We, Indians, are celebrating the Pongal festival these four days. It started on Sunday (13 January) evening and continues till 17 January. We celebrated the bonfire in the morning today and worshiped the Vishnu Bhagwan and celebrated His marriage with a great devotee of him known as Andal. The bonfire is a kind of discarding old things by burning them and welcoming the new season. The harvesting is done by this time and the fresh stock of food grains and vegetables arrive in houses by this day. So, people celebrate that occasion.
Tomorrow is Makar Sankranti which is more popular as it is celebrated by the whole of India with that name. People take bath in holy rivers and visit temples and express gratitude to Lord for the bounty granted to them. They prepare the Pongal and offer it to God and then enjoy it with family and relatives. They celebrate the festival by flying colorful kites all over in the sky from the roof of their buildings.
The next day is celebrated as Kanum Pongal, mostly in Southern India. It is the festival of cattle. Cattle are bathed and decorated with colorful clothes. Their horns are also decorated with flowers and even colors. Then they get worshiped. People cook a food item known as Vada with the batter of black gram lentil which is fried in oil. It is considered as a must food on this day. It is made round with a big hole in the center.
The fourth-day people enjoy watching cockfights and bullfights. But, this practice is dwindling gradually as it involves violence towards living beings. Nowadays, they simply enjoy some outings or picnics with friends and family or in watching movies, etc.
Today is Rama Navami festive occasion in India. It is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama who incarnated into this earthly world on this auspicious day for the protection of Good and the punishment of the Evil.
Sri Rama took his birth in the Treta Yuga as a son of King Dasharatha and his first consort Kausalya in the present pilgrim place of Ayodhya, U.P., India.
Sri Rama was married to Sita, daughter of King Janaka after he bent the mighty bow of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Rama married Sita on this auspicious occasion which happens to be his birthday also.
So, Rama Navami celebrates both these occasions of Rama’s birth as well as his marriage with Sita.
People worship Lord Rama and Sita along with their lovely devotee Hanuman on this day and obtain their blessings.
Special pujas are held in temples and the Sita-Rama marriage ceremony is also celebrated on this day each year in all the Rama Temples. Temples will be overcrowded with devotees on this occasion.
Many cultural programs are also held during the day-time and the evening like music concerts, dance programs, short stage-dramas depicting the story of Rama. It is a very pleasant occasion to witness and enjoy.
Bhagavad Gita is delivered to humanity by God himself as a guideline and solution for the everyday problems and doubts arising in their daily lives. It shows the path for reaching moksha or a state of bliss.
I think moksha is not a reference to our life after death. Most believe and associate moksha with other world life after the soul leaves our body. But, for me moksha is happiness, peace and bliss that we experience in this own present life.
It is attained by overcoming the selfishness attitudes and materialism of this materialistic world. Our own senses guide us wrongly through shortcuts to achieve physical pleasures of life and engage ourselves in selfish acts and materialistic pleasures. Thereby we ignore the human values and indulge in unhealthy practices hurting or embarrassing our own neighbours and weaker sections of society.
Bhagavad Gita has shown the path for attaining happiness and a peaceful state of mind by overcoming the 6 enemies of life, namely,- kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya – ie. by refraining from lust, anger, selfishness, attachment, ego and addiction.
- Three paths have been prescribed for overcoming these enemies of happiness in the Gita which are the paths of Devotion, Knowledge and Detachment.
- One can attain bliss through utter devotion and faith and loyalty in his actions.
- Or, he can seek wisdom and truth behind everything and thereby attain happiness and bliss.
- Otherwise, he can adapt the path of detachment and then also attain happiness and peace.
You may think it weird. What is Holy Water!!!
Yes, but most Hindus believe in it. There are Holy Rivers for us and “Holy Water” at special occasions of celestial happenings.
- River Ganga or Ganges is an Eternal Holy River for us since thousands of years.
- Similarly, the confluence of 3 rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at a place known as Prayag near Allahabad city, North India is a holy place throughout the life.
- Then, there are rivers which attain significance during some specific occasions of celestial happenings periodically. It is believed that nectar from heaven falls direct into these rivers on those special occasions when a planet enters a specified zodiac sign for a certain period.
- You must have heard about Kumbh Mela that occurs every 3 years at one of the four places by rotation.at river banks in India. These four places and rivers are Haridwar on banks of Ganges river, Prayag (near Allahabad) at the confluence of 3 rivers as stated above, Nashik on the banks of Godavari and Ujjain on the banks of Shipra river. So each of these places celebrate one Kumbh Mela every 12 years..
So, when Nasik celebrates Kumbh Mela, all the other places on the banks of that river Godavari celebrate the occasion also. They are known as Godavari Pushkaralu in Andhra Pradesh.
This specific event is being celebrated presently (after a gap of 12 years) during 14/07/2015 to 25/07/2015 for 12 days during which millions of people are taking bath in the holy waters. All places are filled with devotees and roads are jam-packed with continuous overflow of vehicles. After taking dip in the waters, they go to nearby temples and thank go with prayers and then enjoy the occasion eating food under trees or at food restaurants specially opened at these places or on their way back home by the side of all highways.
You may view some more details about Kumbh Mela and Pushkaralu on the banks of all holy rivers in India at these following links:
I believe in God and naturally I got impressed and inspired by the post of Yor Ryeter titled “Can you see God?” on the blog “It takes 10k”.
I believe in God because all that we see and experience is the creation of God, which however gets tampered by human experiments and scientific advancements. But the base foundation has been provided to you by God. And each moment I witness this wonderful creation, I remember God and thank Him for all this.
Don’t you see in the above header image how beautiful and wonderful the creation of God is. He created the wonderful sky. He created the amazing oceans. He created the beautiful Nature with all its forests, mountains, lakes, trees, plants, flowers and what not. Is it all not enough to prove that God exists with all His wonderful powers?
But, if we want to see God, we must have the craving for Him. We must be able to understand and experience His greatness and existence through His wonderful deeds and creations. It requires lots of dedication, concentration and human effort and most importantly lot of patience and endurance. You should not be impatient and negative if He puts lots of tests to judge your honesty and dedication.
I believe and see God with my inner sense
- whenever I see the nature, sky or oceans and rivers.
- whenever I see the birds, animals and creatures.
- whenever I see a child
- whenever I see people of diverse nature living together
- whenever I encounter an act of love, kindness and generosity
- whenever I pray or meditate
- I see and feel Him at every moment of my life.
So, I would rather say, if you want to believe and experience God, keep faith and be honest in all your acts.
Please visit this blog which inspired me: https://ittakes10k.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/1-1528-of-10000-can-you-see-god/
One more related blog also impressed me. https://tessacandoit.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/jesus-loves-me-this-i-know/