Removing and erasing unnecessary and harmful things is considered very important in Hindu culture. To make this philosophy functional Holi festival is celebrated. The prongs, spikes, branches, weeds, squelches lying on the path increase the difficulties for human society and are a cause of suffering for pedestrians. We cannot leave these elements as is on the path or shun our eyes away from them or ignore them.
Therefore on the day of Holi every year, people collectively gather all the spikes and unnecessary bushes from the roads and burn them and celebrate. In the same way drains, potholes, mud, dust, grime, dirt, trash etc. are cleaned. Every nook and corner of the lanes and streets is inspected to ensure that all the dirt which has settled is thoroughly cleaned.
The hidden message of Holi festival is to get rid of accumulated dirt and remove painful elements which are spread on our path. Keeping the outside lanes and streets clean and maintaining pure environment is essential. Otherwise the climate will get distorted and boost epidemic like small pox. Similarly we need to focus on cleansing our inner self, remove mental vices otherwise we will face several undesired consequences in our lives.
Experiencing difficulties on the path is law of nature. Difficulties, disturbances, odds which come in life, help in increasing the awareness, action, attention and cognitive abilities of man. Weapons are sharpened by rubbing them. If they are not scraped they will become blunt and rusty and will not be fit for use. Similarly in life, struggle and friction is needed otherwise life will have no meaning.
Those civilization which have struggled bravely to remove their social, economic, political distortions have progressed and stayed in existence. Those who rely on fate, stay passive and inert, experience poverty, slavery, disease, humiliation, sorrow etc. and finally become extinct.
Hinduism is religion of life and diligence (hard work). Its every festival gives messages of awareness and activity. The message of Holi is - search for dirt inside and outside and clean it. May there be purity all around us and together we clean all the mental, social and political distortions in the path and celebrate collectively. This is the correct way of celebrating Holi. Using obscenity, abusive language, spluttering mud and sludge is sign of brutality and savagery and we should stay away from it.
Shivratri has come to manifest the divine form of God Mahakaal and bestow on seekers several boons. This is not an ordinary festival. This is a very rare conjunction in which those who do fasting and prayers are bestowed with grace of God of all Gods – Mahakaal.
In the scriptures it is said that once Mata Paarvati in Kailash Mountain asked Lord Shiva – Hay Lord! You are there for dharma, money, ventures and salvation. You provide these to seekers after being satisfied with their sadhna. I would like to know by which deed, which fasting and which austerity you become happy.
Lord Shiva replied –Shivratri comes on Krishna PakshaChaturdashi of Hindu calendar in month Phalguna (February–March). Those who fast on this day satisfy me and the effect of fasting is more than offering made to me in the form of bathing, clothes, flowers, incense etc. In order to benefit from this festival we should understand the subtle aspects of this festival and fasting.
The spirit behind fasting- There are two aspects of fasting
Literal meaning of fasting - Withdrawal from diet. But important point to note is that the diet here is not just food stuff. The intake from outside into our system through our heart, mind, intellect and senses is all part of food. Thus fasting means not only restrain from food stuff but also imaginations, desires and thoughts of the material world.
The second aspects is being close to God and this closeness we can get only by reflecting on various aspects of God. Thus the usefulness of fasting on Shivratri is when we restrain from any external intake through our body, senses, mind, intellect and focus on the various aspects of Lord Mahakaal.
Here are few subtle aspects of Shiva
He is manifestation of supreme consciousness
Trident - is a weapon to destroy anger, greed and lust
Ganga on head – represents stream of knowledge
Moon on head – Symbol of balanced and cool mind
Snake around the head – Accept danger and make it useful
Crematorium signifies detachment and fearlessness from death
Third eye – Vision and faculty of critical thinking
Garland of skull signifies fragility of human body
First of all a late but heartiest good wishes for the new year to all. Last year has been very successful in terms of spreading our gurudev’s message to more and more people within the UK. Volunteers from Shantikunj, India has visited us and given us direction for this year. We have now spread in more places with increased volunteers and representatives from each location.
As most of you might know, this year has been declared as the Samuhik Sadhna/Group Spiritual Practise year, which means each one of us now has a definite answer to the question – How to get involved?
While delivering the lecture on New Year eve, Dr Pranav Pandya mentioned that upcoming years will write the history for mankind. As we see the selfish thought within humans which has grown to a great extent costing us our happiness and peace is not going to thrive long. Group meditation should be performed on a regular basis with intentions of love, good health, and prosperity for yourself and to all. Now the question arise – How do we perform Group Meditation?
This is something which can be done in different ways by different people, none of which is wrong I believe. I will try to explain it the way I perceive this.
Whenever we have 15 minutes of time for ourselves, we should sit in any comfortable posture with our family members/friends/neighbours, more the number of people, better the results will be. Once everyone is sitting in the room comfortable, try and take deep breathes for a minute and relax your body. Try not to think about anything else than your own existence, your body, environment you are in. Start chanting Gayatri Mantra (you can contact our offices across UK for more information on how to chant) with closed eyes visualizing the rising sun, and you are taking all the positive energy from the sun into your body. Visualizing that your body is being cleaned from within and you are being filled with positive thoughts and energy. Do this at a rhythmic pace without loosing concentration.
Once you complete 15 minutes of chanting, rub your palms few times and apply the warmth which you have created to your face, neck and upper parts of your body. This will channelize the energy you have created by chanting the mantra and will make you feel charged and fresh.
Once you feel and see the benefits of 15 minutes of meditation every day, you may increase this to 30 minutes with more people being involved. Feel proud to spread the word to your friends, colleagues and family members.
Thanks to all who are getting involved in this. Please write in your comments/contact our branch offices if you have any specific questions regarding the same.
Leicester Youth Group started their second semester today after a couple of weeks off over Xmas.We hope you’ve all enjoyed Xmas and New years, and are ready to reach new heights in 2014!!!
The team leaders have got together and made a few changes for this Semester which runs from January 11th – April 12th 2014 (14 weeks).The Junior Youth group has now been split into three age group; 5-7, 8-10, and 11-14 years. The Senior Youth Group will remain a single group from ages of 14 upwards. Each group will have their own responsibilities and tasks each week, and the focus will be to provide appropriate material for each age group at the youth sessions.This will be quite challenging due to the limited number of team leaders we have, so if you want to help us or know of anyone that wishes to contribute a couple of hours a week to help kids, then do let us know.
So, what do we want to achieve this semester?We’ll have the normal overviews of celebrations that occur throughout the year....mainly for the benefit of newer members, we may also have a couple of trips, and we won’t forget to include monthly music sessions where you can spend some time learning to play tabla and keyboard, but most importantly we want to focus even more effort with areas that concern self-realisation and self-development.What qualities are dormant within each individual?What steps can we follow to awaken these talents? And how can we make the most effective use of our time to develop and maintain these super-human attributes?You can find out yourself over the next few months.....
So, please do attend our Youth Group, please tell your family & friends about us, and most importantly, please come on time.Oh, i forgot to mention earlier that we’re also becoming strict on attendance and punctuality.As you may know, we’re all volunteers, and we all give up evenings and weekends to ensure that youth sessions are beneficial for the youngsters by preparing relevant material, however if there’s no consistency in attendance and punctuality, then it’s the kids that lose out.So, please ensure that the kids attend each week and arrive on time.
This blog will be updated each week with Youth Group info, so please visit back frequently.