HAPPY HOLI WITH HOLI DAHAN (BURNING OUT OUR NEGATIVITIES)
A HOLI THE COLOURFUL FESTIVAL
This Holi should burn out anger, jealousy & all unprincipled and unethical desires Including the egocentric tendencies from our system forever So as to make our life sublime full of care Thus paving the way for spiritual oriented way of life by burning out everything negative that exists in our existence.
After a relief from chilling cold, intense one There is a carnival of colours The carnival of colour so very well-liked With the young and old alike Wherein us all irrespective of age group Take part with soft-emotions running so deep Not only put colour on each other But also partake sweets so very specially prepared with mix of love Enjoy Bhangra dance and Gidha dance to the tune of drums With Punjabi song so matching For this festival of colours so very enjoyable in every way With everybody wishing others A VERY HAPPY HOLI to boost good over evil.
Preceding one day, Holi Dahan is held Which portrays burning of evil and all the ills prevalent Within us with burning of fire of Holi Dahan Personifying holy fires burning The sister of Demon King Harnayakashpa (evil) & saving (goodness) Prahalada Holika represents the evil soul – Atma Who was burnt alive despite her boon of not being burnt by fire While Prahalada in her lap remained unscathed With the blessing of Lord Vishnu, a most compassionate one Who bestows protective cover on His devotee, infusing common sense in them.
Fact stands out, when body, mind and soul are coloured In the hue of our eternal Creator Then a warm emotion love springs-up With a flood of warmth for each other Of togetherness in every being participating in the celebrations Where there is no biases Based on age, sex, colour, caste or religion or region Everybody just forgets the narrow-minded based on any distinctions What remains woefully is the add-on liking They’ve for each one of them Mixed with warmth in sentiments With variety of colours as the variety of people colored Whosoever meets us on the street corners Corners us with colours and colors us Redd, yellow or blue – the choicest in tint Charming us to a maximum extent.
O Almighty God of ours Imbue us all with Thy indelible Colour For Thy color touches our heart’s chords Including every atoms in our body Made of five elements which die with our body (Ether, earth, water, air & fire) On the death of our mortal body Only Thy colour and our Soul last Man made colours just fade away and are lost After a few hours have passed.
A spirit of Spring Festival springs in us all Dividing joy and hope between us all Nature too is in its finest attire – so very colourful When Mother Nature is at its best With all around greenery prevalent There is fragrance of blooming flowers With Full Moon as though it is chipping in, too showcasing its silvery shine.
To enhance the charm of colours To share the fun and joy of the people around.
Different people celebrate Holi in different style But the common thread of celebration remains alike People prepare special sweets to welcome their dear folks Shopkeepers & women are busiest lots Bestowing magnetism to their living places.
Bonhomie pervades wheresoever our eyes could survey Abuzz with activity mixed with the rainbow of colors Scenes at the marketplaces are indeed mesmeric.
Legend has it that a mighty and conceited Demon King Hiranyakashyap prided his prowess the most He wanted his subjects to worship him in place of God above Virtuous Prahlad, his own son agreed not Being a staunch devotee of Lord of Preservation – Lord Vishnu The King wanted his son to be put to sword – very soon For not obeying his dictates Different methods were used to kill but in vain. Hiranyakashyap had a sister named Holika Blessed with a boon of not being burnt by blazing fire Both were made to enter a bonfire at full fury Thinking fire will harm her not due to boon to her But just opposite ensued Prahlad came unscathed with grace of Lord Vishnu, Whilst Holika met her end most tragic. Legend too has it that Lord Krishna played holi with his beloved Gopies To shower love and affection with the shower of colours. Holi celebrated at Vrindavan, Mathura And Bursana is so matchless even today Showing the thread of that time remains in fact intact People light a bonfire on the night before Holi Day With devout heart brimming with bliss Celebrate triumph of good over evil And also remember how devotion to Lord gets rewarded. People play with variety of colours Intoxicated with joy of the day Pour coloured water to each other Songs, dance, and beats on the drums abound everywhere People exchange greetings and pray to God for His bounties. O God, let the humans not shower bullets at each other pilling blood of the unfortunates in the process But rather with a blood-red colour of HOLI Spreading feeling of brotherhood Which may engender love for each other Along with amity and well-being, in the humanity as a whole Our prayers to Thee our Lord – the Esteemed One Do colour us all in Thy Holy colour So that peace and harmony spread amongst all.
HAPPY HOLI WITH HOLI DAHAN (BURNING OUT OUR NEGATIVITIES)
The festival of color HOLI finds its mention in Vedas and Puranas (Narad Purana and Bhavishya Purana). There is a practical Archeologists proof through excavation of stone related to 300 BC on which there is an inscription of word ‘Holikotsav’ which means Holi. Even in the ancient paintings, there is a mention of Holi festival – the festival of colour.
Holi has special significance in Braj i.e. in Mathura and Vrindaban region, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Women-folks playfully hit their men-folks with sticks. This act of theirs is called lath maar the holi (A holi which is played with sticks). Here men are constrained to save themselves from their blows with the help of a shield. There is an air of festivities around in the entire Braj region during this festival spanning for days together. It is a spectacle in the real sense of the term.
Holi is a Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival – it is a festival of colour (Rangwali Holi) or celebrated of love, celebrated in India, Nepal and other parts of the world where Indians are settled. It is arrival of pleasant Spring season. On the occasion of this festival people forget their differences and connect with their long forgotten friends and relatives. The first day before Holi is Holika Dahan (Burning of Holika Demon) it is also called Chhoti Hili.
In this context, it is relevant to mention the Bhagwad Gita: Lord Krishna teaches detachment: While one gives up all his material desires meant for the satisfaction of the senses, one who lives freeing from desires and gives up his false ego attains the state of peace and calm.
Holi festival signifies the victory of good over evil. It also signifies the end of winter and arrival of pleasant spring. It is a festival when people forget their differences and thus mend their ruptured relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other well with fond wish: ‘Happy Holi’ and may the colour of HOLI imbue us in God’s impossible to remove colour so as to spread the feelings of brotherliness and fellow feelings amongst each other without consideration to caste, creed, colour, region etc.
In essence, we face multiple problems in our lives while aspiring for material and sensual objects, people become attached to these. Such attachments develop lust and lust generate anger and other baser traits. Anger leads to delusion and delusion leads to mental disorientation. When the mind is bewildered, wisdom is the victim. Loss of wisdom leads to downfall of an individual. In such a scenario, a healthy diversion is a must. Different festivals give us occasion to celebrate with our relatives and friends. We celebrate Holi with our nears and dears. The colourful festival HOLI presents our golden opportunity to share our joys with others. The gifts are exchanged in the form of homemade sweets, such as Gujia etc.
There is a symbolic legend attached to this. There was a demon king named Hiranyakashap. This demon king did hard penance due to which he got a boon that no human could kill him at daytime or at night time. This made him very haughty and egotistical besides excessively arrogant. So much so was he drunk with pride that he passed an order that henceforth nobody would pray God in his kingdom. People should rather pray him in place of God.
He ruled his subjects with the iron hand. Not even the hermits or sadhus were spared. Those who disobeyed his orders were meted out huge punishments or handed out the death penalty. He had a son by the name of Prahlada. He used to worship Lord Vishnu. The demon king felt slighted and very furious when he found that his own son was disobeying his orders hence he gave him an alternative – either he should worship him or face the death penalty after giving various severe punishments which did not deter Prahladha from worshipping Lord Vishnu.
Then Holika the Hiranyakashap’s sister, evil in her intentions offered herself to sit in the bonfire (pyre) with Prahladha; knowing fully well that she would not be harmed because of her special cloak which made her immune to fire. Subsequently, the two entered the roaring fire. Hiranyakashap felt assured that no harm would result to his sister because of protection but his son would meet his end.
After the fire subsided, all felt including Hiranyakashap surprised that Holika got perished in the fire that engulfed her despite her protective cloak but due to the protection and grace of Lord Vishnu, he survived!
Holi was driven from the name Holika. Holika represents/personifies evil and its burning is the end of evil. Pradhan personifies goodness.
One day before Holi, especially after sunset, the pyre is lit, called as Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance at the beats of drums. It may have different names in different part of the country but the spirit of the festival is the same – a colourful one.
Holi Dahan also signifies burning of our excessive desires. It is for bringing about a balance in our desires by putting an end to our greed and base internal yearning (Kaama Dahan) – our conquest over our evil or carnal instincts which have made residency in our mind and rely more on detachment from our action.
Subsequently, in the daytime, people celebrate this as a sign of victory of good over evil by sprinkling either the coloured water or dry colour (gulal) of various colour. A real rainbow of colour! In the evening, people, after proper wash, go to their friends and relatives and partake sweets prepared at their homes.
It has also been seen that on Holi festival, people forget and forgive their old enmity and animosity and establish the new relationship with each other. It has been seen that people from all religions participate in this festival. It looks as though all have been imbued and coloured with happiness and goodwill for each other. If such an idea fructifies then there would not be any ill-will for anybody in the society in general.
As all communities activity participate in this festival, they cement their relationships, thus enhance their sense of correlation and cooperation for better compatibility.
People forget their inherent differences and go to each others’ homes with colours and sweets thus a spirit of forgetting and forgiving are created.
One day before actual festival, HOLIKA DAHAN (Burning of symbolic Holika – the sister of Demon King Haranakyshapa) – which is synonymous with burning of evil from our midst. Therefore, this festival helps us burn the evil prevalent in us and establish the kingdom of goodness in our heart.
BELIEF ON THE DICTUM: THE TOTAL ALWAYS STAYS THE SAME
WHEN THE LOVE OF TWO IS COMBINED THE TOTAL STAYS THE SAME
The sum total of our Karmic deeds Remain, without doubt unchanged In any situation and condition We get what we give to others, by implication Nothing more and nothing less Proving that the sum total stays the same.
We can light-up several Deepaks – wicks With a single wick Without affecting the potency of the first wick To light up wicks and emit light The total effectiveness of the first wick Remains the same.
When the single drop of rain Starts from its source It neither knows its target Nor the purpose which it will present Either it falls on the barren earth Thereby enhancing the fertility of land Or in the water bodies Depends on its destiny When it mixes up with other drops It forms water bodies Or through rivers taken to the sea Which again turns into rain Thru a process termed as water cycle Thus the sum total remains the same.
When our offspring falls into a bad company The task of parents is to show the course so righteous Through award or thru gentle knuckle Whence the offspring takes right course at right time But the sum total of all remains the same.
We’re aware our ego is our weakness index But some people think to be their superiority complex The more the egocentric tendency The lesser the connect with our inner potencies To wipe out every trace of ego from our system Till we reach to the detached mindset Our original chaste-self Bereft of a feeling of hostility or hate Thus proving sum total remains the same.
Then same goes with test of truth Truth could be tested and attested At any place and time We know, the totality and reality of truth, in any event Remains the same No matter the manner in which we endeavor To turn and twist the yardsticks To suit our convenience To prove the truth wrong The truth shines as 24 crates of gold for good Nothing can change the truth The sum total remains the same.
Similar is the case with our thoughts The more refined our thoughts The more refined are the actions we tend to perform Since there will not be any selfish motive Proving, in all cases, the sum total remains the same.
We add two plus two summing up to four Or three plus one Or four plus zero Or mincing eight minus four Or with fraction based mathematic solution Or using algebraic or arithmetic methods The result remains the same You plus or mince or using and method Or in any way we try summing Any way or in any way The sum total stays the same!
The Creator of all creations Has been very compassionate Since He takes care of all His Creations From childbirth to various stages of growth Ultimately meeting death And then again recreation Proving the total stays the same.
Then when we ingest our food After going through different stages of digestion Which gives us energy For the subsistence of our body In our internal system If the system functions well Then conversion of energy is smooth But whence our digestive system gets impaired Nothing suits us – even the most nourishing food Proving that total remains the same.
If we have all comforts of our existence With the most comfortable beddings Which we can purchase with the resources we do possess But cannot in any event purchase sleep Despite all the comforts available At our disposable Alas! The sum total stays the same.
The seed sprouts into an attractive plant Plant grows into a beautiful tree After it gets natural bounties Like water, air and other elements of nature It gives out beautiful flowers Flowers to fruits so plentiful and juicy With one of the by-products being seed Which again sprouts Thus completing the whole process Proving the sum total staying the same
IN NATURE, FLOWERS NATURE CREATIONS DEPEND ON EACH OTHERS FOR SURVIVAL
THE TRUTH OF THE DICTUM – THE SUM TOTAL STAYS THE SAME
Our Creator has created His creations without any bias. All of us are bestowed with the similar bounties of Nature – air, water, sun, without the existence of ours would be impossible. However, highs he or she may be cannot survive without these gifts of God. Here power and pelf, status or big or small take in the same air, water and energy of sun. Nobody can survive himself/herself even for smallest period of time without these bounties.
FOOD FUNCTIONS SIMILAR
We all take in the same food which gives us energy to sustain – difference being the quality and quantity but with the same outcome. The food changes into energy which helps us to perform various functions of our body. The rich person can purchase and eat all that he want but his internal system may not help digest the food he eats, which proves that changing the natural arrangement will not pay in any way.
NO DIFFERNCE IN BODY FUNCTIONS
Normal human beings have the same number of bones 206 with all the internal organs such as brain, heart, liver, lungs, spleen, with veins, arteries etc. with similar functions of the body as a unit. We all have the same flesh and blood (of course with different blood group), colour of skin may be different but its function remains the same protection of the internal organs of the body.If one part of the body malfunctions, the functioning of the body suffers as a whole. Proving the sum total remains the same.
ALL THE CREATIONS MEET THE SAME FINAL FATE – DEATH
We all know what happens after we die – natural deaths or unnatural ones. The fate of all the creations is same. Our dead bodies are either cremated or buried or electrocuted but all have to mix in the dust. The all mighty or lowly meet the same fate. If we obey and live as per the natural laws, then, Nature too is kind to us. Alternatively, if we disturb the balance of nature then it punishes us in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards etc. You overdo anything the nature knows how to balance itself. The sum total remains the same. We have to control our thoughts and deeds so that we do not produce imbalance in any way. Artificial changes or arrangements for our personal gains will not give us any gains ultimately.
FOLLOWING A SPIRITUAL ORIENTED LIFE GIVES US MENTAL SATIETY
The person who leads a spiritual oriented existence will have a total balance in mind. He has a balanced mindset with balanced approach to failures and successes. Nothing disturbs such a person, His equanimity remains same. This goes to show that a person with spiritual conscious mindset always remains on an even keel in wheel and woes of life.
OUR HUNGER AND DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
People with resources can buy any food item to eat but it all depends on his hunger and digestive system. Now coming to our sleep, although a rich man can buy comfortable homes, comfortable beds etc. yet, due to one reason or other may not get sleep due to his internal body system problems or insomnia. On the other hand the person who has done hard work, will get a sound sleep even on hard bed or on uneven ground. Similar is the case with hunger. A hungry man can digest anything which is given to him. The total result is the same.
RESOURCES WILL HAVE NO RELEVANCE IN CASE OF LIFE AND LIVING
A person with vast resources may not have satiety with what he possesses. He wants still more without realizing that when he came to this world, he had not brought anything and would not be taking anything while he leaves this world. Penniless we came and penniless we shall depart should never be forgotten. Sum total remains the same. If he loses something, he becomes all the more concerned and loses his sleep including stress related diseases resulting in loss of health and wellness. Subsequent medication can restore his health and wellness. The total remains the same.
PROBLEMS BRINGS ABOUT COURAGE TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEM
It has been seen that problem brings with it courage to experience the problems and these experiences give him courage to tap his internal potentialities. Thus failures or successes are part of the same coin for a man with balanced mentality. The sum total of remains the same.
We must have experienced that failure should be taken as a stepping stone for success in our life. There is always a second chance and the third one if second one does not succeed. If we introspect all the perspectives, we reach to the conclusion that despite the changes in our lives, the sum total; failures or successes, remains the same with our self-effort.
NATURE AND ITS FUNCTIONS REMAINS THE SAME
Nature provides us a big lesson. When we pollute the air, the trees come to our rescue and help convert CO2 into Oxygen and it continues. This is also the case with other perspectives in our lives which proves the dictum that there is evolution in many fascist in our dynamic world, which goes to prove that changes do occur but the final outcomes remains the same. We can reclaim the lost ground if we try but this effort should be within the parameters set in by the natural adjustment and not based on changes which are arbitrary and out of proportion with our natural settings since the sum totality of everything remains the same, we want it or not is not in our hands.
Great personages are the ones who change their destinies of others by imbibing the good traits of renowned philosophers and thinkers.
BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF A GREAT RELIGIOUSLY ENLIGHTENED ONE – SHRI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMHANSA
Today is the birthday anniversary of a great Seer Shri Ramakrishana Paramahansa. He was born on 18th February 1836, his Jyanti is being celebrated today according to based on Hindu lunar calendar. If we follow his philosophy of life, then, there will not be any strife between people of diverse religions, castes, colour, region, language etc since he considered all the creations of our Common Creator.
His childhood name was Gadadhar Chattopadhyay. His father’s name was Khudiram Chattopahyay and that of mother Chandramani Devi. He belonged to a poor Brahmin family. His early formal education was not so rosy but everybody appreciated about his spiritual orientation. He used to go into trance in the childhood itself. He was a devout Bhakta of Kali Maa and that is why he became a priest at Dakshineshwar Kali temple.
Subsequently he was married to Saradamoni Mukhopadhyay, termed as Maa Sarada there after. When he married her, she was merely five years old. Thereafter, when she turned 23 years, she joined Shri Ramakrishna.
Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa considered men and women with the same respect though considered women with high esteem. For him, his wife was the embodiment of the Divine Mothers and paid her respect in every way. He said; Women are, all of them, the veritable images of Shakti.
Though he himself did not claim to be a great (Considered himself as a common man) yet for him every creation of God were equal and should be respected as such.
He was of the opinion that God could be achieved by following a righteous course by following practical orientated lifestyle rather than based on any other considerations.
Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was the one who was respected for his kindness. He is still the most celebrated mystic in Bengal, respected for his devotion, loved for his kindness and adored for his simplicity. His followers included highs and lows who respected him equally.
Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa died on 16th August 1886 after suffering from throat cancer. Thus the innings of a virtuous, kind, righteous to the core, one who respect other religions as he respected his own, spiritual to the core besides the one who considered women great esteem.
His spiritual life started at an early age. He made sincere efforts in seeking God and showed to his people how best to reveal the mysteries and Truth about God with persistence and sincerest efforts. The truth is the one which could be tested and attested at any place and time. We may call God by any name but reality about Him does not change. This has also been enunciated in the Upanishadic sages. Different religions are the pathways of attaining God but Truth about Him remains the same.
Ramakrishna believed in the convention and tradition of Guru Shishya Parampara (Guru and Disciple Tradition). His teachings inspired one all.
Shri Ramakrishna was the Guru of Swami Vivekananda because of his simple way of teaching in the simplest language and style. Swami Vivekananda while pursuing his philosophy of spiritualism wanted his curiosity of God assuaged. For this, Swami Vivekananda asked whether he believed in the existence of God and how, to which Shri Ramakrishna simply mentioned that he saw God as he saw him (Vivekananda). After knowing about the answer, Swami Vivekananda was very impressed. The following are the philosophy of religion of Shri Ramakrishna:-
He believed in the existence of God since according to him, he saw God as he say anybody else – which showcases the intensity of his belief.
He firmly believed that God is one and we can call Him by any name.
He considered different religions as different pathways to reach to the same destination – Supreme God. To understand different religious philosophies, he followed the principles and lived as per the beliefs of different religions. It could he construed religion as a reality and respected all the religions as a mean to achieve the end – to seek God with highest intensity.
He opined that the knowledge attained by us leads to unity and ignorance leads us to diversity. He laid emphasizes acquiring knowledge for enlightenment.
He was the one who excelled in religious know-how of all religions and excelled in Hindu philosophy too. Swami Vivekananda considered his master as the living commentary on Veda and Vedanta. He opined that lovers of God are universal in their attitude and do not belong to any religion or caste. In his view nobody should consider his faith alone is true and every other’s false. According to him, God without form or with form are real.
He lived a life of a spiritualist with difference by practically following the principles and experienced the truth. Truth for him is the way of life to be followed.
He followed the life a sage who experienced truth rather than believing blindly the religious scriptures. He opined that we should live a selfless life which also helps us to imbibe God in our heart. Subsequently we can realize God after seeking Him sincerely.
The essence of his teachings were simple which could be understood by even anybody and everybody. In other words, even children can understand the Vedanta Philosophy. No intricate enunciation while giving his discourses. He conveyed his ideas very simply.
According to him, when we are humble, simple and kind, we can attain God’s mercies. He opined that as the rain water never stands on the high ground but runs down to the lowest level. Similarly God dwells in the hearts of the lowly. God does not connect with the person with egocentric tendencies.
He opined that we should try to follow truth, follow righteous course. While following a life based on truth, we should not find fault with anyone.
He had God realization by practically following the essence of religious principles. There was charm and simplicity in his discourses and interactions. It is surprising as to how he could relate even the intricate philosophies with ease.
It should never be forgotten that Divine Being lives in all of us; irrespective of us being of any religion, caste, creed or colour, good person or bad. The purpose is to seek Him within us by following simple lifestyle in our lives.
We should always reign in our mind since it is the mind tht makes us wise or ignorant, bound or emancipated.
The attainment of goal according to his viewpoint is to go deep into the intricacies of the religious principle and convey the same to the people in general with most polished and with utmost ease.
It has been seen that most of his teachings were so simple that he presented them in such a way that even children could understand the same. He opined that truth is to be realized through spiritual striving.
He attained spiritual goal with ease simply by following simple manner without much wastage of time which others took years to attain.
Conclusively, it could be construed that Shri Ramakrishna followed his practical philosophy in simple, with ease, practically following each step with precision thus reach to goal without much wastage of time an energy. In other words, a complete surrender is the only way forward for achieving a spiritual orientation in our life.
If we appraise his philosophy of life and follow the same, I can say with authority that there will not be any bad-blood, ill-feelings/ill-will, misunderstanding between people of any religions based on narrow and parochial thinking. May his teachings remain relevant and followed by people of all hues!Adopting his eternal philosophies means adopting righteousness in our lives.
What matters most in life is the connectivity with Omnipotent & Omniscient Rather than losing your valuables most precious worth impermanent Since the things most impermanent lose sheen when we feel the shine of God within us.
What matters most is imbibing of enlightening knowledge to remove our ignorance Rather than living in unawareness about ourselves Since we do not know about our potentials by delving deep into our own selves.
What matters most is carving a niche for yourselves with your own good Karma Rather than living on the crumbs of loaves thrown at your end earned by somebody Karmic deeds Since living on others’ earning is parasitic.
What matters most is cleansing of our body and mind with focused meditation Rather than living a life with filth on our mind with artificial fragrance externally.
What matter most is having self-esteem earned by our own good deeds in our lives Rather than ill-gotten power and pelf, got without sincere thoughts and actions in our lives
What matters most is the inner peace you’re having in your existence Rather than the profusion of worldly possessions with all the accompanied worries Since this profusion of wealth will not be of any significance after you are dead.
What matters most in life is discernible fascists of life happening inside us Which could provide us holistic growth Rather than what is happening around.
What spirituality means is living purposefully at every step in your life Rather than living with immense wealth, lavish living, status et al in life.
What matter most is to living sincerely and righteously Rather than with position and living unrighteous and with insincerity.
What matters most is to live well Rather than living in the well full of insinuations.
What matters most is joyous feeling that you are living with all the bounties of God While your friends around have left for good.
What matters most is political leaders with principles enshrined in the constitution Rather than leaders bereft of principles with a lot of false showcasing.
What matters most is connecting with God from anywhere and everywhere Rather than hopping on from one religious place to other with mind wavering.
What matters most is following good advice given by others Rather than ignoring with some riders.
What matters most is to appreciate beauties of Mother Nature
Rather than destroying the same for our OUR selfish ends
And then face its destructive reprisal
Since the Mother Nature never forgives highs and lows for spoiling its modesty.
What matters most is political leaders with principles enshrined in the constitution Rather than leaders bereft of principles with a lot of false showcasing.
What matters most is connecting with God from anywhere and everywhere Rather than hopping on from one religious place to other with mind wavering.
What matters most is following good advice given by others Rather than ignoring with some riders…..
THOUGHTS ON SHIVA – OUR OWN BHOLA JI : ON MAHASHIVRATRI ON 11TH MARCH 2021
LORDSHIVA & PARVATI
SHIV PURANA contains everything that a human should know and emulate in life everything contained in it for peace and prosperity and bring about happiness and ultimately MOKSHA (LIBERATION) – freedom from births and deaths.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi in the month of Phalguna as per Hindu Calendar which is in the month of March this year. 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 Maa Parvati (the daughter of Himalaya) – in fact coming together of Shiva & Shakti – which is also in the form of ARDHANARISHVARA (Half male and half female with combined mystic prowess) – composite form of deities SHIVA & PARVATI. .
SHIVARATRI SYMBOLISES 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.
Lord Shiva has himself told the deities that he had manifested in the form of ‘Pillar of Fire’ in the month of Agahan and during the constellation of Ardra. Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati (Nature – Prakriti) are really difficult to be understood by a normal human being. Both love their creations; it may be normal humans or demons (Lord Shiva’s liking for Demon King Ravana as a renowned Bhakta of Shiva is well known), ghosts, spirits (which Lord Shiva took with him at the time of his marriage with Parvati), amongst all the creations. He is adoring, simplistic, pleasing in bestowing their graces with slightest of prayers, enigmatic, recluse, forgiving, artistic, greatest preachers, greatest scientist etc. Therefore, we should not only dwell on their union in marriage but also their compassionate NATURE which we should try to emulate.
MAHA SHIVRATRI IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE MARRIAGE OF SHIVA AND PARVARTI (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.
SHIVRATRI IS LORD SHIVA’S MOST FAVOURITE DAY/NGHT
When the earth was created, Shakti (Godess Parvati) asked Shiva which day was the dearest and most 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 in the company of friends and thus the word spread far and wide to the multitudes and since then this day is being celebrated with great high regard and highest reverence it deserves.
THOUGHTS ON LORD SHIVA
Lord Shiva is our most esteemed one amongst the Godheads The one who is considered a Destroyer And later a mystic Creator In essence, to know Lord Shiva it is essential to be aware About Satyam Shivam Sundaram Satyam means TRUTH which could be tested at any place and time Shivam means giving for growth & development From infancy to all stages of our existence Sundaram means aesthetic beauty/loveliness Inculcated through giving knowledge – Gyan But without expectation in return We seek oneness of ourselves with that of Divine Since we are part of divine content. With a most unique appearance Whence in a meditative trance With absolute Stillness and pious silence. An aura of magical expression He seems just tranquil beyond description With powers so mysterious Though simply with ash smeared over his entire being Besides snake named Vasuki coiled around Who takes pleasure in being in the cremation ground Which gives us humans a great lesson That we should never forget our final journey – death And be fully conscious of the ultimate truth.
He is accompanied with ferocious looking demons Which too has a huge message for us humans That we can choose our Karma by our own freewill Be demonic or godly Bad Karmic deeds bring about Karmic debt hugely And good Karmic deeds bring about Karmic credit While living in this world of ours.
Lord Shiva and five elements – Panch Bhootas Fire (Agni), ether/sky (Akash), earth (Prithvi) and air (Vayu), water (Jal) Are contained in Lord Shiva in sufficient measure As in us too And are well connected and well controlled in every way in life form of our Lord Which could be reflected in his Cosmic Dance Exhibiting ferocity and wildness – Rudra Along with giving happiness – Shankra. Neelkanth (blue throated) one who took poison to save others from sure death Showing him as a figure of honour, brilliance and benevolence put together.
Shiv Linga is a symbol of great import Held with high esteem by all those who fathom his inner powers For getting his graces and bounties The devout worship him with immense reverence.
Lord Shiva is the in-charge of destruction And subsequently to be created again So as to ensure birth & death continuation.
Parvati is the Goddess of fertility Love and devotion along with unlimited 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.
Mahadeva, Maheshwara, Ardnarishwara Devadeva, Gurudeva, Lingaraja, Natraja, et al There are many form and manifestation of Lord Shiva Our Shiva Ji is the greatest and majestic mystic He is enigmatic, non-perceivable God Disarmingly Naïve or Bholla to the core A greatest master and a great teacher The One who forgives Ashutosha, Baireva A dynamic dancer Natraja Who ingests even poison to save others A greatest scientist of repute Who loves each and every forms of creations In fact he is product and amalgamation Of all which exist in this world and beyond And what not Who displays His prowess just Differently at different points of times Sometimes he is Bhola or Rustic recluse Sitting in Smadhi posture even in cremation grounds Other times he is sitting in Smadhi posture In majestic Himalayan Kailash Parvat Emanating profuse aura and inner Shakti Lord Shiva himself tells His deities That He manifested himself In the form of Pillar of Fire Which is famously termed as Longasthan With stark resemblance To Mountain of Fire Famously termed as Arunachal. Thenceforth Divine Couple appeared in the form of Ardhanarishwa Just complementing each other As Shiva and Shakti to bless all the creations Lord Shiva is known by 1008 names as per Shiv Purana. When Shiva and Parvati got united in the marriage This occasion is considered most auspicious Parvati is the daughter of King Himachal And the sister of Goddess Ganga The sacred promises of marriage were exchanged When their marriage was held We humans should remember these promises While living a life with our spouse One who worships Lord Shiva In the month Agahan And also during the constellation of Ardra Including Shivratri Day in His Form as Linga Is more dear to Him than His own son Kartikeya. Shiva is the greatest of all the educators He taught Barhmaji – the incharge of Creation And Vishnuji – the incharge of evolution The five duties (Panchakritya) of theirs On which the affairs and significance of the world function Shrishti – the Creation Sthithi – position Samhar – Annihilation Tirobhav – concealment Anugrah – Obligation or compassion. The origin of this world is due to Sarga or Nature Of Shakti or power which is essential for any action The establishment of this world is Stithi or position The earth is important for habitation The destruction of this world is Samhar Which is essential for fresh creation The absence of this world is concealment or Tirobhav Essential for recreation For continuation of living being Moksha is the liberation from births and deaths or Anugrah Shiva took the duties of destruction for further creation The job of Sanhar & Tiribhav Including finally the Anugrah is the giver of salvation Task of Sarga (Nature) is for nurturing for its survival Through its vegetation and other bounties Available in abundance for use by the creation. Subsequently, Lord Shiva explains about the meaning of OMKAR It is the power of Shakti (Nature) and Shiva Reciting OMKAR gives the person concerned The Moksha or Libration from birth and death. Also the importance of Shivalinga was explained It could be made mud, metal or stone Then appropriate place of installation has to be chosen And process of performing the Shodasopachar Or purification to be undertaken accordingly Where it could be worshipped routinely With the prayer OM NAMAH SHIVAY Without any obstruction which may come in the way. How best to worship Lord Shiva meaningfully. Worshipping done at night time is considered most appropriate For getting full connectivity with Lord Shiva Worshipping Shiva dissolves the sins of a worshippers And if the worshipping is done with utmost sincerity It could bestow us Moksha or Libration From births and deaths Besides bestowing us the place in His Abode for good. For famous temples of Shiva Are located on the banks of sacred rivers Such as Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari Narmada, Kaveri, Sarayu, Tungabhadra et al. THEN it is recognized by the Shiva Bhaktas That a person should be known by the Karmic deeds One does in thoughts and action. A person is not known by the family he/she is born But the Karma which one does in person A Brahman who is engaged in criticizing irrationally Could be termed as Shudra Brahmina A Kshatriya who is serving others Could be termed as Brahmin Kshatriya. The Dharma too is of two types Dharma performed by matter and materials Performance through Yagya or Yagna Amongst it is Agni-Yogya By offering Havan Samagri Materials such as til, barley fragrance Mixed with cow-ghee is put in the fire With great reverence Amid chanting of Vedic Mantra Along with reciting of Shiva Mantra – OM NAMON SHIVAYE Conducting this in the evening hours brings about prosperity And doing this in the morning brings about longevity. Then Dharma performed by physical activities Like performing pilgrimage to the places known to us Could bring about prosperity and peace of mind. Meditational methodology pursued in various Yugas must be known During Satya-Yuga The meditation was done to for self-awareness In Treta-Yuga, it was done through penance for benefit of self During Dwapara Yuga it was attained through Yagaya While in Kali Yuga Idol Worship is being followed For attaining self-realisation. Amongst everything else that is known Righteousness brings about happiness Opposite brings about sorrows and unhappiness. The various days of week are then known differently By the names of different deities Attributing for Shiva Himself, Sunday as the auspicious day Monday Maa Durga – the Shakti have immense prowess Tuesday, Skand the son of Lord Shiva Wednesday – Lord Vishnu the God responsible for evolution Which has been created by the Lord of Creation Thursday – Lord Yama the lord of death Foor the one who is born on earth Friday – Lord Brahma the lord of creation For continuity of civilization Saturday – Lord Indra the Rain God Which hept maintain the greenery in tact Worshipping on these days Gives a worshipper prosperity and happiness Worshipping on different places give different gains Cowshed worshipping bestows virtue On the banks of river gives ten times more virtues than the first one Worshipping in the temple graces a Bhakta still more virtues On the seashore profuse virtues On the peak of mounts more than preceding one Worshipping with huge focus the best results are attained. Even the earthen idol of Shiva gives benefits The idol should be washed with pure water Thence with milk added to it Performing abhishek to idol Bestows purification of body and soul Offering fragrance gives virtues of highest order Offering Naivedya helps increase longevity Incense of dhoop gives prosperity Worshipping with burning wick Gives knowledge to the devotee Beetal leaves gives magnificence. Worshipping in the month of Magha And Krishna Chaturdashi bestows longevity Worshipping Him with sincerity and with focus gives joy and Moksha or salvation finally During Kartik gives disease free existence. The unifying powers of Shiva & Shakti Give impetus to annihilate the sins Pervading in the humans. Chanting of OMKAR and Hari Shiva Pranav Having the sounds A, U and Ma Symbolizing the Trinity Helps in liberation from the eight bondages Which are Nature, Intelligence, Qualitative, ego, senses Touch, taste, smell, sound & sight The thoughts and actions Performed on the basis of these bondages Are termed as the Karma And a man reaps the harvest of his own Karma Good karma gives pleasure And bad one gives sorrow and displeasure The soul take birth or gets liberation Based on the Karmic deeds or misdeeds Eight Chakras are nothing But the eight forms of Nature Lord Shiva is beyond the realm of these Eight Chakras A man desirous of attaining happiness and liberation Should worship Shiva Linga 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.
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 recreation.
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 means 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.
It is pertinent to mention about the background as to how Shiva and Parvati had their first meeting. Parvati had seen Shiva (In meditative trance) while she was only eight years old. She determined that she will marry him only when she grows up. When she grew up, she told her father (Himavan) that she wanted to marry Shiva. She was also fully determined to make him realize her love for him. Then finding the suitable opportunity, her father made mention about the marriage of his daughter to Shiva.
Lord 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 oftentime 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.
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. He did not take the poison which came out of the sea but kept it in his throat. By doing so, LORD SHIVA saved the world from being annihilated due to the poison which came out of the sea.
SHIVA MEANS ‘THAT WHAT IS NOT’OR WHICH IS BEYOND EVERYTHING
It is comparable to the nothingness of vast cosmos/nothingness of space with galaxies, planets, etc. That which is 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.
LORD SHIVA IS A GREAT YOGI
Lord Shiva is 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:-
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.
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.
Forgetting His grace and bounties offerings when dhoop (incense) is ritualistically burnt give maximum benefits.
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.
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).
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:-
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.
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.
He was assigned with the responsibility of protecting the Gods and Demi-Gods. He is worshiped in South India by various names such as Murugan, Subramanya, Shanmugan and in North India as Skanda and Kartikeya.
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.
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.
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.
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:-
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
Represents the form of Shiva Murti facing South. This represents aspects as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom.
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.
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.
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), Tamil Nadu:
I am of the firm conviction that in Shiv Purana, mention has been made about the various aspects, about Karma philosophy, origin of Nature and the creation of the universe, the function of the Trinity, the practical aspect of segregation of professions, the meditation and the benefits derived from this, how best to perform various rituals including Shiva and Linga Sututi, the origin of Lord Shiva, function of Nature (Prakriti), et al.
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY – ON 8TH MARCH 2021 HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY (IWD)
WOMEN – A GIFTED CREATION OF OUR CREATOR
Women is only one of its kind of our creation By our most benevolent Creator Without whom we cannot fathom existence of our own For she is the reservoir of energy (Shakti) with huge difference.
Her day starts in the early hours in the daybreak Waking herself, preparing herself for home chore And for the day’s drudgery in the right earnest Prepares milk or feed for the tiny tots Followed by morning tea or breakfast for the relatives entire Though this over, there are many a turns and twists in her life Yet her work has just not been over still Thence preparation for going to workplace starts Since she has to add-on the kitty To financially support the family To meet the needs of the members to make up for inflationary pressures She rises to the occasion without much ado about herself She does not shirk from any responsibility assigned as a responsible member Goes an extra-mile To contribute her mite Stand in good stead in whatever way she is expected For meeting the myriad of needs of shelter, schooling et al, So that their present of members is better than days gone by This is the reason why we call her the homemaker.
She is now capable to run an office with flair Her new normal is just enormous – just unbounded Including taking control of flying fighter planes In this process she faces challenges Both at home front and at the workplace With unbroken composure With insightfulness and with tact at her command She excels in many a ways in comparison to her men counterparts Moves files including sensitive ones and what it takes Moves on the ladder of career devoid of any crutches Catches on the trend in the market and at workplaces.
She gets used to everything with ease At workplaces or in the cockpit of a plane with ease She plainly is in the best of her elements Even those who used to call her weaker gender Are constrained to have a second opinion now about her,
Her mindset has gone a sea change But her tenacity and courage in all situations and conditions are above par.
And in their own home and hearth The best creation of our Creator Excels in every way and proves Equal to the occasion at every front she is expected at all times Confronting the animal of complexity with ease in all fields.
My warm salutation to thee for keeping alive our races But also race hard to win the battles at home and out of offices.
It is due to the women That we’re here on this beautiful earth The various relations – so varied Such as a lovable daughter The one who looks after us when we need assistance In the son’s absence Gone somewhere to pursue his ambitions Sister, who reminds us that we can bank on her when we need assistance Daughter-in-law, continues our family and its traditions Wife, who comes from other family dissimilar in cultural mores and traditions but imbibes everything of the adopted household Nurses everybody Becomes home-maker Takes responsibility of the children and elder members alike Mother, mothers us from the birth to different stages of our life without any demand whatsoever Mother-in-law, gives us motherly love You just introspect and see How much women mean to us Without them what we have been Nay, our existence will not be here On this beautiful earth For writing these lines Now, finally our MOTHER DIVINE Who created everything and everybody Including the Gods Without Her this world and universe Without Her this creation would not have been there at all My warm salutation to her for proving her mettle at all times and in all situations.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY
Essentially, it is significant to mention the variety of roles and the way they adapt themselves in any situations and conditions is unique in itself. We all know how the women adjust themselves in the homes of their adopted household after their marriage. Only the acclaimed women folks can do this. Then we know how they perform their progressive role as daughters, daughter-in-laws, sisters, spouses, mothers, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, friends etc.
Oftentime, it is observed that the families wherein women are respected, there is dawn of peace and prosperity. And where women are disrespected, relegated to second class citizen besides being neglected, such a family experiences faces hardships and seemingly bad luck in the long run.
It is our common experience that in general, the women are essential constituent of our society since without her; the process of conception and creation cannot be considered possible. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the society to empower her, bestow her due care and protection besides meeting the needed financial succor for her education. It is because when we provide education a female so as to enhance her intelligible understanding and grasp, it will have cumulative effect since after marriage she will in turn impart education to the family of her in-laws while taking care of the education of her own family. A girl child should also be provided spiritual orientation and value system including cultural mores of behavior for her growth and development. This will also bestow her courage to ward her off the deadly grip of steely tentacles of life as and when situations and .conditions befall.
In Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, it has been emphatically mentioned: From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.
The International Woman Day is being celebrated on 8th March 2021. Let’s give emphasis to our obligation for equitable/balanced growth and development in the field of socio-economic, cultural and ensuring equal opportunity to all genders; in which women-folks play a pre-dominant role. Empowering a woman means empowering the entire unit of a family in a variety of ways.
In Quran it has been emphasized, So We said: O Adam! This is an enemy to you and to your wife; therefore let him not drive you both forth from the garden so that you should be unhappy
It is our duty to give the women-folk their rightful place. A family, wherein the women are not respected and treated with disdain, such a family digs its own grave and ends up in its downfall or ends up in its destruction. Therefore, women should be bestowed a prominent place in the society. In Bhagwad Gita the interaction between Krishna and Arjuna is emphatic: When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny.
In both the Epic periods, the women were respected. Their advice was duly taken on important issues besides household matters. In Epic Age the women enjoyed equal freedom as men. Even they chose their life partners. Swambras were held wherein they used to choose their partners. In both the Epic periods, women enjoyed honorable place. They were also well educated.
WARM REGARDS TO THE VENERABLE WOMEN
WOMAN IN A VARIETY OF ROLES AND AVTARS: AS MOTHER, MOTHER-IN-LAW, WIFE, GRAND-MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER AND AS A FRIEND
I feel sorry for those who have never known the love of a mother, because by missing this ultimate love, such people may not be able to know the true meaning of love at all. It is also a fact that every mother is a greatest gift of Divine. She is the symbol of indomitable and unconditioned love, affection, adoration, care, a symbol of suffering for others, a symbol of sacrifice, a symbol of selfless service, a symbol of hope for the entire family, a symbol of endurance for others without self-care besides taking responsibility without caring for self as an human being.
Those who are fortunate to experience the love of a mother know what this sacred relationship means. I was hugely influence by my mother since I lost my father (A 1st World War veteran) when I was studying 8th standard. As an ex-soldier, he lead an active life connected with social service etc. As far as my mother is concerned, she gave me everything which I possess today i.e. value system, my courage of conviction, attitude towards others, way of conducting myself, how to suffer lonely, how best to live with poise and balance even in hard times besides how best to adjust in the joint family. She taught that if we care for present time, the future will be well care for us and what has happened in the past should give us experiences. If the experience is good, we should continue following the same and if bad then we should forget it as a bad dream and clear our head altogether. Although she was not that much literate but she was having all the wisdom of a most endearing and caring mother. Her hand on my head ensured that I shall march ahead in my life. Ultimately, at the ripe age of 95+ I lost her – here too I was very fortunate since on the day (Sunday) I had gone to my home town from my duty place to see my mother. She was slightly indisposed. We were sitting in the courtyard and having breakfast. After her breakfast, she lied down on the cot as as I was massaging oil to her hairs. Low and behold, all of a sudden, there was a deep moan and she was gone. What a death and that too in my presence. Her face reflected satiety even in her death. That is the story of my mother.
The relationship of a mother-in-law is also one of the prominent one. Her practical experience in life and love and affection could stand us in good stead. My own mother-in-law not only looked after her own family as a mother but also had a positive influence on our family too.
WIFE OR SPOUSE A MOST LOVING COMPANION
It has been observed that marriage as an institution becomes a smooth journey when both the spouses act for overall welfare of the family. Before the marriage, a girl in her father’s home is adored immensely. She learns values system, becomes adept in cooking, and other miscellaneous skills such as stitching and keeping the household neat and clean besides taking care of the elders and children in the family. She gets proper education at her parents’ home and when she reaches the marriageable age, a suitable partner is chosen.
It has been rightly said that behind every successful man there is a woman who assists the family as a well-knit unit. She not only assists in miscellaneous/assorted tasks but also ensures that functions of family run smoothly. As a wife or consort, she assists her spouse to bestow unconditional physical and emotional love. Whenever there is hard times, she not only assists her husband in maintaining her husband home but many a times takes up some profession for supplementing the income of the household besides keeping the dignity and honour of the household. She not only respects her husband and remains true to him but also other members of the family to fructify the needs of the family. Her opinion is both acknowledged and respected by all in the family along with take care of the household duties. She acts responsibly, acts with patience and at times have to face opposition but she takes everything in her stride. She is the architect of household who procreates for the family and keeps the civilization ticking. She educates her children and teaches them the value system to her children since as a mother she is the first Guru of a child.
My wife, as any other lady in the family, provides all the succor to my family. She assisted me in every situation. I know when I was financially very stringent, while my children were studying, she pro-actively assisted me in every situation. It may be provision of right education to our children or construction of a habitable home, finding suitable for my progeny besides career selection for them. There will not be any exaggeration in mentioning here that presently I am satisfied with what I am, it is solely due to my wife, my companion for life. I respect her immensely. May God bestow her strength and fortitude to assist my family tide over the harder situation with aplomb with the grace of Almighty God.
Although I have got no real sister, yet I know what a relationship as a sister connotes. A sister is the one who grows with you, takes care of you even while gorwing with you. If she is elder sister, she looks after you with care and caution and not let the absence of mother bother you since knows how best to look after the family. In the festivals; she is most sought after. She shows her skill in cooking the best dishes not only for the entire family but also for the guests who visit the household. She conducts herself with smile with everybody while serving the entire family and guests. While during festivals like RAKSHABANDAN, she ties Rakhi to her brothers and the brothers give solmn promise her of her safety and security in front of Divine Mother (The embodiment of Shakti). On the BHAIDOOJ, she applies sacred vermillion and flower on the forehead of her brother(s and and prays for the well-being of her brothers.. She is considered the light of the family besides she spreads love and light in the family including a message that without sisters a house cannot be termed as a home. Thus sisters are the embodiment of tolerance, persistence and when she leaves home after her marriage, the entire family misses her hugely.
Our daughters are the light of our homes. Without our daughters, our homes are considered incomplete. I do enjoy the company of my two daughters. While they were small, we looked after them, brought them up in the good surroundings, after their school and college studies thereafter proper professional training they got employment. Now despite being married off and having their own homes to take care, both of them look after me and my wife in the absence of my son who has married and is presently in abroad pursuing a profession. Fortunately, their homes are not that far – in fact walking distance from my home. While I go to attend my office, my daughters after their morning chores, performing other tasks including sending their children to schools pay a visit to my home routinely and take care of my wife. If and when there is any requirement of medi-care or to purchase any groceries, they help both of us. Even they help us choosing our clothes! Both I and my wife enjoy their company to the maximum. What our lives would have been without my daughters? They are the gifts of my dear Bhagwan Ji.
The espoused cause of Government of India BETI BACHAO BETI PADAO is on the dot so that the girl child is cared, protected and provided right type of education because when we teach a girl, it means we are teaching an entire family as a unit because she assists the family she is married in educating her children and others.
This relationship is one of the most important one since if a daughter or sister is married off to another family, the another girl from other family has to be brought in the family fold. I should say, she her relationship for me is just like a daughter being the father-in-law for her and a wife of the son who is brought up and contributes for strengthening the bond in the family. Her contribution for the family is not less than a daughter and a sister who are married off to other family. For her, it is a great thing since she is brought up in a different atmosphere of a family and has to adjust and be adaptive to change in the new setting of another family. My salutation to her since it is not an easy task to assimilate in other environs after being married.
I was very small child, may be about 5 years, when my grand-mother died. She too died of old-age. I remember her as a tough woman with poise and composure; with her voice full of charm which always attracted children towards her. She remained busy with household chores even in her old-age. One day when sleeping, she did not get up. I tried waking her but in vain. She had given maximum to the family and kept the honour and dignity of the family as a close knit unit.
ON APPRECIATION – ITS BENEFITS & ILL-EFFECTS ON OVERINDULGENCE
Fact stands out, all want praise from others for whatever we do or do not do. Total detachment from the fruits of our action, on the surface seems good, but difficult to be attained easily. There are very few people who do not want appreciation for a task well done. Appreciation serves as a motivation or inspiration to move ahead notwithstanding hurdles. It serves as nourishment for our mind and infuses positivism to face the vicissitudes of our lives without much botheration. Care ought to be exercised that approval or disapproval in right doses and at right time serves as a tonic in our lives.
RIGHT APPRECIATION INFUSES CONFIDENCE BUT WRONG DISAPPROVAL BRINGS ABOUT DISAPPOINTMENT
It has been carved in stone that praise motivates and inspires us but disapproval oftentimes proves counterproductive and regressive step. It is well said, right appreciation for right thoughts and actions brings about positive results. It is relevant to relate a true instance of a twelve year old student, an intelligent one in her studies, studying in 8th standard. One day she was rebuked by her English teacher without plausible reason. She was reprimanded for the fault of her classmate. Meaning the teacher concerned did not investigate the veracity of the case but heaped innuendoes without scrutiny. On that particular day, her confidence was at its lowest ebb. She was so much depressed that her performance in the class test that day was below par – proving that condemnation unreasonably could result in dissipation of confidence. This goes to prove that when our performance is commended, we are inspired whereas when we are pointlessly reprimanded we feel dejected and our body and mind do not work in sync. This also goes to prove that we tend to be in disturbed state of mind when somebody insinuates against us unreasonably.
STAYING BALANCED BOTH IN APPRECIATION AND CONDEMNATION
When nothing works, detachment from the fruits of our work saves us from many blushes. The balance could be attained through a variety of experiences wherein failure or success does not disappoint us. Those who are alike to friend foe, equipoise in honor and dishonor, cold and heat, joy and sorrow, and are free from all unfavorable association; those who take praise and reproach alike, who are given to silent contemplation, content with what comes their way, without attachment to the place of residence, whose intellect is firmly fixed in Me, and who are full of devotion to Me, such persons are very dear to Me. BHAGWAD GITA.
HUMANS ARE ATTENTION SEEKERS
We humans need appreciation for getting fillip to our efforts. We are all attention seekers in one form or other since we cannot function in isolation. But we have to reciprocate this appreciation and attention to others as well. In any organization, it is paramount to critically analyze others job and appreciate where appreciation is needed. There are the people who are of the opinion that we can get job done only through criticizing others on the basis of maxim: spare the rod spoil the child. But this idea goes against the holistic growth and development of a child
APPRECIATING OTHERS TO SHOW OUR GRATITUDE
While talking about appreciation, I am of the firm conviction that we as humans have to learn from each other and enhance our know-how as nothing tangible could be fructified, to its perfection, in isolation. It should always be kept in mind that anybody any time could commit mistake. Whosoever thinks that he/she is perfect is living in fool’s paradise. We have to be grateful and bestow appreciation to our fellow beings for coming to our succor as and when it is required.
APPRECIATION AND CRITICISM
It is not through criticism only that we can teach our students. Here the teachers concerned have the special responsibility. While imparting lessons, the teachers should showcase appreciation whenever it is required. The teacher should never forget that he/she could also commit mistake. What happened today is a pointer in this respect. While using the appropriate for solving a question, the Maths teacher faulted in using a wrong formula while conducting online studies. One of the students pointed this out. Instead of appreciating the pointed out mistake, the teacher concerned criticized the student. This irrational criticism had a miserable affect on the student for her initiative.
OVERINDULGENCE IN APPRECIATION PROVES COUNTERPRODUCTIE
It should never be forgotten that appreciation for a job well done is essential for bestowing necessary fillip to our motivation but over-indulgence in praise will defeat the very purpose of appreciation. It will fall under the category of sycophancy or flattery. We all know that sycophancy or flattery, in any form, takes away any positive effect which we intend to generate.
Also, when we exaggerate the admiration without much substance in such an appreciation, we consciously or unconsciously, lose sight of the principles of natural justice and fair-play. This act of ours creates misunderstanding rather than proving a shot in the arm both for the one who is giving appreciation and the person for whom the same is meant.
Importantly, it goes without saying that giving genuine is good but being very theatrical in showering approbation when the same is not needed at all then the outcome will not be as rosy and encouraging. It will do more harm to the giver and the taker alike. It all goes to show that appreciating when appreciation is needed is the best course of action for us but showering more appreciation than considered necessary produces negative impact.
If our experience is any guide, our children are like the delicate plants in the garden of our sweet home, the manner in which our plants are looked after, watered, sheltered from elements besides bestowing caring protection from time to time. Oftentimes, it has been observed that our children too need safeguards just like tender plants. They are to be guided properly from childhood itself, given right dose of value system, taught cultural modes of behavior in the form of reward in the form of appreciation and disapproval when course correction is required. Therefore, admiration at right time and at right dosages proves panacea for holistic growth and development.