ESSENCE OF FESTIVALS

Festivals identity a culture be it at micro or the macro level. These are not only the personal, family, and social occasions of fun and merriment, but also the occasions for prayer and worship for self realization, peace, prosperity and harmony among all the communities. With the festivals of Raksha Bandhan, Janam Ashtami and the Independence Day coming in the forthcoming week and the merriment, joy, gaiety and festivity already in the air, it is high time to reiterate our commitment to austerity which by any yardstick is one of the greatest virtues of a human being. Festivals hold special significance for Indians as the nation has a multi-religious composition and every festival finds participation of people belonging to all communities irrespective of their religious or other affiliations, thus upholding the ages old secular ethos of this region. Noticing the multi religion and regional participation in the festivals across India these festivals serve as a reminder to the people across the nation that every religion is wedded to the Absolute Truth and surrender to the Almighty eternal and infinite. Every religion teaches to be always ready for the supreme sacrifice in the larger interest of humanity. During religious festivals people remember the virtues and sacrifice of the various incarnations and messengers of God be it Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Lord Krishna, Guru Nanak besides an unending list of saints. The festival celebrations today have evolved such magnificently that people across the nation remain involved in rejoicing and festivities almost round the year. This can be attributed to major festivals having influenced the people across the nation like Dandia of Gujarat having reached every nook and corner of India besides a number of other festivals that no more remain confined to a region. Even the City of temples which is home to substantial number of people from other states due to their jobs witnesses celebration of almost every festival celebrated in other parts of the nation. Only recently the Kawariyas gave a pleasant surprise to Jammuites by moving across the city maintaining their tradition thus adding yet another feather to the cap of the multi cultural City of Temples. With the global scenario across the world being quite dismal especially in some nations afflicted with the menace of non-violence either by the terrorist organizations or even by certain rogue states, there is a dire need to realize the real meaning and essence of the festivals. The essence of these festivals lies in cleansing the mind, purifying the heart besides guiding us to follow the path of love, peace and mercy. These teach us a higher philosophy to conduct ourselves for the good of the society and the mankind at large. This can be achieved without getting involved into complexities by simply following the path shown by the Incarnations, Messengers and Saints to us and whom we remember on various festivals with utmost reverence and devotion. They belong not only to the community cult in which they were born but to the humanity at large. Therefore while celebrating these festivals let’s pledge to work relentlessly with utmost sincerity towards adopting, inculcating and propagating the humane values underlined by them. This cannot be achieved by mere preaching but requires to be followed practically by one and all. Celebrating these festivals with the said intention let’s pray that peace and harmony prevail across the globe including the state of J&K that is yet to fully come out of the trauma of terrorism and natural disasters of yesteryears.