The purpose of celebrating festivals


A. General information : Our Holy festivals and Religious festivals are such that they not only give us happiness while we are alive, but also help our subtle-body gain momentum after death.
B. Realisation of the changes in nature : For example, Nariyal Pournima is celebrated at the end of monsoons, when the sea becomes calm.
C. Increase in devotion through birthday celebrations of Incarnations : For example, Shriram Navami.
The birthdays of Incarnations such as Shriram, Shrikrushna are celebrated according to the Hindu Almanac, because in their case, the renunciation of body is not ‘death’. They can assume a body for the sake of their devotees anytime, meaning, they are immortal.
D. Spiritual benefits through celebration of death anniversary of Saints : For example, death anniversary of Saint Dnyaneshwar. The death anniversary of Saints is celebrated because most of the time they appear to be average people or seekers by birth. Later, with spiritual practice, they attain Sainthood. After renunciation of the body, they go to higher subtle-regions. This further augments their mission; energy expended thus far for the physical body is utilised for the mission. Hence, their death anniversaries are celebrated as a Holy remembrance. In case of ordinary mortals, the death anniversary is remembered because of the necessity of performing the shraddha (Rite for departed ancestors) on that day.
E. Getting motivated to perform spiritual practice through Puranic and historic events : An example is Vatapournima. On this day, Savitri won her debate with Deity Yama and successfully forced Him to bring her husband back to life.
F. Spiritual education : The sole objective of any form of spiritual practice is to bring about non-duality between the seeker, his spiritual practice and his spiritual goal, meaning, merging of the seeker with God. From this perspective, to inculcate a habit of seeing God even in the modes of spiritual practice, some Holy festivals are celebrated. For example :
1. Sheetla Saptami : Appliances such as the gas stove, frying pan, pincers etc. are not used on this day. Instead, these are ritualistically worshipped.
2. Pola: On this day, farmers worship the oxen and ploughs.
3. Vijayadashami : On this day, everyone worships their own tools. For instance, a tailor his scissors and tailoring instruments, a student and teacher their books etc.
4. Lakshmipuja : On this day, businessmen worship the weighing scales and account books, while housewives worship the broom.


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