RSS

Category Archives: FESTIVALS

DIWALI – A SACRED FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND SOUND : HAPPY DIWALI ON 19TH OCTOBER 2017

DIWALI – A SACRED FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND SOUND: HAPPY DIWALI ON 19TH OCTOBER  2017

Literally, the word DEEPAVALI OR DEEPVALI means (deep – light and vali a row and together it means a row of lights) – a light which enlightens spirits and broadens our strength of mind.

PRECURSOR TO DIWALI

Apart from blessed thoughts which emanate from the inner recesses of our heart, the enthusiasts besides lighting their homes and hearths also make sure that their houses are spruced up for inviting the blessings of Maa Lakshmi, the  Lordess of wealth and wellbeing. For this purpose, we can say with fair amount of certainty that Swachchta (cleanliness) has its own reward. Not only our houses, we clean up our surroundings too and for this purpose, Swachch Bharat Abhiyan has done much. Need is to keep not merely ourselves but also clean up our environment. For this, use of crackers which produce huge amounts of pollutants should not be used. It would be in the fitness of things to confine ourselves to lighting our houses to the best way possible. Deepavali is more of the festival of light than of the sounds generated by exploding of crackers.

SWACHCHTA OF BODY & MIND THERE SHOULD BE CHABAACHCHTA OF HOMES

It is not merely Swachchta of our homes and surrounds, the DIWALI LIGHTS, by the grace of LORD RAMA should bring the purity of our body, mind, and soul so that we live a spiritually oriented life for a better living. Lord Rama’s philosophy of compassion for all; RAMA RAJYA (based on the righteous rule) should be the exhortation for all of us. One man’s celebration should not be the lamentation for others.

A STERLING EXAMPLE OF OBEDIENCE

The king of Ayodhya Dhashratha had extracted a solemn pledge to his wife Kakeyi that she could ask for redemption of two boons or promises, at a time of her likings. She had saved the life of king Dasaratha while on a hunting trip in the jungle. She was given promise that she could realize those boons whenever she wanted. While there was news that the king wanted Ramji to be crowned as the of Ayodhya, Manthra the maidservant of KaIkeyi poisoned the ears of the queen Kaikeyi and exhorted her to ask for the realization of two promises given to her by the king.

TWO PROMISES WERE EXTRACTED BY QUEEN KAIKEYI

First making Bharata (Kaikeyi’s son) the king of Ayodhya and second, 14 years’ exile for Rama (the son of Kaushilya). As there was the dictum in the family since ages together: – Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi Puran Jaaye Par Bachan Na Jaye (There is a tradition in Raghukul that they will prefer death to break a promise), so Ayodhya king had to concede the demands of Kaikeyi though with heavy heart/ grudgingly.

After hearing about the turn of events (Crowning of Bharata and 14 years exile for Rama). Rama did not say even a single word. On the other hand, in order to comply with the directive of his father, he put on his the simplest dress to depart for exile, thus obeying the directive of his father without demur or reservation. Sitaji (consort of Ramji and Lakshmana the son of Sumitra) too wanted to accompany Rama. This is a fine example of obedience to the orders of elders in the family. Our youth should imbibe this exceptional trait of Lord Rama and thus follow a righteous path in our life.

WELCOMING LORD RAMA WITH IMMENSE ENTHUSIASM

After the expiry of Lord Ram’s 14 long years of exile, winning over the ‘Sone Ki Lanka – GOLDEN LANKA’  and killing of demon king Ravana with it all his evil Karmic deeds; Lord Rama, accompanied by his brother Lakshmana and Sita and all his followers including Hanumanji (a reservoir of strength, knowledge and intelligence,  courageous but without even a touch of pride, an epitome of Bhakti and Shakti –  despite all these qualities he considered himself to be the humble servant of Lord Rama).

When Lord Rama reached Ayodhya, he was accorded a rousing reception/welcome by the happy populace there. They welcomed all by lighting their homes and streets of Ayodhya with earthen wicks. The righteous emperor Bharata, the virtuous one coroneted his elder brother Rama to the throne of Ayodhya.

DHANTERAS

It falls two days prior to Diwali. Dhan means wealth and teras mean the thirteenth day as per Hindu Calendar. On this day, devout purchase gold, silver ornaments/coins or any other precious metal or utensils as per the propensity of the person concerned. Maa Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth and wellbeing is worshiped on this day. Also Kuber, the treasurer of gold and silver is also worshipped. On this day, houses and business established are spruced up for the ongoing Diwali. It is also accompanied with Yama pooja (worship – the God of death) for ensuring sound health and wellbeing with his blessings.

THOUGHTS ON DIWALI

The love between the brothers. As Bharata came to know about the 14 years’ exile to Rama and crowning for himself, he felt very disappointed. He flatly refused to be crowned as a king of Ayodhya in the absence of elder brother Rama and Lakshmana. No arguments of any sort could placate him. He thought this act of being the ruler as adharam (irreligiosity). He even went to the jungles in order to persuade Rama and Lakshmana to come back to Ayodhya but Rama did not agree to this because of the promise was given to his father. This is also termed as Bharata Milap (meeting of Rama and Bharata).

Finally, he extracted a promise from Ramji that on his return back after 14 years’ exile, he will take the reigns as a ruler. Such was the love between the brothers – an unparallel one. Rama’s love for Bharta was also an example that ought to be followed by brothers now for ensuring goodwill in our families. Wealth or any other consideration should not be an impediment to good relations in our families.

BEING KNOWLEDGEABLE DOES NOT MEAN HAVING WISDOM. Ravana the Demon King was most Learned Demon King. Ravana, the son of Vishwashrava (A Brahman Rishi) and his mother Kaikasi (from a demon family) was a scholarly person who had the knowledge of Vedas and other scriptures at his fingertips but he is taken in the negative light because he did not make use of this knowledge for the benefit of demon clan. But Ravana was intoxicated with his prowess and knowledge. So much so he was swayed by ego that he stooped to abducting Sita Mata the consort of Lord Rama – an evil act. It goes to prove that if we do not use the knowledge with sagacity, we sure will fall prey to unethical karma leading to our sure downfall.

KUBER PUJA. Kuber is the step-brother of Ravana and is considered as the treasurer of wealth. It is believed amongst the devout that worship of Lord Kubera, especially on the auspicious day of Diwali, brings affluence and progress in business. Just as we can have fresh water from the fresh water reservoir, we can have Lord Kubera’s blessings if we pray sincerely and work hard for that. Meaning, he bequeaths wealth if we sincerely do our karma as per the natural laws. His graces those who resort to right karma and possess right attitude in life. Kubera Pooja is done on Diwali Day so that there is the sufficiency of everything for meeting the needs of our family.

LORDESS LAKSHMI & LORD GANESHA POOJA. Diwali is considered complete without first inviting Lord Ganesha because He is an embodiment of good beginning and removes obstacles besides being the Lord of Wisdom. Lordess Lakshmi represents wealth and well being. On the auspicious day of Diwali, both of the deities share a single altar thus ensuring blessings of the both. The former is taken as Lordess of wealth and the latter as the bestower of prosperity.

GAMBLING ON THE DAY O DIWALI. A legend has it that on Diwali Day Goddess Parvati played dice with Lord Shiva and He ordained that anyone who gambled on this day, prosperity will smile on that person. This tradition continues even today. But some unscrupulous/unethical people just gamble away their homes and hearts on this day and have to fend for themselves. This is bad. Tradition is OK, but the excess of everything is bad  – should never be forgotten.

It should never be forgotten that when tradition marries with modernity, may it be the celebration of festivals or any other day, we consider this as a pious and worth celebrating, it gives us feeling of wellness amongst our fellow beings. But one thing we ought not to forget that celebration should never be individualistic in nature. When all are happy then celebration gives more satisfaction. May it be the celebration of Diwali, Christmas Day, EID or any other religious day – when all accompany us, celebration becomes more meaningful and eventful in the true sense of terms.

Message: Care to be taken that the crackers used (if at all) should be of low intensity and should produce less no or less noise or air pollution. The Apex Court has rightly imposed the ban on cracker sales in Delhi-NCR.

 

DIWALI – A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT

A festival celebrated by the devout

They tastefully illuminate their homes

Which look so dazzling

In the darkest Amavasya night

Amidst the crackers bursting

That too, having cleaned our homes and surroundings

And also providing us opportunity for introspection

And finding out our negative aspects

Like greed, anger, lust, and jealousy

Then do everything possible for cleansing our mind and body

Off obsolete detestable thoughts

Which have made residency in our mindset

Preceding Diwali days

Provide us ample time for cleaning everything’s

So that Diwali bestows our opportunity to live aesthetically

And fill the people with unending love and huge satiety

With the bountiful graces of the Lordess Devi Lakshmi

Who fulfills the needs of all

Without even an iota o bias.

In the end memories of return of Lord Rama

To the kingdom of Ayodhya

Ater 14 years’ of exile

As per the wishes of his father

The king Dasaratha of Ayodhya.

Whilst away from his kingdom and dear subjects

And bereft of lavishness and comforts of palace

He withstood toil and retribution

In the forests with no inhibition

Subsisted merely on wild herbs
Obtained from the woods

Filled with wild animals and demons
With his consort Sitaji and brother Lakshmanji along
He neutralized many demons
Demons who desecrated and defiled the religious places
Of worship of hermits, who worshipped God

 These demons respected no natural laws
Of humanity and only obeyed the dictates

Of demon king Ravana of Lanka

Who abducted, with utter deceit, Sita  Mata

Lord Rama invaded Lanka, the fiefdom of Ravana
There ensued a battle, so violent
In which Lord Rama decimated Ravana’s arrogance
And with it his wickedness, for good
From the Mother Earth
The purpose of which Lord Vishu
Had taken Ram’s Avtar.
People decorate their houses tastefully
To welcome the Lordess of Wealth and Wellbeing,
The Mother Lakshmi, the most benevolent one.

Fire-works and lighted earthen wicks

Are lined up, so stylishly and systematically
The houses are lighted nicely
There is  atmosphere of happiness all around
Business people worship their books of accounts
And pray for peace and prosperity for the days to come

 People celebrate Diwali happily
With traditional fervor and gaiety
By praying at the religious places
With a sincere prayer for their happiness
And those of their nears and dears

It is the festival whence air of goodwill prevails all around,
Good wishes and greetings along with sweets are exchanged
For each others’ well-being and prosperity

People light the wicks in rows tastefully

Burst crackers to celebrate joyfully

Yet, we ought to realize the importance of pollution free atmosphere

To rid the world off gases most poisonous

And celebrate every day with the feeling of Diwali – so joyous.

O my dearest Lord
And Mother Divine
Be gracious in Showering Thy bounties
So that all ills and intolerances are neutralized,
Like the demons done to death by Lord Rama,
So that every day may be like a Diwali Day,
For the celebration with enthusiasm and gaiety.

 

 

Advertisements
 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2017 in FESTIVALS, Inner Thoughts

 

THE HOLI – A FESTIVAL SO HOLY (HOLI IS ON 24th MARCH 2015) – HAPPY HOLI TO ALL

THE HOLI – A FESTIVAL SO HOLY (HOLI IS ON 24th  MARCH 2015) – HAPPY HOLI TO ALL

HOLI – A FESTIVAL SO HOLY (HOLI IS ON 24th  MARCH 2015)


WISH YOU ALL A COLOURFUL HOLI

HOLI – A FESTIVAL SO HOLY

O Creators of ours
Imbue us in Thy indelible Colour
Thy colour touches our heart’s chords
Including every atoms of our body
Made of five elements which die
(Ether, earth, water, air & fire)
On the death of our mortal body
Only Thy colour and our Soul last
Manmade colours just fade away and are lost
After a few hours have passed.


Pray colour us in Thy indelible colour!
Pray colour us in Thy colour!

A spirit of Spring Festival springs in all,
Scattering joy and hope everywhere,
Nature too is in its finest attire – so colourful,
When Mother Nature is at its best,

All around greenery prevails,
There is fragrance of blooming flowers,
With Full Moon as though it is chipping in, too,

To enhance the charm of colours which thrives,
To share the fun and joy of the people around.

Different people celebrate Holi with 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’s our eyes could survey,
Abuzz with activity mixed with rainbow of colour rio,.
Scenes at the market places 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 Krishana 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

Spilling blood of the hapless in the process

Which may distance us from one another

But rather with a blood-red colour of HOLI

Spreading feeling of brotherhood

Which may engender love for each other  

Along with amity and wellbeing, in the humanity as a whole

Our prayers to Thee our Lord – the Love One
Do colour us all in Thy Holy colour
So that peace and harmony spreads amongst all

Let this be the message of this Holy Holi.

HARBANS KHAJURIA

 

The festival of Holi has a mention in Vedas and Puranas (Narad Purana and Bhavishya Purana). Archeologists have excabated a stone pertaining to 300 BC on  which there is an inscription of word ‘Holikotsav’ which means Holi. Even the ancient paintings there is a mention of Holi festival.

While aspiring for material and sensual objects, people become attached to these. Such attachments develop lust and lust generates 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  downfall of an individual.
 

Holi is an old cultural festival. It is a festival of colour. Its mention is there in Puranas. Poet Kalidasa, in 4th century, under the rule of Chandragupta II also mentions about the importance of Holi.

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. It is celebrated at the approach of Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon).

The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.

There is a symbolic legend attached with 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 day time 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 people with iron hand. Not even the hermits were spared. Those who disobeyed his orders were meted out huge punishments or handed out death penalty. He had a son by the name of Prahlada. He used to worship Lord Vishnu. The demon king felt very furious when he found that his own son was   disobeying his orders hence he gave him the alternative – either he should worship him or face death penalty after giving various severe punishments which did not deter Prahladha.

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.  Prbladha personifies goodness.

HOLIKA DAHAN

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. 

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 satisfaction of the senses, one who lives freeing from desires and gives up his false ego attains the state of peace and calm. 

Subsequently, at the day time, people celebrate this as a sign of victory of good over evil by sprinkling either the coloured water or dry colour (gulal) of various coul. 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 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.

Holi has special significance in Braj i.e. in Mathura and Vindraban region, the birth place of Lord Krishna. Women-folks playfully hit their men-folks with sticks. This act of theirs is called lath mar holi. Here men are constrained to save themselves from their blows with the help of a shields.  There is a air of festivities around in the entire Braj region during this festival spanning for days together. It is a spectacle in real sense of term.

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2016 in FESTIVALS, Inner Thoughts

 

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY BASANT PANCHAMI (On 12th Feb 2016)

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY

BASANT PANCHAMI (On 12th Feb 2016)

 

It will not be of any exaggeration that diversity of India is well articulated since time immorial. This diversity may be in relation to religions (Eid, Christmas Day, Diwali, Dussehra,etc) , regions with variety of cultural traditions besides localized festivals like congregation/fair to commemorate family deities/Demi Gods, festivals in relation to climatic change, harvesting etc. Taking into consideration all these, it is but natural that we may surely have various occasions for various festivals either particular to a region or religion or in commemoration of a prominent personage who left a mark on the firmament of history.Then National Festivals like Independence Day and Republic Day.

Therefore, we in India, have different festivals which are celebrated with immense joy and religious fervour. Basant Panchami is associated with change of climate – it is well said: With Basant climate is on, winter season just ends. It is the start of pleasant season (no extreme cold or heat), the scenic beauty of yellow flowers of tamrind (sarswon) plants and other plants is really very attractive. It looks as though the Mother Nature has spread a yellow curtain on the fields. In other words, the Mother Nature is at its best in all its manifestations. Besides this, GODDESS SARASWATI’S PUJA (WORSHIP) who is the Goddess of Knowledge (Gyan) is also done on this auspicious day.

 

BASANT PANCHAMI

 

Our land is a land of festivals and fairs

We celebrate various events to get together

And mutually be a part of celebrations

With overwhelming brimming of emotions

To commemorate start of a season

Or in connection with a religious occasions.

Basant Panchami has religio-seasonal connotations.

A carpet of yellow mustard plants is one of the best attractions

People put on their yellow attires

And imbue themselves in natural colour

Even the food taken is coloured yellow

with saffron

Giving lively fragrance.

There is a legend attached to this festival

Brahma who is the Creator-in-Chief

Happened to see earthwards

He felt very sad on seeing the bare trees

Barren land bereft of greenery

He sprinkled some water from His enchanting jar

Lo and behold all

There appeared Goddess Sarswati

The giver of wisdom and learning

Music, art and craft and knowledge

Also termed as the goddess of Vasant Panchmi!

Lord Barahma too gifted greener to the plants in abundance

Bringing in its wake brilliance in natural sight

And verve and vigor in everybody’s life.

 

Yellow flowers are offered to Gods

Even our food items exhibit yellowness

With saffron strands giving yellow colour

Emitting fragrance everywhere.

People worship the musical instruments

Art, craft and all the learning mediums

For these are the gifts of Goddess Saraswati

Processions in the honour of the Goddess is taken

To implore Her to bestow us humans the wisdom

And power to find the difference between truth and falsehood

Her four hands symbolize ego, intellect, alertness and the mind

Her white dress is the symbol of purity

And loves truth of all forms

Her postures of sitting too has vast meaning.

Our humble prayers to Thee O Goddess Sarasvati

The embodiment of learning

We implore Thee to remove illiteracy

Remove ego as You are the giver of wisdom

And do imbue us all in THY  INDELIBLE COLOUR.

 

HARBANS KHAJURIA

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 11, 2016 in FESTIVALS, Inner Thoughts