Tag Archives: Hindu

Celebrating simplicity

Today is Maha Shivratri, a festival dedicated to God Shiva. He is also known as Mahadev, the great God. It is also the day when God Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati. It is celebrated at home in my family. We get up early, clean the house, take bath and offer prayers to God Shiva. We offer fruits and kheer (sweet made of rice and milk). During my school days, the kitchen used to be full of the aroma of kheer. We used to help in getting the flowers and bilva leaves. In some places, the ceremonies are performed whole night. People fast and meditate. There are devotional songs meant only for Maha Shivratri.

We are brought up on tales on Mahadev. He occupies a special place in our hearts and lives. I have always been an ardent admirer of his simplicity. There are numerous cases where those benefited from him, have been ungrateful to him but that has never impacted his giving nature. He stays in Himalayas. Maybe that is why I love being in the mountains. The word meditation brings forth an image of him deep in meditation. With the rise in lifestyle diseases, I think we should take lessons from his life. Choose comfortable clothing over expensive clothing. Lead a physically active life. The more we can build immunity the better. A year of Pandemic has helped many of us to incorporate good habits and lead a simple life. On this Maha Shivratri, I do pray that the tough times get over. Best wishes of Maha Shivratri to everyone.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations 2020

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi. Lord Ganesh is the lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles. We celebrate his arrival from Kailash. People bring idols of Lord Ganesh in their homes. The entire house is decorated. The days are celebrated with Aarti (ceremonies) and prasad (sweets) are distributed. My home towns of Vadodara and Pune used to come alive with beautiful decorations of community ceremonies. Here the idols will be large and a pandal(temporary stage) would be set up. These festivals gave us an opportunity to meet our neighbors. Many people prepared the sweets for Aarti at home. We also have dance and music performances within the community.

The community festivals are for 11 days. There are many memories associated with this festival. My father would take my sister and me for a visit to all the Pandals in our area. My mother’s colleague used to send her home made sweets for us. If I came up with any resolution after June, I would wait till Ganesh Chaturthi and begin from this day. Praying to Lord Ganesh before starting anything is a part of life. I share my love for modak(sweets) with Lord Ganesh. The sweet shops would make different kinds of modak and put up for display. I used to visit all the sweet shops near temple and get the most unique modak. This year the community festivals are being conducted at a smaller scale because of the pandemic. This has not stopped the devotees but has increased their creativity. People have come up with different ideas of creating their own idols. Many of us have learnt to perform the ceremony ourselves and prepare modak as well. Let us come together and pray a vaccine is found soon, the sick are cured and we are all able to overcome this difficult phase. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.