisites like sanitation etc for girl students which need to be attended urgently.  More funds should be provisioned by the Government for infrastructural and other provisions in the rural areas.  If rural area with more population is awaken through literacy then the country as a whole will have inclusive progress.

Apart from giving fillip to education to girls, there is an urgent need of enhancing literacy rate amongst minorities along with attending to the caste related problems impacting their education. It has been experienced that children from these communities although enroll in the school in first standard but their dropout rate is too high because of factors like financial stringency due to poverty of parents, school available at far off places and available schools do not have trained and efficient staff including non-willingness on the parts of parents to send their children to school etc. Rather they would like their children, in many cases, to follow the parents’ traditional profession to meet the family financial needs. Actually absolute poverty too deters the pursuit of educational pursuits in the rural areas. Though Government is making efforts in educating the rural masses the need of education through publicity campaign and by opening new schools and bridging the gap yet still more needs to be done.

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Inner Thoughts

 

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ON SPECTER OF HATE


ON SPECTER OF HATE


When we were born
We did not carry any hate-germs
Which entered our psyche
Due to the influences of our society
Starting from our homes
To our school books
Which sometimes taught us distorted history
And fed us know-how

Suffused with malice, ill-will, and spite
Which suited only for that ‘time’
But has got no relevance now
That sufficient water has flown
From the Ganges to the ocean till now
Hate could be minimized
By taking course correction
Which has molded our present-day thoughts
The total elimination of specter of hate
Could be made possible
By following a spiritually inclined lifestyle
With a final realization
That whence we die
We shall not be carrying hate symptoms with us
But only the KARMA CREDIT
Which we would be carrying with us
When we leave the carrier of our Soul on this beautiful earth.

THE HATE IS BYPRODUCT OF THE JEALOUSY

First of all, we have to understand what is hate or abhorrence or disgust due to one reason or other. Hate means not to like a person due to one reason or other. The degree of hate depends on person to person and case to case. This repulsion may be due to jealousy on somebody’s economic clout or business rivalries, professional related reasons or just based on race or regional considerations.

History reveals that hatred is generally generated by narrow apprehensions, unfounded fears, fear of losing power including fear of revulsion amongst own people due to the poisoning of our mind by vested interests. The example of queen Kaikeyi in epic Ramayana is known to everybody, her mind was poisoned by Manthara (maidservant) while Rama was about to be coroneted as the king of Ajodhya.  An unprecedented haltered was created in the mind of Kaikeyi due to which Rama was exiled for 14 years and coronation for her son Bharata.

Hate and its creation thereto could be created in our homes. Reasons may be any – property dispute, a misunderstanding due to any reason etc. I was fortunate to meet one person, named Raghubir Singh in my office today. His age as per his own admission was 80 years. I asked him about the secret of his sound health and agility at this age.

He pointed out that while he was only 40 years old, he used to live a very busy life; working from early morning to late in the night. The life was so pre-occupied that he did not get any time either for exercise or for taking the balanced diet to maintain his health due to which he grew very fat. In the meanwhile, diseases like high blood pressure, diabetics, impaired vision, chronic pains etc started. All these diseases left him bed-ridden due to which he could not attend to his business altogether. To my discomfiture and surprise, he told us during his sickness, his two brothers took control of his business and also bank accounts forcibly even by faking his signatures; following all the corrupt practices to the hilt.

The condition was so severe that his family was starved of any cash even for meeting his doctor’s bills and other family expenses. His two brothers started hating him and his family members and started treating him like a liability to them and his wife was constrained to work as a maidservant in his own family. A  paradox wherein the owner of the whole property was treated virtually like a slave with no Medicare or any solace from any quarter. They started to hate his two school-going children too and did not pay the school fees and allied expenditure incurred on schooling. He was constrained to stop schooling of his children and his own health was going from bad to worst.

Due to the above stated calamitous scenario, health wise and deterioration of the socio-economic condition, there remained no hope. It is rightly said, when no way is left, then only way left is the succor of our Creator. Seeing no way out from any quarter, Raghubir sincerely prayed God for His succor.

It has been experienced that sincere prayers are always answered by our Creator. On the same day, one of his old friends came to meet him. Raghubir told the part of his story to his friend, mincing nothing at all. His friend took him to an Ayurvedic Achariya who finally decided to take him to his Ashram at Haridwar (Uttarakhand) for healthcare besides living in natural settings; performing Yoga regularly, went on a diet which suited him due to which he started recuperating his health and wellness.

  1. He posed him a question as to how animals and other creatures living naturally live their lives without much reliance on any medication whatsoever? This way, they live their full life without any debilitating diseases like us humans face. Only humans rely on the artificial style of living thereby earn for themselves various diseases.
  2. Living in the natural settings and lifestyle (in diet and another way of living), we can avoid stress-related diseases such as hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes, disturbance in digestive system etc.
  3. The Acharya took upon himself the responsibility of not only curing him in natural settings but also meeting the expenditure of his childhood education.
  4. Living in the lap of nature with Yogic exercises and medication, Raghbir started recovering from all his ailments and in one month’s period, he was in sound health.

Hating our Creator’s creations will add up our Karmic debt as it is a negative trait. It not only negatively influences our present life but also the coming living forms.

In Holy Bible it has been said: Love must be sincere, hate what is evil, cling what is good.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers our all wrongs.


In essence, hate, when created, could harm not only the person for which it is directed but also harm the person who hates others. In another word, it is a negative trait and carries with its stigma of dislike.
We should know the reasons of hate:-


1.   When somebody disapproves our legitimate actions.

2.  When somebody backbites against us.

3.   When somebody hates us for our religious leanings, caste, creed, color or language or due to regional bias etc.

4.  Others sometimes hate us simply because we do not submit to their unethical or immoral advances.

5.   Sometimes hate also originates when someone criticizes us irrationally in front of others.

6.   When somebody illegally and forcibly snatches our property.

In epic Mahabharata, Kaurva prince Duryodhana was full of haltered and hostility towards Pandavas, he in connivance with Shukni, won the dice match with deception which resulted losing everything that Pandavas were having including their consort Dropti. This caused a war between the armies of Pandavas and Kauravas wherein Kauravas lost their everything including themselves and consequently resulted in vanquishing of evil.  

7.  Hate is generated when somebody interferes with our cultural and traditional modes of behavior.

8.   Hate amongst youth is created when their merit is disregarded and others without merit get placements or employment etc.

9.   Sometimes, when history is not taught in correct perspective to the present generation, it leads to a feeling of hate towards a section of society. This hate is irrational since this generation has no role in creating such hate. It may be part of history but what happened in the past should not be given too much credence.

10.  The element of hate between the spouses is created because of distrust and non-compatibility between the couple.

11.  In society there are chronic hate mongers, they have to be counseled for leaving their unethical standpoints and behave in a manner which is in the overall danger to the society in general.


Taking in cognizance the above-cited facts, my humble request to all my friends not to carry with you the burden of ‘hate’ which takes away peace of mind from our midst and makes us inconsiderate, inhumane, irrational, despotic and finally even our Almighty God does not like that person who carries the specter of hate for others.


Conclusively, it could be said that all those negative traits like ill-will, jealousy, rancor, covetousness, lust, irrational comparison etc which if removed from our system then the prevalence of love could be ensured and hate decimated. In other words, the specter of hate is generated when ignorance (darkness) is present but when love (light) pervades then this ignorance (darkness) is decimated. In this surcharged global environment, universal love is the need of the hour.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2018 in Inner Thoughts

 

LOVELY LOVE DAY – THE VALENTINE DAY

NEW MEANING OF LOVE FROM SAINT VALENTINE.

LOVELY LOVEDAY

 VALENTINE DAY

A love which is all inclusive

A love we would not like losing

A love which is all pervading

A love all sweeping

A love all-embracing

A love which is broadest in content

A love from which we get contentment

A love which is fully bloomed

A love which is full-blown

A love which is sweeping

A love where there is not even an iota of doubt

A love where losing makes no difference

A love for which any sacrifice could be given

A love where we do not demand but would like giving

A love where we get extreme joy in giving

A love which teaches us values of living

A love where suspicion has no place while giving

A love rooted in sublime and  humane delicate touch

A love which broadens its base without an iota of bias

A love which is synergy giving while sharing

A love which increases by every day passing

A love which kindles trust among all creatures living

               A love where we do not care for caste, creed, colour or race

A love which is magical in nature

A love which is not theatrical in its character

A love which enlightens us and is not mechanical in nature

A love where we do not care for results

A love where every skepticism melts

A love which gives is eternal peace

A love which takes us to love heights

A love which erases all lingering reservations

A love which spreads its fragrance

A love which gives happiness in taking pain of other

Like the love of Saint Valentine,

A Catholic Bishop of Terni

In Roman Empire
Who for love’s sake attained martyrdom,
For solemnizing marriage secretly,
Of condemned soldiers,
For whom marriage was a bar
Under the Roman Empire’s law
And marrying those forbidden once to marry,
Attracted the Saint’s imprisonment,
And ultimately martyrdom.

While in the condemned cell of a prison,
With his miraculous touch, he cured the daughter of the jail warden,
Saint Valentine sent out a farewell letter,
With words so eternal in nature,

“From your Valentine”,

These words have become a grand brand,
Presently for us all to express to our loved one,
With a huge sprinkle of pride,
Mixed with a huge smile,
Lasting for good in our imagination,
And in real life too, we live with complete affirmation
That love binds us & bestows us God’s eternal compassion.

A love which is all-encompassing, where there is no suspicion, where giving is the only mantra without any expectations and finally were even losing one’s life is not taken so seriously. It is such a love which cannot be exchanged with pecuniary or other gains.  

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February every year. There is a very popular account that a Christian Saint was imprisoned and prosecuted under the Roman Law for solemnizing the marriage ceremony of soldiers who were not allowed to marry. Saint Valentine performed the marriage of these soldiers and broke the Roman Law. There is also a legend that while being in the prison; he healed the daughter of the jailer named Asterius.
Legend has it that before he was to be beheaded he wrote a letter finally signing as YOUR VALENTINE to bid the final adieu.

For expression of love for our soul-mate, it is important that we fulfill all the ingredients which are needed. such as; our intention and attention that we pay in the expression of our sincere love, synergy in that love, the willingness that may spring from our inner self, etc. It is also a must that we’ve full trust on our soul-mate.
For love to be effective, it is a must that we develop an initial belief or trust that we are ready to have a right friend, with traits in agreement with ours to shower love and affection. If one finds the friend of his/her liking, it is equivalent to love of our Lord. This love of the Infinite Absolute Lord facilitates us, humans, to distribute this love to others with whom we come in contact with. His eternal love also solves many of our own problems concerning love.

A love of a soul-mate is unique in nature, the person with whom we want to develop the friendship, we have to accept him/her wholly – with all weaknesses and strong points. True love transcends all boundaries, all differences based on colour, creed, caste etc. It is pure and simple love. No questions asked about anything else.

There are two ways of finding an appropriate life partner; firstly love at first sight and secondly somebody arranges the same and he/she could be termed as our life-partner (this is termed as arrange marriage, where marriages happen according to Hindu religious beliefs; where Vedic Mantras/Hymns are chanted, by taking seven vows around the fire with seven promises made by both the partners). Or there may be other customs and traditions in other religions for marriage.

Anyway, we can have true and sacred love with our soul-mate or any other person around with basic premise of following parameters:-

(a) Trust each other without any strings attached.

(b) We should exhibit emotional maturity while ironing out differences.

(c) Take her/him to the inner recesses of your heart and feel that he/she remains in your imagination though he/she may not be physically present with you.

(d) Thinking about him/her may evoke a feeling of joy and sometimes you may skip a heartbeat for your partner.

(e) Creating a strong affinity with the soul-mate of yours even in his/her absence.

(f) Sharing joys or sorrows together, good and bad situations, etc.

(g) Not to hide anything from your partner so as to develop an indelible impression of friendship.

(h) We should forget and forgive each other’s mistakes which may creep in sometimes.

(i) A love knows no boundaries, the need of intimacy to establish a sacred love beside it is all inclusive – just seamless.
Love has many manifestations. When one is immersed in it, he/she gets everything in losing everything even the most precious one for us. While we take love as a God’s gift, love gifts us many things in return too. This return gift is all-encompassing – a saintly feeling for us all. We do not care for our life if that is at stake for earning the gift of love. We want losing everything including making supreme sacrifice for gaining the ultimate LOVE.

May this day usher in indelible love to us all and removes doubts and differences from us all in fact without biases and live happily

In the surcharged global environment which pervades presently, where doubts persist, we should always realize that ultimately when we leave this earth, we should leave the imprints of humane considerations, forgiving and forgetting, giving without any expectations, multiplying happiness by dividing smiles. This legacy of ours would be appreciated by our coming generations like we appreciate the Saint Valentine now. AMEN.

 

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Inner Thoughts

 

THOUGHTS ON LORD SHIVA – SHIVRATRI

THOUGHTS ON LORD SHIVA

LORD SHIVA

The Trinity has their roles cut out

Each performs its role, justly assigned

And diligently delineated

For continuation of the creation, evolution and destruction

Lord Brahma is in charge of creation

And also the type of passion

Lord Vishnu is in charge of evolution

Besides maintenance and mode of all virtues

Lord Shiva is the in charge of destruction

And subsequently to be created again.

Goddess Parvati is the Goddess of fertility

Love and devotion along with power (Shakti)

She has been called variously by 100 names

She is part of Trinity amongst Goddesses

Lakshmi, the Lorddess of wealth and prosperity

Lordess of knowledge an learning is Saraswati.

For Lord Shiva it is essential to be aware of

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Where Satyam relates to truth

Which could be tested

Shivam means giving for growth

From infancy onwards

Sundaram means aesthetic beauty

Inculcated through giving knowledge (Gyan)

But without expectation in return


The Great Night of Shiva – our most loved Godhead

When Shiva and Parvati got  united in the marriage considered most sacred

Parvati is the daughter of King Himachal

And the sister of Goddess Ganga

The sacred promises of marriage were exchanged

To be kept in mind while living the life together

While reminiscing the marriage of the greatest Souls


The Bhole Shankar & Mother Divine


And seek oneness of ourselves with that of Divine.

Thenceforth Divine Couple appeared in the form of Ardhanarishwa

This way, complementing each other

As Shiva and Shakti to bless all the creation

From the early morning

The devotees sing prayers to the Divine Couple

Offerings of bel patra and flowers are made

After reverently bathing the Linga

With milk, curd and sufficient clean water

 Prayers are made to earn the Sacred Couple’s graces

Devotees also fast for the entire day.

Lord Shiva is known by 1008 names as per Shiv Purana


Mahadeva, Maheshwara, Ardnarishwara


Devadeva, Gurudeva, Lingaraja, Natraja, et al


In fact, He is the Vishveshwara – One who is the Lord of Universe.

During churning of ocean by Gods & Demons together
He swallows a pot full of poison which came out with their joint effort
Thus saved the living beings & universe from its destructive effect
And kept this high potency poison in his throat (kantha)
Reason why Shiva is thus called Neelkantha
He is also known for His benevolence
Can be pleased with utmost ease
Thus bestowing soothing balm to troubled souls.

The Lord is too found in Phallic Symbol of Linga
In this form, He is the Centrifugal Force of the Universe
And is admix of the simplest
And most complex amongst all the deities.
Mass of curly hair, crescent tucked into it
The Mighty Ganges flowing out from His piled hair
With trident representing true virtues
Coiled serpent named Vasuki signifying Kundalini
The immense spiritual energy within
Two-sided drum (Damroo) drumming rhythmically
Enchants everyone including other Deities magically
Simplest in His manifestation
Immersed in His Yogic mystic meditation.


With ash smeared all over the body
Wearing Rudraksha beads around his neck and arms
He is the Lord whose grace could be had with ease
Differentiates not at all between demons or sages.
While bestowing His graces
Demon King Ravana was His most likable devotee
Whosoever invoked Him with sincere love and piety
Becomes a candidate for His bounty,


The Omniscient & Omnipotent Yogi’s abode is Mount Kailash
Where He dwells with our Divine Mother Parvati
And sons Ganesha & Kartikeya – the greatest in their own right
Lord Ganesha for His troubleshooting
And Lord Kartikeya for demon conquering.


His Cosmic Dance is second to none
By this Cosmic Dance, all the Gods & Demi-Gods get enthralled.
Behold still, when immensely provoked by callous acts
Opens His Third Eye – a ferocious one
And annihilates the evil doers
Kama Deva, the God of Love got reprisal when he provoked
Shiva when He was in deep meditation and met his end.

We rejoice this occasion and seek His Ultimate blessings
with the immensity of reverence in our inner recesses of being
For our spiritual health and inner peace.

MAHA SHIVRATRI IS THE PIOUS NIGHT

Before delving more on the MAHA SHIVRATRI, it is relevant to understand the true meaning of SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM

The Trinity amongst Gods (Lord Bhrama, Lord Vishnu & Lord Shiva) are responsible variously:-

Lord Bhrama is in charge of creation.

Lord Vishnu is in charge of maintenance and evolution.

Lord Shiva is in charge of destruction (Sanghaarkarta) and subsequently for rebirth.

The Trinity of Goddesses and their responsibilities are;-

Goddess Parvati is the Goddess of fertility, love, devotion, and power (Shakti).

Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and learning.

Satyam connotes essence or truth or reality – whose results could be tested and attested at any time and anyplace with similar results. In other words, these results could be confirmed scientifically.

Shivam means giving. This may be in the form of Gyan (knowledge) or any other agent of change which may help an individual’s growth in various stages of growth from childhood onwards.

Sundaram means that one ensures to receive information required for growth and development and wellness of the child without any expectation. This function is performed by the family and the society at large.

MAHA SHIVRATRI

Maha Shivratri is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi in the month of Phalguna as per Hindu calendar which is in the month of February. This is an annual feature which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence. This is the holiest day since this day is associated with the sacred marriage of Lord Shiva and Lordess Parvati (the daughter of Himalaya) – in fact coming together of Shiva & Shakti.

It is pertinent to mention the background as to how Shiva and Parvati had their first meeting. Parvati had seen Shiva while she was only eight years old. She formed an opinion that she will marry him only when she grows up while he was in a meditative trance. When she grew up, she told her father (Himavan) that she wanted to marry Shiva but he always remained in meditative consciousness. She was also fully determined to make him realize her love for him. She used to take leaves only and after a while, she left eating anything and thereafter even drinking water. Then finding the suitable opportunity, her father made mention about the state of health of his daughter to Shiva.

Mysticism of it all is that Shiva wanted to test her love for him still more. He went to her in the form of a handsome young man and asked her why she wanted to marry Shiva who, more often than not, remains in a meditative trance and always remains in the cremation grounds amongst ghosts etc with ash smeared on his body. He offered himself to marry her. Parvati straight away refused to marry him and was adamant that she will marry Shiva only and no one else. This way, he came back to his old form and asked Parvati for a boon. She asked Shiva to marry her.

Shivaratri means the night of Shiva. On this day devotees observe the strict fast and keep themselves awake during the night time, immersed in Lord’s prayers for deriving maximum benefits out of these sacred rituals.

Shivratari Lord Shiva’s most favorite day/night. When the earth was created, Shakti (Lordess Parvati) asked Shiva which day was the dearest and favorite one for Him. Shiva replied that 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phalguna was most pleasing to Him. Parvati thus repeated these words amidst the company of friends and others and thus the word spread far and wide to the multitudes and since then this day is being celebrated with great adoration.

Maha Shivratri is associated with the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. The devotees (Bhakta) know the significance of this day since it is very dear to Lord SHIVA. On this day, the devotees in different age groups (young & old) take the early bath in some sacred rivers like Ganga, Yamuna etc and offer prayer (pooja) in temples and also make offerings of bel patra and other leaves including berries also pour water on the Shiva Linga. Before washing the Lingum (the symbol of Lord Shiva) with utmost reverence with milk, ghee, honey, rose water etc people chant mantras. As Lord Shiva is known for His austere living he likes simple things and simple offerings in the form of herbs and leaves for pleasing Him. Devout perform prayers with immense pleasure and devotion.

There is also another legend attached to this day. At the time of the churning of the sea by the Godheads and the Demons (Rakshas) there surfaced a vessel full of poison amongst other enchanting objects like Kamdhenu (Wish-fulfilling cow, white horse, white elephant, Kalpavriksha (Wish-fulfilling tree), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Dhanvantri (Divine Physician) and finally the vessel of Amrita (nectar). To save the world from the devastating effects of poison, Lord Shiva consumed the pot of poison and kept the same in his throat with his Yogic Powers and that is why

He is also called NEELKANTHA or Blue Throated with immense reverence. By doing so, LORD SHIVA saved the world from being annihilated.

SHIVA OR SIVA means ‘that what is not’ or which is beyond anything or everything. It is comparable to the nothingness of vast cosmos/nothingness of space with galaxies, planets, etc. That which is propitious, pure, simple, gracious, benevolent and full of beauty. In Vedic scriptures/literature, Shiva also connotes liberation or emancipation. He is the auspicious deity who is creator, reproducer, and destroyer of the forces of negativism and darkness. Shaivism also represents beliefs and practices of Hinduism. Shiva is not affected by three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas). He is called Supreme Lord. He is a great Yogi. One who is beyond any limit of appreciation – nothingness which can absorb anything and everything.

A great Yogi who gave us Yoga and method of living – living as mystic  Yogi but not oblivious of the family bondings. His contribution as a recluse and the householder is the phenomenon and cannot simply be ignored. The complexity of His traits as a deity cannot be comprehended if we do not delve deep into his life. In the earlier years, he used to wander in the Himalayan region and subsequently an ascetic who is always absorbed in Yogic meditation. This was proved right when the barat (marriage party) was received. Strange as it looked: Shiva as a groom, rode a bull, with matted hair, ash smeared all over the body, was a part of koupina or loincloth., a garland of bones and skulls, as usual, a trident in one hand and damru (drum) in the other hand.. There was the beating of drums and the mixed sound of trumpets – a terrific sound indeed. Amongst the baratis Marriage party) were Gods and Demi-Gods Not to speak of this, his marriage barati’s consisted of the ganas, ghosts and other strange and fearful witches, vampires etc. The marriage receiving party

A  MYSTIC WHO COULD BE PLEASED EASILY

We always say him in meditative posture – completely immersed in contemplation. He is Yogi with a difference who could be termed as the deity who could be pleased with bel patra and fruits. Simple sincere prayer can earn His bounties – that is why He is called as Bhole Shankar.

ULTIMATE WHEN FEROCIOUS

When Shiva is provoked beyond a limit, when He was in trance, as was done by Cupid or Kamadeva,  He opened His third eye and reduced him to ashes in a fit of anger.

There are 12 Jyotirlingas (Lingas of Light) which are held sacred by the devotees. They offer prayers at these holy places.

Devout chant Mantra OM NAMON SHIVAYE and also Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to get special benefits since this day falls in the most appropriate planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere; helps devotee raise his / her spiritual energy vigorously. The prayers are answered if these are done with sincerity. This day is also celebrated because on this night Shiva performed His cosmic dance (Tandava). This dance was enjoyed even by other Godheads.

Lord Shiva’s abode is mount Kailasha. He bearer of sacred river Ganga on his head besides a serpent named Vasuki. His devotee Nandi is the carrier of Lord Shiva.

In Shiv Purana, it has been mentioned that Shiva prayers should be done in the following manner to get maximum benefit:-

  1. SHIV LINGA. Shiva means auspiciousness and lingam means a symbol and when to put together it means: ‘a symbol of the great God of the universe who is all-auspicious’. It also means ‘the One in whom the whole of creation sleeps after dissolution. The worship of Shiva in the form of Longa is most prominent. It represents as a symbol God Himself. Shiva lingam is to be bathed in water, milk, and honey. For purification of these, bel patra should also be added. Vermilion paste represents virtue, after bathing the Shiva Linga with water, honey, curd etc with utmost devotion vermilion paste is applied on it.
  2. Natural fruits like berries are very dear to the Lord, hence these are offered. Fruits are also the sign of fulfillment of our desires and hence should be offered.
  3. Forgetting His grace and bounties offerings when dhoop (incense) is ritualistically burnt give maximum benefits.
  4. The lamp is lighted. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and wisdom and keeps away our ignorance. If this is lighted with devotion and offered to the Lord, we can derive maximum benefits.
  5. Finally, betel leaves are offered which symbioses the satiation of our worldly desires besides keeping our spiritual onward march intact.

ATTRIBUTES OF LORD SHIVA

It is important to know the attributes of Lord Shiva which are depicted variously as: benevolent, pious with huge reserves of compassion, easy to be pleased, honourable, delightful with brilliance, innocent, easy to be pleased, invincible, having huge prowess, fearful or ferocious when hugely provoked, Wrathful, violent and dangerous, destructive, autistic (Yogi Raj).

SHIVSHAKTI

Shiv-shakti Shiv is called Kala (the eternal time) and Parvati the consort of Shiv is also called Kali meaning ‘Time’ or ‘death’ (two mixed together means the ‘time has come’). Various people worship Shakti or Kali represents the feminine force whereas Shiva is the masculine force along with the power of peace.

LORD SHIVAJI FAMILY

Lord Shiva has two aspects. Firstly as an ascetic (Yogi) shown meditating and also as a householder – having family performing the dual functions wonderfully well. He has a consort named Parvati (the daughter of King Himalaya). The family consisted of the following:-

(a) Parvati. She is the Consort of Shiva, variously described as, Shakti (Divine Energy), Devi, Divine Mother along with Goddess Tripura Sundari, Durga, Minakshi, Kamakshi etc. She is also identified with Nature, creative energy, Ardhanarishvara (dynamic extension of Shiva without whom Shiva is incomplete.

(b) Ganesha.  Ganesha is the deity in a human form but with the head of an elephant which represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles. .He was created out of the remains of smut from the body of Parvati and further infused life into it. He is worshipped with great devotion, before starting any prayer or starting any business or new job His name is taken. He is said to the remover of Lord of removal of obstacles (vegan Karta), Lord of beginning. No Yagna or any ritual is incomplete without beginning with prayers to Lord Ganesha.

(c) Kartikeya. He was assigned with the responsibility of protecting the Gods and Demi-Gods. He is worshipped in South India by various names such as Murugan, Subramanya, Shanmugan and in North India as Skanda and Kartikeya.

(d) Ashok Sundari. While Parvati felt very lonely, she created Ashok Sundari from a tree to remove her monotony and loneliness because Shiva remained in meditation most of the time.

(e) Manasa Devi. She is considered kind to the devotees who worship her. Due to her bad temper and unhappy disposition, Mansa was rejected by Lord Shiva. She is termed as the goddess of snakes and worshipped in North India. She is also described as the destroyer of poison.

(f) Ayyappan. In the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a woman named Mohini, Lord Shiva was charmed by her beauty and through the union of the two Ayyappan was born. He is specially worshipped in South India.

(g) Then there are other children of Lord Shiva named Andaka and Jalandhar and Mangala.

 

Names of Lord Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, there are 1008 names of Lord Shiva. Some of these are given below:-

NATARAJA

There is a description in the Puranic period that Lord Shiva is also termed as the Lord of Dance or Eternal Dancer. The two most renowned dances are Tandava (which is the powerful and masculine dance) and is associated with the destruction while Lasya which is very graceful and exhibits delicacy of emotions and is attributed to Parvati and associated with creation. Both destruction and creation are the important factors in the universe and the world at large.

DAKSINNAMURTI

Represents the form of Shiva Murti facing South. This represents aspects as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom.

ARDHANARISHVARA

It represents the combination of two; Shiva and Shakti (Parvati) depicting half male (Shiva) and half female (Parvati). It is due to the fact that Lord Shiva was hugely pleased by the austere traits of Parvati and granted her the boon of becoming part of his body.

Tripurantaka. In this Lord Shiva is depicted with four arms having bow and arrow in the at of destroying Demon named Tripura.

AVATARS OF SHIVA. In the description, in Linga Purana there are 28 forms of Shiva. Hanuman is known as Rudra Avtar (Rudra is a name of Shiva) as eleventh Avatar.

Ashutosh – One who fulfills wills.
Akshayaguna – With limitless attributes.
Anantadrishti – With an unrivaled vision.
Bholenath – One who is benevolent.
Bhooteshwara – one who is Lord of ghosts.
Bhudeva – One who is Lord of Earth
Mahadeva – Greatest God
Devadeva – Lord of the Lords
Gurudeva – Lord of all
Ingaraja – Lord of Lingas
Vishveshwara – One who is the Lord of Universe.

There are 12 Jyotirlingas (Lingas of Light) which are held sacred by the devotee. They offer prayers at these holy places. These are mentioned below:

  1. Somnath ( Lord of the Nectar of Knowledge)
    2. Nageshwar or Nagnath (Lord of 5 headed snake):
    3. Kedarnath ( Lord of Kedar):
    4.Vishwanath ( Lord of the Universe), Banaras-UP:
    5.Mahakaleswar ( The Lord of Death) Ujjain, MP:
    6. Amaleshwar (Lord of Purity) : Lord Shiva the purifier of all sins.
    7. Trayambkeshwar ( Lord of Third Eye ), Maharashtra:
    8. Ghrishneshwar (Lord of Positive Energy obtained from Churning of divine Knowledge), Maharashtra:
    9. Vaidyanathan (Lord of Vaidya/Ayurveda), Maharashtra:
    10. Bheemashankar (Mighty & Powerful Lord), Maharashtra:
    11. Mallikarjun ( Lord ), Andhra Pradesh:
    12. Rameshwaram (Ram worshiping Lord Shiva), Tamilnadu:

It has been observed that this earth and what it contains, the universe and all that it possesses (the sun, the moon, countless stars, etc) are the wonders which have been created by our Creator. These are created only by some SUPREME BEING to whom we can feel if we have the right attitude and all the other fine-tuned attributes like love, trust, etc. He has fathered us for a purpose and it is our duty to fulfill the assigned tasks in whatever way we can – by helping those who are not able to help themselves, doing good to others, forgiving others’ follies etc.

I consider religion as a pathway to reach to our Creator, it may be any religion to that matter. One thing that binds us together is that our requirement(s) are the same. He has given His precious bounties like air, water and other the gifts of nature without any bias. Let us thank Him in our own way suiting us for connectivity with the Source and living a life full of peace and happiness.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Inner Thoughts

 

SPREADING SMILES (MUSKAAN): FUNCTION OF OPTIMISM IN SPREADING HAPPINESS

SPREADING SMILES (MUSKAAN): FUNCTION OF OPTIMISM IN SPREADING HAPPINESS

SPREADING SMILES (MUSKAAN)

 

We shall be spreading enduring smiles

Amongst all those born with some challenges

Physical and psychological afflictions

When we provide assistance

Incommensurate with their physical and mental needs

To provide health protection

To shore-up their physio-psycho health condition

By providing medical cover to needy

Then on significant recovery

Bestow them education, so necessary

Besides training in art or craft, so suited in each case

So that challenged could stand on their legs

Then lead a life of self-assurance

With a paradigm shift from living on crutches of doles

Rather than living on self-dependence

Thus living in an eco-system of self-help

To stand-up and face life with confidence

With self-esteem writ large on their faces

Thence instead of living on charities

Would like to contribute to spreading smiles

To all those deserving ones’

Those who accept the challenges of the hapless challenged

Are the chosen gifts of our Omnipotent and Omniscient God.

 

Evidently, those who contribute for multiplying happiness and dividing smiles (Muskaan) especially amongst those who are physically and psychologically challenged are obviously performing Yeoman’s service to persons concerned particularly and to the community in general. Spreading happiness to physically and mentally sound people is easier since it is known what it entails to make them happy but when question is related to physically and psychologically challenged group of individuals then it requires ocean of expertise to gauge the problem of the person, reserve of patience, tenacity to resolve problem, congenial environment, understanding the psyche of the persons concerned to make difference and then bestowing appropriate training etc. so that such individuals could also feel pride in living a normal individuals as you and me do without any stigma attached.

What transformational influence consistent supervision, grooming, and training can do was realized by us during a visit to Centre for Differently Abled and Gifted children located at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.  This visit offered us the opportunity of interacting with the Centre Head (Ms.Neera Chawla) a person who contributes immensely along with the team of motivated teachers in changing the lives of those who are having various types of disabilities like autism spectrum disorder connected with neuro-development disorder – difficulty in communication and interaction, slow in learning processes or in other words persons with intellectual disabilities, problems related with seeing and hearing or other challenges of mind and body etc.

The elegance and finesse with which this Centre is running (with community-based contributions) speaks volumes. What a total involvement and commitment cannot do can be seen to be believed. Here visionary zeal and enthusiasm, empathy and graces of our Omnipotent and Omniscient comes into play. Spreading MUSKAAN or SMILE should be the purpose of our life to say the least. Our salute to their unwavering resolve, perseverance besides pushiness despite hurdles in tacking the challenges of those who are challenged. At Muskaan, compassionate souls are making the lives of challenged children purposeful and inspirational in a way an expert sculptor chisels the uneven granite into a wonderful piece of the statue which immortalizes his work leaving everybody to appreciate his workmanship. My prayer to God is that such Muskaan (Smile) spreading Centres multiply to divide the smiles amongst those who need the same, the most.

FUNCTION OF OPTIMISM IN SPREADING HAPPINESS QUOTIENT

Optimistic means hoping or believing that things will happen appropriately. It is favourable view of events or situations or conditions and expectation of favourable outcomes. A sort of positive expectations  (Ashabadi)  The root word for is ‘optimum’ meaning the ‘best’. It means good expectations in any given situations or conditions. An optimist will see a ray of hope even when actually there is little or no hope of its recovery in normal circumstances. For example, a doctor tries to revive a person afflicted with the most debilitating disease with little or no hope of survival. Or an expert dealing with physically or mentally challenged condition makes difference in the lives of differently-abled children by proper training and avid attention.

If we have optimum hope, things turn in our way in magical ways. I remember an incident during my youth when I was swimming in a canal, suddenly the current of water increased due to which I lost control. Despite that, I tried my utmost to restore my balance yet the severity of the current was too much for me, I started drifting to the other side of the bank where the water was being transferred to another channel and the force of water has increased beyond my imagination. Seeing a shred of grass on the bank due to which I lunged ahead with full force and by the grace of God, I held that lump of grass and saved myself from being drifted! After I recovered, I found that the water from the main channel fell from an elevation of around 20 feet to another channel – the uncontrolled fall could have made my survival in jeopardy. Only a optimistic approach and the God’s bounties saved me.

OPTIMISM IS CHARACTERISED BY POSITIVE APPROACH

We should always remember that those who are optimist are always positive in their words and deeds. Optimists seek the light even in the pitch darkness. Though broken with fatigue, they steer clear off any hurdle in which they are thrust due to one reason or other. If sometimes, they fail to make a grade, they just try again and again till they get through. Such people are realist, reasonable and may be weak in health but not in their mental strength. They have the attitude of go-getter – anyhow ‘try again attitude’.

REAL HAPPINESS COMES WHEN WE SUCCEED BY CHALLENGING FAILURE

It is also a fact that in life, it is not that we always succeed. Failure could also steer us on the face sometimes but our motto should be to not to lose heart and take on the challenge head on. The success got thus brings us real happiness.

SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS – REIN IN THE MIND

Happiness is a state of our mind nor it is got through wishful thinking. It should always be remembered that if you search for happiness, it goes away from you. It is not a tangible thing which could be searched and found out. A true happiness is not a fruit which could easily be plucked from a tree. There are certain rules of the game. There are people who lose their cool and peace on a silliest pretext are the ones suffering from superior complex. Whenever somebody pricks the balloon of bloated superiority it bursts with a huge bang. The huge obsession with  ‘I, me, my’ is the cause of unhappiness. Equanimity comes when we do not lose of composure on a slightest provocation and stop becoming compulsive reactive. Real happiness lies within us, just by reining in the mind through reasonableness.

Happiness is a state of our mind. Parameters of happiness are:-

CAPACITY FOR THOUGHTFUL ACTIONS

Our happiness depends on our ability to think rationally and apply that thought to action which makes fundament difference  not merely in the present but also future paradigm of thoughts and actions which affect our overarching perspectives of our life.

OUR HAPPINESS IS IN RELATION TO OTHERS AROUND US

It has been observed that we are infatuated with individual  happiness. We as humans are tightly linked to our relatives, friends and the environment surrounding us, therefore, our happiness quotient is not dissociated from others around us. We are not happy when our relatives and friends are unhappy or when our surrounding is not appropriate to live happily.

HAPPINESS IN RELATION TO ECONOMIC STANDARD

To enhance the economic standard of the people, it is paramount that the achievement motivation (partly by simple training and partly by giving awards for good results) so as to enthuse the people to achieve excellence for better results. 

REALIZING THE REAL PURPOSE OF LIFE

The real purpose of our life is to seek connectivity with our roots (GOD) when we become successful, the happiness we get just cannot be explained with words. A true hunger for finding truth amidst the malaise of confusion which pervades around should be the motto of our life.

NEVER FORGET THAT EVERY CREATURE HAS TO PERISH ONE DAY.

 It should always be remembered that we have a perishable life. No medical help or any other magic trick can stop death for anyone who is born. This being a universal truth should never be forgotten in our life. When inappropriate situation comes then we should always think and try to wriggle ourselves out, the best way we can and the amount of happiness that we get through this exercise is unlimited.

NEVER DISTURB THE BALANCE OF MOTHER NATURE (PRAKRITI)

While enjoy all the elements of nature to the best of our satisfaction then it is our bounden duty to respect Mother Nature. It should always be kept in mind that during our fulfillment and enjoyment we should not disturb the natural balance otherwise we shall have to suffer the pangs of our Ku-karma because the Nature gives in abundance but when it is violated it never forgives our misdeeds. Its retributions come in the form of the earthquakes, tsunami, blizzards, floods and dry spells etc. Meaning it enhances our happiness quotient but when disused, it could prove to be counterproductive.

LIVING SPIRITUAL ORIENTED LIFE MULTIPLIES OUR HAPPINESS

First of all, we should be able to understand spiritualism. SPIRITUAL principles are based on truth, pure consciousness, pure knowledge, pure perception, pure conception, doing everything without fear because it is based on purity in thought and action thereof, pure desires, righteousness, compassion or kindness, love and renunciation without any inhibition of any kind etc. In other words, whatever the path we follow, we do it truthfully, systematically and with enthusiasm, desire; freedom; liberation; positive attitude,  compassion, with a sense of sacrifice, giving away possessions in excess of one’s own basic necessities without any expectations in return, living purposefully following moral turpitude,  unity of self with universe, contributing holistically for the upliftment of body, mind and soul enabling and empowering, enrichment, commitment for enduring peace and happiness  besides eternal bliss. Living a spiritual life, thus, means living a life of eternal happiness.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Inner Thoughts, WELLNESS

 

ON FAILURE & ENEMIES OF SUCCESS

ON FAILURE & ENEMIES OF SUCCESS

FAILURE 

Dread of failure, so perennial

Erects smokescreen of doubts lingering

 Which bedevils every step of our journey

For putting in sincere efforts

A negative feeling to deliver

‘If’ haunting at every step

Is the first sign of failure

This suspicious incapability spurs our

Negative attitude we’ve adopted

By non-application of mind

Including non-use of all the intelligence stratagems

That is there in the kitty

Of the person concerned.

Lack of confidence

Along with not putting in efforts with sincerity

Along with lack of commitment

To meet goals

Fixed with half-hearted mental a Makes very little impact

In forwarding movement in deliverance

Which cannot just be acquired

Without exploiting our inner potentials

Because one cannot expect seeds to germinate

On the dry earth

Without working on it

Plowing it

Watering it

Putting correct dose of manure

Thence only the yield would be plentiful

Success will not be possible

With wishful thinking only

Only sincere work is the key to success

When there is a strong will to excel

Then every barrier could be the breach with ease.

 

WHAT IS A FAILURE

Literally speaking, the failure is the condition wherein a person, after trying his best under given situations, fails to make a mark or grade. The failure could be not only in examination, it could be failure in business, failure in securing a best deal for himself any pursuit of importance, failure to catch a flight/train/bus due to traffic jam and its consequence to the individual concerned, lack of success in meeting targets and goals due to one reason or other, structural failure due to weak foundation, heart or kidney failure due to body ailments etc.

Spectre of failure could haunt us anytime anywhere. It may be due to our own faults or maybe the situation in which we are placed. Generally speaking, we take failure as not making the grade in the examination due to our own weakness in not preparing ourselves seriously and sincerely.

BALANCE OF MIND DESPITE SUCCESS OR FAILURE

In Bhagwad Gita, it has rightly been said that we should maintain equanimity or balance of mind both in failure or success. Our duty should be to perform our side of our duty and leave everything else; results will surely be appropriate when our efforts are honest.

OUR DUTY IS PERFORM OUR DUTY AND NOT BE ATTACHED TO THE FRUITS OF OUR ACTIONS

Essentially, we have a right to perform the given duty but we are not entitled to the fruits of action. Our failure may be due to reasons beyond our control but we should never consider ourselves as the result of our failure. But our efforts should be to continue trying without inhibition. Bend on the road is not the end of the road, it may be a stop-gap and bestows further impetus to our efforts. Failure should not make any dent in our sincere efforts.

The fear of failure is a web in which we can engulf ourselves and could entrap perennially. We can get over this fear by following the ensuing perspectives:-

CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE REGARDING FAILURE

In life, we do not always have roses but along with roses, we should also expect thorns also. Thorns are synonymous with those failures which every one of us sometimes faces. I take thorns necessary for the protection of the roses that a rose plant possess. Failures are the ones which give us the experience to face facts squarely.

FAILURE TO BE TAKEN AS A STEPPING STONE FOR PASS

Failures should be taken as stepping stone for a big success.

Those who see failures as pitfalls will not be able to appreciate the experiences which failures give us.

If we fear failure then there will not be any risk-taking. If we get bogged down by failure then further movement in any field would be impossible.

We must understand the rules of the game; every failure has a silver lining for success if and when we keep trying.

Failures should be taken as a small distraction but not complete curtain on the success story when we keep trying.

History is replete with several examples wherein people after they failed came out successful after their sincere efforts and that too with flying colors.

Failure could bring about new experiences which could help us to excel despite the difficult situation.

ENEMIES OF SUCCESS

Evidently, when we are aware that we have the negative traits like boredom, laziness and to top it all non-interest in doing anything. Mind you, all the three are self-created maladies and until unless we try to analyze ourselves completely and take corrective steps the result could be entirely very dismal.

I am surprised, how come, after knowing full well we are having these negative traits then we shall not be able to transact anything tangible. The following should be done to come out of this quagmire:-

We have to be aware of ourselves sincerely and try to remove all these three negative traits from your system.

To come out of our boredom, try to be active in some pursuit which interests us the most – like reading or writing. Or cultivate a positive habit which our environmental permits which allow us to.

When you have developed a sense of occupation in some pursuits of your liking, think about all the angles and minute details as to how to perform your pursuits which may bring about monetary gains along with knowledge base too. If this is done then we would be inclined to follow the right course at right time.

When we have developed a sort of inclination towards some pursuit, we would be mentally inclined and interested in following that course of action with more seriousness.

Finally, we should involve ourselves, we should not while away your time in unnecessary daydreaming since daydreaming will not fulfill our coveted dreams but be an impediment in furtherance of any cause we take in hand.

ENEMIES OF SUCCESS

  • Procrastination when a thing could be done within a timeframe.
  • Taking failure in a negative light rather than a stepping stone for further sincere efforts.
  • When sincerity in our efforts is lacking.
  • Boredom writ large or pervading in our efforts.
  • Over-confidence too sometimes play spoil-sport in our efforts to success which put pays our complete efforts.
  • Pragmatic approach lacking when situations are appropriate.
  • Killing instinct in preparation stage missing.
  • Failing to create situations and conditions before putting in our sincere efforts.
  • Right and positive approach missing.
  • Losing foresight and bearings.
  • Not showing character to face facts squarely.
  • Getting pissed off at one’s own conduct when none exists.
  • Nonuse of synergy and inner potentials in relation to time and space.
 
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Posted by on January 26, 2018 in Inner Thoughts

 

ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASATHI – THE DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE (ON 22ND JANUARY 2018)

ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASATHI – THE DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE

THE BASANT PANCHAMI

The God Almighty is very generous to  His creations

He provides us the bounties of Mother Nature

With only a few conditions attached

That we’ve to respect the laws of nature

Which provides us the whole lot

God bestows us the chance to enjoy varieties of climates.

From extreme hot to not so hot

From extreme cold to mild or not so cold.

From devastatingly hot weather to mild hot

We heartily cherish these moments

And enjoy the time at our disposal with friends’ accompaniment.

Basant Panchami has religio-seasonal connotations

Withstanding the cold of the winter season

There is a beginning of a climate so plasant

Whence the Mother Nature is at its excellence

Wherein a carpet of yellow mustard plants is one of the attractions

Even the people put on their yellow attires

To match the environment around

Thus imbuing themselves with the Mother Nature

Legend has it with this festival

Lord Brahma -the Creator

Happened to see the Earth

He felt penitent

On seeing the bare trees

The barren land bereft of any greenery

Scattered some water from His jar so enchanting

Lo and behold

There appeared Goddess Sarawati

The provider of Knowledge and Wisdom

Besides music, art and craft

Goddess Sarswati too is called

The Goddess of Basant Panchmi

Whence Lord Brahma bestowed greenery

To the plants in abundance

Bringing about brightness in natural spectacle

Everywhere our eyes could travel

Thence yellow flowers are to the God in plenty

Our food items too emit yellow colour

By putting saffron stands

Giving out fragrance, so mouth watering.

On this occasion devout worship musical instruments

Including art, craft and all other learning mediums

Being the gifts of Lordess Saraswati.

Then congregations and processions

Are taken to implore Her for more of her bounties

Knowledge and wisdom to us humans

To distinguish between truth and falsehood.

 

Lordess white dress symbolizes purity in all its manifestations

She is also an embodiment of truth and elegance

Even her posture of sitting has a meaning, so deep

Our humble prayers to The O Goddess Saraswati

To obliterate ignorance and illiteracy from our midst

And bring about a dawn of enlightenment

By removing the specter of ego which engulfs us immensely

And permeate us all in thy colour, so indelible.


BASANT PANCHAMI


ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASATHI – THE DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE


The Basant has been taken from Sanskrit word VASANT’ which means Spring Season. Basant Panchami (fifth tithi) is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Saraswati in different parts of India. She is the divinity of knowledge (music, arts, science etc). We worship the Goddess so that she bestows us essential knowledge and help us to remove ignorance from our midst. On this day, people also initiate the education of their kids in their homes and schools besides it is  considered auspicious to start new ventures businesses on this day.


In schools and colleges too, in the morning hours assemblies, prayers to Goddess Saraswati are done in order to get her graces, blessings for enlightenment and removal of agyan (ignorance). Although whole of the day is considered promising  yet most auspicious time is from sunrise to the midday (which is also termed as the Purvahna Kala) and it is considered as the auspicious time to conduct Saraswati Puja with great reverence and piety for seeking her graces in abundance.


FESTIVAL ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFERENT ASPECTS


In many parts of india, farmers conduct the earth pujan (Bhoomi Puja) for more agricultural produce from their fields before tilling their fields. People eat sweet rice and put on yellow clothes – yellow colour is associated with Basant Panchami.

Dandya dance is also performed on this day in Gujarat state which is also associated with harvesting, sowing and reaping of crops etc. The ploughing implements too are worshipped on this day so that these implements work to their full potentials for better crop yield.


ASSOCIATED WITH KAMADEVA AND RATI


Season-wise, chilling cold season ends and start of more pleasant and enjoyable season starts – Basant Ritu. There is also a tradition that in Basant Ritu, there is air of love and affection which is associated with kamadeva and his wife named Rati. When we associate this day with Kamadeva, it means there used to be dance based on love in the royal palaces in which the women folks of the royal leanings and other girls used to dance’  (in their best  attires) in the midst of singing suiting the occasion – basically on love between Krishna and Radha. People put on yellow attire on this occasion in consonance with the flowering of yellow tamarind crops. It seems as though the Mother Nature has spread a yellow coloured cloth with seasonal flowers. There is also fragrance of flowers all around.


The Basant Panchami is also called as Shree Panchami and Sufi which is observed in Sufi shrines. This festival is also celebrated in different parts of India though slightly differently. People enjoy kite flying, – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc,  Eastern India including Bengal wherein Saraswathi idol is immersed in Ganga.


PRAYER TO LORD SHIVA AND LORD VISHNU AND SUN GOD


People in different regions also worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi including Sun God and offerings are made to them to earn their graces which could help them tide over their problems in life.

. Devotees feed the needy on this occasion.


It is not merely Hindus who celebrate BASANT PANCHAMI but people following religsions too celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm – as it is a seasonal festival.


Saint Nizamuddin Aulia who was known for his generosity, compassion and simplicity coupled with humane heart too celebrated Basant Panchami. There used to be Langar at dargah where food was served to all irrespective of religious leaning. When his nephew died, he felt so sad that he stopped all the activities.

Observing with concern, Amir Khusrau, a Sufi poet, musician and scholar and who is considered as a prominent name in the cultural history of the Indian Sub-continent wanted to bring him to his normal state. While seeing the women putting on their yellow attire, with colourful flowers, he also put on yellow clothes and flowers and went in front of the Saint. Upon seeing Khuarau in that dress, the Saint smiled. Thence onwards, Basant Panchami too is celebrated in Dargah of Saint Nizamuddin Aulia.

The Sikhs also celebrate Basant Panchami. Basant  Raga or Spring Raga (composition) forms one of the well-known Ragas in Sri Granth Sahib Sahib Ji and sung with great reverence. This occasion has also another significance, the marriage of Guru Gobind Singh was solemnized on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2018 in Inner Thoughts

 

THE LOHRI & THE MAKKAR SANKRANTI (ON 13TH & 14TH JANUARY) WISH YOU HAPPY LOHRI AND MAKKAR SANKRANTI – MAY THESE TWO FESTIVALS BRING PROSPERITY AND KINSMANSHIP AMONGST ALL

THE LOHRI & THE MAKKAR SANKRANTI

(ON 13TH & 14TH JANUARY)

WISH YOU HAPPY LOHRI AND MAKKAR SANKRANTI

MAY THESE TWO FESTIVALS BRING PROSPERITY AND KINSMANSHIP AMONGST ALL

India being a home to multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society can pride itself in having different festivals. These festivals may be seasonal, traditional, culture based, religion based or for that matter any other considerations. Here every caste, religion and region have contributed its mite for enriching the cultural traditions. But the fervor and enthusiasm that accompanies with these festivals is second to none.

It is here that we Indians enjoy all the religious festivals – it may be Eid or Gurpurab or as a Muslim enjoy Diwali or all of them enjoy Christmas Day. That is the beauty. I do not dispute that hotheads are there in any strata of life, those who do not know either about their own religious festivals nor of others.  One thing which pleases us is the shine on the faces of every one while celebrating any festival!  That is the beauty of it all.

 

LOHRI FESTIVAL

Lohri festival is celebrated in Northern Indian states. It is being celebrated on 13th January – in the month of Pauch or Magha, one day before Makkar Sankranti. We term this festival as a community based festival where Bhangra (dance by men folks) and Gidha (dance by women folks) to the beats of drums which bring vitality and jollity to the celebration. Youngsters, by and large, take pleasure in kite flying and enjoy the occasion.

On this festival, seasonal dry fruits peanuts, coconut are mixed with jaggery (Gur) and sesame seeds (til) to make the eatables. Besides, milk cakes are specially made and distributed amongst relatives and friends.

Following are some of the reasons for the celebration of Lohri festival:-

  1. Season related. It marks the end of winter season and beginning of sowing of some crops and harvesting the others. It infuses vitality and special enthusiasm in the lives of people – especially the farmers. The Lobri festival symbolizes prayer to the fire (Agni puja) in the evening. In the people take parikarma (rounds) around the bonfire and shower offerings to fire. Fire ritual or Agnihotra (Specially lit fire – Havan) is the process of purifying the environment and people also consign to fire a mix of rice, peanuts, walnuts, almonds besides sesame seeds (til) and jaggery to the fire before distributing and taking the same themselves.

 

It is believed that this fire ritual has a special significance and possess healing power besides it helps in well-being of all along with its benefits in farming too. Special bounties are asked on this day for the well-being and prosperity of all besides peace in the entire households. Newly wedded couples and newly born babies receive special attention on this festival. People give alms to the needy on this occasion.

 

Different Legends behind the Lohri festival:-

  1. Legend.The legend of Dulla Bhatti (Rai Abdullah Khan) is very popular. It is a legend of a Rajput warrior who saved a damsel in distress belonging to the Hindu religion from the clutches of lustful and greedy officials. The brave Rajput adopted her as his own daughter without let or hindrance and married her off to a young and suitable Hindu boy. He also gave her presents – nine mounds of sugar along with other gifts etc on her marriage. This shows that there was a community feeling during those days. If during those feeling for each others was rampant then why not now! To appreciate his gesture, the people sing the following song describing the event and also mentioning about the beauty of the girl who was saved. We used to go to the houses in our neighbourhood and used to sing and used to get sweets made specially for this day. This song is sung by the youngsters even now on this occasion.  :-

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
……………………

 

  1. There is also a legend of Sant Kabir and his wife names Loi. He used to love his wife immensely. So much so intense was his passion for his wife that one day, he reached his home in the middle of dark night, travelling from a far off place. The door was closed from inside. His wife was sleeping on the first floor. Finding that there was no ladder, he took the help of a rope hanging from the first floor of his house. When his wife saw him, she was very surprised and asked him as to how he had entered the first storey. There upon, she along with Kabir saw that the help with which he had reached the first storey was with the help of a hanging python.

 

His wife got upset and in desperation mentioned: The passion which he was having for her, if he had the same fervor  for the God, he could excelled in anything including finding the God!

 

Subsequently, we know the life Sant Kabir who was a mystical poet whose writings had a deep rooted effect on Bhakti Movement and his verses find place in Sri Guru Granth Sahib too.

 

He was brought up in a Muslim family but was deeply influenced by his teacher Ramananda but he criticized both in his verses because of his close proximity with both and knew ins and outs of these religions. In his writings, he has emphatically mentioned that the God is only with those who follows righteousness and also one who follows a detached mode of life. His followers are known as Kabir Panthis.

 

It was due to the timely advise of his wife named Loi that Kabir had a huge transformation in his life and became a well known Sant who influenced millions with his writings. Lodi or Loi is also celebrated in his and his wife’s honour who was instrumental in molding him.

 

MAKKAR SANKRANTI (ON 14TH JANUARY)

Makkar Sankranti is celebrated in the month of Paus (January) Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun God enters the Northern Hemisphere. Hindus like Greeks worship Sun God – the giver of immense energy. Sun God is termed as the manifest God, having all the glorious divinity. It is worthwhile to mention here that mantra OM ADITYA AYE NOMON and many other mantras are recited in order to get the blessings of the Sun God.

The devout also chant Gyatri Mantra, which is taken from Rig Veda while making final offering to God. which is from Rig-Veda, as Makkar Sankranti is associated with cosmic event which affects the life of humans immensely.

Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt.

Which means: We meditate and adore thee the Supreme Lord, the Creator of everything, who’s Divine Light illuminates all spheres of activity (physical, mental and spiritual). We pray that this Divine Light may light-up our intellect for ever.

This festival is celebrated with gaiety and fervor in all the parts of India with different names at different places but the enthusiasm remains the same. Devout get up early in the morning, take bath in holy rivers first take the blessings of their elders and then offer prayers in the temples. After having offered prayers, people give alms to the needy according to their capacity. In the afternoon people share a special Khichri (Hotchpotch – a mix of dall-urdh and dal.

 

LOHRI

Every festival is linked with some seasons

Or certain well known occasions.

Lohri a winter festivals of repute

Falls in the month of ( 13th Jan) Paush

Marks the end of winter season

And beginning of longer – a little hotter days ahead soon

For farmers,  it is one of the happiest occasions

They start harvesting rabi crops

Start of spring season is a Natural bounty

Adds additional spice to festivities.

(Rabi Crop: Wheat, Gram, Pea, Mustard, Linseed, Barley, Peas)

 

Traditionally, on lohri day a bonfire is lit

People congregate around it

And reverently offer, Jaggery (gur), sesame seeds (til)

Sesame coated sugar candy and popcorn into leaping bonfire

The skyward leaping fire

Which purifies the atmosphere

It also shows that it (fire) is enjoying all acts of hers

Gathering people partake the sacred offering themselves too as (parsad) offering

Satiety writ large in everybody’s faces.

Offerings too is made to ‘panj tatavas’ five elements of nature

Fire, wind, water, ether and earth

Going around the bonfire with great reverence

And singing traditional songs with dance makes huge difference.

And that too in tune with beating of drums!

Tradition has it that there was a very brave person of repute

Named Dulla Bhatti from lineage of warrior race of the Rajputs

In the reign of Mughal king Akbar

He used to rescue poor girls from the clutches of robbers

And got them married to suitable boys of choice

People sing Lohri songs with gust in his praise.

 

Thence other legend of the origin of Lohri

From the wife of Saint Kabir named ‘Loi’

Herself a lady so pious.

 MAKKAR SANKRANTI

Lohri too is linked with Makar Sanranti

Which too is another winter festival very famous

Celebrated one day after Lohri celebrations

A day so fixed

14th January –  indeed very sacred

It marks the beginning of solar maagha masa

Makar Sankranti is start of harvest festival

And beginning of pleasant Spring Season

Celebrated in all parts of country.

 

It has its origin to the movement of the earth

Sun movement begins from (Sankranti) one zodiac sign

Into another – Capricorn zodiac (Makar) sign

Two movements  are termed as Makar Sakranti.

 

This day marks the beginning of warmer days

As the sacred months start from this day onwards

Makar Sankranti  is celebrated with great fervor

In western and northern India

There is a mention of this day in Mahabharata

As, it is the festival of Sun God

Who gives us light and heat

To living beings without bias

And bestows us divinity and wisdom,

Thus holding an eternal meaning.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Inner Thoughts