In the process of mankind’s evolution one thing that has remained constant is the existence of festivals. For as long as religion and culture provide solace for the soul, festivals will only continue to thrive. In a vast country like India, each religion has varied festivals of its own bringing the total count of festivals in a year to at least a 100, of which about 20-30 are extremely popular. Festivals provide the reason, means and the time to establish our connection with divine powers. The number of people who celebrate festivals each year has only grown even though there is equal emphasis placed on logic as much as emotion.
While the devotees continue their fervent worship, and customs, there are also many sceptics who follow tradition purely for the sake of research. With increased awareness, there is more curiosity about concepts such as collective consciousness, mindfulness, divine connections, etc. Festivals carry special vibrations about them that have the potential to upgrade human energies. Along with a seemingly endless list of festivals, each of them even have a number of reasons as to why it is celebrated. From the much-loved Diwali to the popular Holi—our festivals add a dash of excitement, and anticipation keeping it colourful for us all through the year. In all the merriment, we scarcely wonder about the history and the mystery linked to their occurrences.
There is a divine night in the year which we call ‘Mahashivratri’. On this night, the body is not supposed to sleep as there is an impact on the body, the cells, and the neurons of the brain. There are many powerful reasons why this practice is done. On this night when the human body is kept awake, erect, and active, it has the potential to become a powerful container for divine growth of the spirit. In this way, Mahashivratri serves to upgrade the human potential, and capacity. When the position of the body is upright, and awake, then you are creating an opportunity for the body to grow, and evolve. To build your spiritual powers, one has to celebrate this night with an awakened body and mind. Some of the other secret energetic forces can be activated during festivals by performing specific acts of goodwill.
Holi is the festival of colour which celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna describing an incident where Lord Krishna teases Radha and other gopis by applying colour on them. This became an integral part of the Holi festivities. According to Purana, Holi is also celebrated for the death of a demon called Pootana who tried to kill baby Krishna. In a separate legend, devotees in South India celebrate the devotion of Lord Kamadeva who sacrificed his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation. Holi’s origins are also connected to the tale of an ogress named Dhundhi who was known to trouble small children. She was later chased away on the day of Holi by the same children. During the festival of Holi, we can invite prosperity and abundance by distributing food among people.
Ram Navami is the Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama. On this auspicious day, serving panaka (specially prepared melon juice) or water is the key to the law of attraction where we can enjoy divine blessings. One of the most prominent among the Hindu festivals, Diwali, is all about giving back to the universe. The significance of lamp-lighting is that you are not only doing this in your home, but also lighting lamps at your neighbours’ houses. The sparkling diyas represent the shining energy of the universe which you then learn to give back, sharing it with the universe with love. When you financially help out those in need during this time, it is believed to attract wealth towards you.
Just before the onset of Diwali, there is the observation of Shraaddh which is all about remembering the souls of our ancestors long gone.
During the festival of Buddha Poornima, by performing chandra namaskar, ardha chandrasana, and chandra sadhana, it can bring one powerful benefits. In this way, each and every festival holds a fascinating secret to it. There are so many more festivals and thousands of stories that are all interwoven adding a complexity of depth and mystery to all the merry-making. While we may not uncover or even remember all the legends, we should remember that all festivals preach goodness and its ultimate victory. Every festival has many socio-cultural, religious and biological reasons for why it is celebrated. Enjoy celebrating all the festivals, and participate with total enthusiasm in every little ritual which is related to the festival.
What these celebrations mean
❖ Mahashivratri: On this night, the body is not supposed to sleep. It has the potential to become a powerful container for divine growth of the spirit. To build one’s spiritual powers, one has to celebrate this night with an awakened body, and mind.
❖ Holi: The festival of colours celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna. It also celebrates the death of a demon called Pootana who tried to kill baby Krishna. Devotees in South India celebrate the devotion of Lord Kamadeva who sacrificed his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation. It is also connected to the tale of an ogress named Dhundhi who was chased away on this day.
❖ Ram Navami: It celebrates the birth of Lord Rama.
❖ Diwali: This festival is all about giving back to the universe. The significance of lamp-lighting is that you are not only doing this in your home, but also lighting lamps at your neighbours’ houses. The sparkling diyas represent the shining energy of the universe.