By Vijay Darda | 07-10-2019
We are proud that no other country in the world celebrates more festivals than us. Every festival has some message!
First of all, let me greet you on the occasion of Navratri and Dussera which symbolise the victory of the good over evil. May your life be filled with strength and you continue to walk on the path of goodness and keep strengthening the nation! If the common man of this country becomes strong, the nation will strengthen. If every man walks on the path of goodness, he will be able to conquer evils that beset life. The pace of development of the country will become faster. Today is the ninth day of Navratri. In the last eight days, all of us together have worshipped the nine forms of the three Goddesses Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati and Maa Durga. We have been immersed in devotion and enjoyed ‘dandia raas’ too. Today, this festival of Navratri will conclude. Tomorrow, we will celebrate Dussera.
The exuberance of the festival though has enhanced with time, the basic form of worship remains intact and the message is also very clear. There is no power greater than mother. Mother is closest to God because God has given the mother the power to create a new life. None of us have seen God but we have seen our mother, the living representative of God. We have experienced her love. No one else is like mother! That is why the eminent Hindi poet Om Vyas Om has written:
Maa prithvi hai, jagat hai, dhuri hai,
Maa bina is srushti ki kalpana adhoori hai.
The message of worship of Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati and Maa Durga is that knowledge and purity along with prosperity and contentment is very important in life. These are the powers that make us perfect. Without these powers we cannot win over evil, so it is necessary to achieve them. Yes, just as purity is very important in worship, the path to attain these powers must pass the test of goodness. Every Dussera, we see Prabhu Shri Ramchandraji shooting arrows at Ravana, but have we ever considered why history describes Prabhu Shri Ramchandraji as Maryaada Purushottam? Actually, Prabhu Shri Ram never discriminated between human beings, did not discriminate on the basis of caste and religion. It is important to understand that if we discriminate, we are not worshipping Prabhu Shri Ramchandraji in true sense. Everyone’s blood is red, all are alike, all religions give the message of unity, the nation thinks alike and the best is our tricolour, the biggest symbol of brotherhood. We will have to understand, and especially those who have the responsibility of the nation, that we can not make Prabhu Shri Ram happy by celebrating this festival. If we want to become like Maryaada Purushottam Shri Ramchandraji, we will have to behave like him.
On the occasion of Navratri, nine young girls are worshipped and fed traditionally. It is called ‘kanya poojan’. This tradition too gives a very clear message that we should have respect for girls, but unfortunately this feeling has sunk. Even today, girls are discriminated against in many parts of the country and in many households. The participation of us all is very important in the ongoing fight against this social evil. Our culture teaches us to respect girls, but evils born over time have hindered it. It is very important to eliminate this evil from the root. Only then can we say the worship of Navratri is meaningful. Actually we need to understand what our civilisation and culture teach us. We observe Paryushan Parva, we are exposed to a new learning and understanding through Ganeshotsav, Mahalaxmi, Navratri, Dussera, Diwali, Buddha Purnima, Onam, Eid, Christmas and Prakash Parva of the Gurus.
The festival is not only an occasion of celebration but it is an occasion to awaken our consciousness to make our thoughts superior. And yes, our festivals also have a special social message. When we celebrate festivals, the family comes together, society is unified, and we come close to each other. When we celebrate happiness together, we feel convinced that we will be able to fight sorrow together! Not only this, these festivals also have a huge economic side. During the festival season, people spend according to their capacity. They also gather resources to meet the expenses and of course this gives the market a great strength. If the flow of money in the market increases, the market also flourishes.
At present, I am in Vadodara and feel that garba has become synonymous with unity and integrity. I am fortunate to have a chance to participate in the garba event of the United Way here, and have the opportunity to worship the Divine Mother. Here, 40,000 people are playing garba together and another 15,000-20,000 people are in the spectators’ gallery. When 80,000 people in colorful costumes perform garba, worshipping the Divine Mother, it presents an amazing sight of the unity and integrity of the nation. This is our ray of hope. Where else in the world can we get to see this! This is to say that festivals are very important in our lives. If festivals are not there in life, there will be dullness everywhere. We should feel proud that no country in the world has more festivals than us. We are really lucky.So once again wish you all a very happy and joyful Navratri and Dussera! May your life always be full of splendour, knowledge and positive ideas! Stay blessed!
We are thankful to our traditions, our culture which have instilled such a deep festive spirit in us that we celebrate all our festivals with great exuberance. These festivals are definitely the most important part of our social life. It is because of celebration of the festivals that we remain positive towards life.