मातृ-पितृ पूजन दिवस – 14 फरवरी
A. On 26th April 2007, Dr. Abdul Kalam, the then President of Bharat, visited Greece. During the welcome ceremony, the President of Greece, Mr. Karolos Papoulias, started his speech with the Sanskrit sentence ‘Rashtrapati Mahabhag ! Susvagatam Yavandeshe !’. In his speech, he mentioned that Sanskrit is an ancient language of India and that Greek language is related to this ancient language.
B. In July 2007 the ‘American Senate’ began its session by recital of Vedic prayer. This was the first time when such a thing had happened in the last 218 years of American history. The session began with the Sanskrut prayer ‘Om Shanti Shanti Shanti’. This was like a slap in the face to the Nehru-Gandhi family who says that Sanskrut is a ‘Dead language’.
C. Sanskrut is studied and taught in various American Universities for several years. In the California University, Sanskrut has been taught since 1897.
D. The California Senate session which began on 27th August 2007 started with the reciting of Sanskrut mantras.
E. Some students from Maryland University in America have formed a group named ‘Sanskrut-Bharati’ and they have even launched a website called ‘www.speaksanskrit.org’.
F. On 11th April 2010, the American Senate began its session with the recital of Sanskrut sholkas.
The origin of all noble thoughts in the world has been Sanskrut language. Sanskrut is the only language which is complete, scientifically correct and which is alive in its original form even after the passage of thousands of years !
– Western academicians and University Scholars.
The need for learning Sanskrut
A Professor of Cambridge University was sitting in his cabin engrossed in some work. Suddenly, an annoyed and depressed soldier entered his room and openly blamed him, saying that he is not bothered about hundreds of soldiers like him who are depressed because of the hardships they had to face while fighting in the war against Germany.
The Professor asked him politely, “Why are you fighting?”
The soldier spontaneously replied, “Obviously, for the protection of our Nation!”
The Professor further asked him, “What is so important in it that you have to spill your own blood for that?”
“My Motherland and its Citizens.”
On further questioning, the soldier finally replied, “I am fighting for the protection of my culture.”
The Professor smiled and politely said, “Even I have contributed in the enrichment of this culture.”
The soldier calmed down. He bowed in respect before the Professor and vowed to fight with more vigour for the preservation of the Nation’s culture.
This incident took place when the British soldiers were fighting during the final phase of the 2nd world war. This shows that even the Westerners have intense love towards their culture. We Bharatiyas (Indians) too have deep respect for our ancient culture and heritage of our Nation. To sum up, it is essential to learn Sanskrut in order to preserve this rich culture of our Nation.
Even the Supreme Court has acknowledged that learning Sanskrut is essential for preserving the cultural identity of our Nation. There is no other option than learning Sanskrut if we want to understand the principles on which our culture is based upon. On the basis of the report of the Sanskrut Commission, the Supreme Court gave the verdict that, inspite of the vast diversity in the thinking of our citizens, there is one thing where there is no difference of opinions, all of them share the same view. That one thing is, a sense of pride for our Nation’s culture and tradition. Sanskrut is a reflection of this culture.
Greatness and Importance of Sanskrut
My little friends, do you know how great our ancient Devbhasha (Divine language) Sanskrut is? Sanskrut language has been created by God Himself. It is the mother of all languages in the world. Most of the languages all over the world have their roots in sanskrut. Even the Westerners have acknowledged the importance and greatness of this Divine language. Computer scientists around the world were in search of a language for use in computer programming that could be converted into 8 major languages of the world. They found out that only ‘Sanskrut’ could fulfil this criterion. The computer scientists have also said that Sanskrut is the most convenient language for computer software programming. All of our Holy scriptures, that is, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagwatgita, etc. are written in Sanskrut.
The great poets like Kalidas, Bhavbhuti, etc. wrote their poems in Sanskrut. Sanskrut language contains Chaitanya (Divine Consciousness). Even if one is unable to understand the meaning of a verse written in Sanskrut, one benefits from the Divine consciousness and purity present in the language. Since Sanskrut contains Divine consciousness, one might be troubled by distressing energies on chanting Sanskrut mantras. Sanskrut purifies the speech, mind and body.
So my friends, you must have realised how great and Divine our Sanskrut language is. Learn Sanskrut in order to preserve the Divinity of our rich Hindu culture. Request your school to include Sanskrit language in the curriculum.
In our Hindu culture there are many Holy and religious festival. Celebration of festivals is an easy way of leading a happy and blissful life by showing our devotion towards God. Festivals are created by God to make everyone realise the power and existence of God and make all of us happy. Similarly, it enables us to lead an ideal life. However, presently we are unaware as to how to celebrate all these festivals in a scientific and appropriate manner as prescribed by the scriptures. Therefore, many inappropriate practices are witnessed during these festivals. Today, we will learn through this article how to celebrate the festival of Navratri in the appropriate manner and earn the blessings of the Goddess.
1. Science underlying the celebration of Navratri
During the 9 days of Navratri, we worship the Goddesses Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Mahakali devi is worshipped for the first 3 days, Mahalakshmi devi for next 3 days, and Mahasaraswati devi for the last 3 days. Let us now see the science behind worshipping different Goddesses.
2 A . Science behind worshipping Mahakalidevi during the first 3 days
2 A 1. Personal defects and bad qualities are our enemies which make our life unhappy and full of tension : Mahakalidevi is worshipped with an aim to protect us from dangers in life and to destroy our enemies. Friends, do you know who are our enemies in student life, who make our life unhappy and stressful ? Our personality defects and bad qualities are our enemies. The children who possess many personality defects cannot remain happy. The examples are given ahead.
2A 1A. Quarrelsome nature : If a child is quarrelsome, he will have very few friends and many enemies. Will such a child remain happy ? This means his main enemy is his quarrelsome behaviour. Friends, our personality defects are only our enemies. Let us pray to Mahakalidevi for the elimination of these defects.
2A 1B. Laziness : Suppose a child has the personality defect of laziness. Such a child will not be able to complete his studies in time. Hence, his mind will be under constant tension and fear. The enemy of such a child is ‘laziness’.
2A 2. Pray to Mahakalidevi for elimination of personality defects : Friends, our personality defects are our only enemies which take us away from a happy life. Hence, let us worship Mahakalidevi during the first 3 days of Navratri and say the following prayer, ‘O Mahakali Mata, let me realise that my personality defects are my only enemies which take me away from a happy life. Help me to make constant and sincere efforts for elimination of these personal defects. This is my prayer unto your Holy feet.’
Friends, let us promise the Goddess that we shall make honest and sincere efforts to eliminate our personality defects.
2 B. Science behind worshipping Shri Mahalakshmidevi during the next 3 days : Friends, Mahalakshmidevi endows us with happiness, peace, and satisfaction. Hence, She is worshipped during the next 3 days, that is, from 4th to 6th day of Navratri.
2 C. Science behind worshipping Shri Saraswatidevi during the last 3 days
2 C 1. Saraswatidevi, the Deity of knowledge : During the last 3 days of Navratri, the Energy of Shri Saraswatidevi is active in a greater proportion; hence we should worship Her during that period. Shri Saraswatidevi is the Deity of knowledge and art, that is, She is one who endows upon us knowledge and art. During these 3 days, we should try to increase our virtues, as without increase in virtues we will not be able to acquire the grace of Saraswatidevi and thus be unable to grasp the knowledge and art bestowed upon us. Hence, let us pledge to make efforts to develop our virtues. Since this Goddess is most important in our life as students, we should say Her prayer everyday. The student is a worshipper of knowledge and art. Thus, since the energy of Saraswatidevi, the Deity of knowledge and art is active in a greater proportion during the last 3 days of Navratri, as a student it is very important to worship Her during that period.
2 C 2. Virtues essential for acquiring blessings of Shri Saraswatidevi : In order to receive blessings of Saraswatidevi we should posses the following virtues.
2 C 2A. Learning attitude : Friends, Saraswatidevi showers Her blessings on those who are constantly in a state of learning. We do not possess knowledge of all subjects. If we have an attitude to learn, we can learn different things from various persons, as every person possesses different virtues, knowledge, and arts. In your class, somebody knows how to draw and paint nicely, someone can sing better, somebody is expert in mathematics. If we have a learning attitude, we can learn different things from different students in our class.
2 C 2B. Intense yearning : We must have intense yearning to acquire knowledge and art. Let us pray to Saraswatidevi that, ‘Provide me with such intense yearning for knowledge, that in spite of facing several obstacles I shall be successful in acquiring knowledge.’
2 C 2C. Take guidance : To acquire knowledge about any subject, we should always take guidance from experts in that subject.
2 C 2D. Perseverance : Perseverance means taking constant efforts to acquire particular knowledge. Some children abandon the efforts to learn something, if they cannot understand it easily. Let us vow to imbibe the virtue of perseverance this Navratri.
2 C 2E. Behave as per Dharma : Some students copy answers written by other students in order to score more marks. This is a sort of theft and is against Dharma (Righteousness). Shri Saraswatidevi will never bless such a student. She showers Her blessings only on those who behave according to Dharma. Let us pray to Saraswatidevi, “Help me to always behave according to Dharma.”
2 C 2F. Humility : Without possessing the quality of humility, we cannot acquire knowledge and art. The knowledge appears suitable only to him who is humble. Saraswatidevi also loves the student who is humble. Friends, don’t you want to be liked by Saraswatidevi ? Then, let us resolve to acquire this virtue and pledge to behave with humility from today.
2 C 2G. Sharing knowledge with others : Friends, when we acquire some knowledge or art, the real pleasure lies in sharing it with others. Samarth Ramadas Swami has said that whatever knowledge you acquire, must be shared with others. Some students who do not follow this are called selfish. Saraswatidevi does not like such students.
Friends, let us try to possess all above virtues, only then it will mean celebrating Navratri festival in its real sense.
2 C 3. Features of the idol of Shri Saraswatidevi
2 C 3A. Four arms of the idol : The four arms represent four directions and indicate that the Goddess is all-encompassing.
2 C 3B. Holy books in Her hands : Goddess is a medium of acquiring knowledge. We can acquire knowledge by worshipping Her.
2 C 3C. Japmala (Chanting beads) in Her hand : This is a symbol of concentration. When you concentrate, you are able to acquire knowledge faster.
2 C 3D. Veena : Veena is a musical instrument. When we listen to music, we feel blissful and peaceful. When we acquire knowledge, we can actually experience bliss.
2 C 3E. Various ornaments of the Goddess : Ornaments are a symbol of prosperity. We can become prosperous by worshipping the Goddess.
Friends, today we have studied the essential virtues required for worshipping Shri Saraswatidevi and acquiring Her grace. We have also understood the significance of the various substances held in Her hand. So today, we will share this information with others.
A. Shri Mahasaraswati – Creation of the Universe
B. Shri Mahalakshmi – Maintenance
C. Shri Mahakali – Overcoming obstacles and destruction of enemies
4 A. Tilak : Apply tilak (vermillion) to the Goddess using forefinger.
4 B. Flowers that attract the Goddess and Her Principle
|Shri Durgadevi||Mogara (Arabian jasmine)|
|Shri Saraswati||Ratarani (Night-blooming Cestrum)|
|Shri Bhavani||Bhui Kamal (Lotus)|
1. The flowers to should be offered to the Goddess in proportion of one or nine and in a circular fashion.
2. Jasmine scent should be applied to Goddess.
3. The circumambulation pradakshina (circumambulation) around the Goddess should be performed in proportion of one or nine.
4 C. Goddesses and colours attracting them
4 D. Why does the Goddess have 8 arms ? : The Goddess with 8 arms has weapons in her hands. The Goddess with 8 arms is called as Ashtabhujadevi, and is the destroyer form of Goddess.
4 E. Asking for Jogava with Goddess : Jogava (Alms asked by devotees of Goddess) is a kind of Dasya-bhakti (Devotion unto God as a servitor). In this, one has to surrender to the Goddess and forget one’s existence, and thus the ego becomes minimum. A bhav (spiritual emotion) of ‘I am the servant of the Goddess’ is developed.
4 F. The importance of ornaments of the Goddess : Friends, as per our Bharatiya culture every woman is a form of Goddess. Goddess has adorned all the ornaments. Goddess has bestowed women with a protection sheath in the form of ornaments in order to endow them with Her Divine energy.
So dear friends, if we ensure that every thought and action of ours is as per the wish of the Goddess, then not only will we be celebrating a fruitful Navratri, our qualities will increase and help us lead a blissful life ahead, is it not?
How to celebrate a pollution-free Navratri ?
Avoid the following acts during Navratri
1. Avoid use of thermocol : Many people use thermocol in the decoration of the Goddess. Thermocol does not dissolve in water. If burnt, it causes air pollution. Hence, its use should be avoided.
2. Do not burst fire crackers : It is inappropriate to burst fire crackers while carrying the idol home. The Goddess does not like sound pollution. By bursting fire crackers the Principle of Goddess gets destroyed and environment gets polluted.
3. Do not play film songs : It is inappropriate to play film songs before the idol of Goddess. Devotion and bhav (spiritual emotion) towards the Goddess will never develop through the music of film songs. Hence, we should oppose this.
4. Avoid dancing with unpleasant gestures : To perform Garba to the tune of film songs is wrong. It will not develop bhav and devotion towards the Goddess. Few individuals dance making ugly gestures while performing Garba. Friends, we should educate people against these wrong acts.
Celebrate Navratri in the following manner
1. Pollution-free decoration : Friends, use paper products while decorating the place where the idol is to be installed. Use festoons of flowers and leaves. These easily degrade in nature and do not cause any pollution.
2. Appropriate way to carry the idol to the place of installation : While carrying the idol, chant “Shri Durgadevyai Namah !”. Say chants hailing the Goddess.
3. Play devotional songs : When people listen to devotional songs, their bhav and devotion unto the Goddess is awakened and they experience Bliss.
4. Perform Garba on the tunes of devotional songs : While performing Garba, play devotional songs praising the Goddess in a ‘trital’ manner. While performing Garba, we should forget our own existence and get absorbed in the devotional songs of the Goddess.
Friends, let us stop the inappropriate practices taking place during Navratri. Let us, and acquire knowledge and art by acquiring the blessings of Saraswatidevi. Let us obtain spiritual benefit by celebrating Navratri festival in the appropriate way as prescribed in the scriptures.