Different people perceive life’s jubilations differently. An upcoming festival is a joy to most and a relief to many. Those who focus on new clothes, sweets, fun and frolic elements of the festival perceive it as a joy. Others like to see festivals as relaxing holidays – days of relief from the burden of work. What does a festival herald for you?
Most people choose to float on the rituals of festivals rather than delve into its essence. Forgetting the essence of such festivals, we may celebrate festivals with mechanical enthusiasm. The question shouldn’t be “Did I enjoy the festival?”; rather it should be, “Did I upgrade myself during the festival?” Instead of thinking how we have celebrated the festival, we should introspect and contemplate on the mood of the festival.
Interestingly, almost every festival in the world is born to commemorate the sacrifice of some great personalities. Janmastami is a festival to celebrate the sacrifice of Vasudeva and Devaki along with the birth of Krishna . Divali is a festival to celebrate the spirit of sacrifice of Rama, Laksmana, Bharata and Sita along with their victorious return to Ayodhya. Christmas is a festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ along with his spirit of sacrifice. Dusshera is a festival to celebrate the sacrifice of Vibhisana and the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. Independence Day celebrations remind us of the sacrifice of the martyrs and freedom from foreign domination.
The question now is, if someone’s hard work and sacrifice is celebrated as a festival now, what should be our role in it? Do these dates on the calendar mark the freedom from burden of work or do they mark opportunities to achieve freedom from selfishness, to dilute it by our frivolousness or uphold its sanctity by genuine appreciation and active gratitude? Being not in sync with the mood of the festival is like going to a funeral ceremony not for contemplating on the good qualities of the departed, but for using it as a networking opportunity. When a festival is celebrated it brings smiles of joy but when a festival is contemplated, it brings tears of gratitude. Celebration with contemplation uplifts, sobers, inspires, empowers us and infuses us with the mood of respect and sacrifice.
When a festival is merely celebrated money is spent, but when it is contemplated blessings are earned!
Subha Vilasa Dasa is a motivational speaker and a spiritual lifestyle coach. He is also the author of the six-volume series Ramayana – The Game of Life Visit his blog: http://thoughtsutras.blogspot.in/