Monthly Archives: March 2016

Holi

Significance

Phalgun Sud Poonam marks the celebration of the Holi Festival. Various aspects of the festival of Holi make it significant to one’s life. It may not be so apparent but analysing it reveals the significance of Holi in more ways than it meets the eyes.

Festivals in Sanatan Dharma are to enjoy and be indulged in Devotion towards the Lord and get closer to Him. Ranging from religious to cultural significances, there is every reason why we must heartily enjoy this holy festival cherishing the reasons for its celebrations.
Religious Significance:

The Narad Puran and Bhavishya Puran entail the religious significance of this festival. According to these holy texts, Hiranyakshipu; a powerful demon considered himself as God out of his ego sought to be worshipped by all. To his great ire,

his son Prahalad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakshyapu tried various methods to get him killed but he was always protected an unharmed. Having a boon to enter fire unscathed, aunty Holika assured her brother that she will

be successful in killing Prahalad in fire with Prahlad on her lap. Shed paid the price for her sinister intentions when she burnt to death while Prahalad remained unharmed. Hence this day is celebrated as ‘Holika dahan’.

 

Cultural Significance:

The religious significance associated with Holi reassures Devotees of the power of the truth and the ultimate victory of good over evil. It also enlightens us that the Lord always protects His Devotees that truly surrender unto Him.

Thus it helps us to be righteous and also believe in the virtue of being truthful. In today’s modern society people resort to evil practices for gains torturing honest ones, hence this festival helps remember the virtues of truthfulness,

righteousness and honesty to fight away evil. This festival is also celebrated during a time when people expect a good harvest due to the spring season giving them a chance to rejoice in thanking the Lord for His benedictions.

 

Maha Shivratri

SHIVARATRI UTSAV

In the Shikshapatri ‘Codes of Conduct’, authored by Supreme Personality Shree Swaminarayan Himself, He instructs His followers about reverence and worship of Lord Shiva:

Slokh 23 – When passing by temples of Lord Shiva and other Deities, one shall bow to them and pay due reverence to the Deities therein.

Slokh 47 – No distinction shall be made between Narayana and Shiva, as they are both proclaimed as Brahmaswarupa (Above all material modes) by the Vedas.

Slokh 79 – They shall devoutly observe the austerities on Ekadashi, Janmashtmi and other birth anniversaries such as Shivaratri etc. and celebrate them with great reverence.

Slokh 84 – My followers shall regard the five Deities named here with reverence – Vishnu, Shiva, Ganapati, Parvati and the Sun.

Slokh 149 – In the month of Shravana, they shall worship Mahadeva with reverence, with Bilva-Patras and the like, or request others to worship Mahadeva on their behalf.

Furthermore, in the First Vachanamrutam of Loya, which are the divine words of the Supreme Personality Himself, He says, ‘I have great respect for Shiva because He has renounced the world, mastered Yoga and a great Devotee of God’.

In the 12th Canto of Shreemad Bhagwatam, Ved Vyas states the following:

…Vaiṣṇavānāḿ yathā Shambhuḥ –

Shiva is the greatest of Vaishnavas

 

Therefore a humble devotee, desiring to please the Supreme Personality should devoutly worship Mahadeva. Devotees desiring to further their faith and reverence unto their Ishtdeva attain blessings from Mahadeva and the other four deities mentioned in Slokh 84 above.