Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Upcoming festivals in India, Late November 2010

17 November:

  • Tulsi Vivah / Dev Uthani ekadashi: 4 months of chaturmas which started on dev shayani ekadashi, three days before Guru Purnima, get over on Dev Uthani Ekadashi
  • Bakrid

21 November:

  • Kartik Purnima, the month of raas which started on Sharad Purnima ends on Kartik Purnima
  • Guru Nanak Dev's Jaynati, Guru Purab
  • Dev Deepawali on the banks of River Ganges in Varanasi

22 November:

  • Indian month of Marg Shirsh begins. Krishna says in Gita: ‘Among months, I am the month of Marg Shirsha.’ This is also the month when Gopis of Vrindavan had performed Divine Mother Katyayni’s worship on the banks of River Yamuna, with a prayer to grow in devotion to Lord Krishna, and receive the consciousness that their sole sustainer, caretaker and beloved is Lord Krishna. The Gopis’ prayer in Sanskrit from Srimad Bhagwat Purana is:

Katyayni Mahamaaye Mahayoginya dheeshwari,
Nand Gop Sutam Devi, Patim Me Kurute Namah.

कात्यायनी महामाये महायोगिन्यधीश्वरी।
नंद्गोपसुतं देविं पतिं मे कुरुते नमः॥

Following the example of Gopis of Vrindavan, many people recite this prayer especially in the Indian month of Marga Shirsha, as a spiritual practice to grow in devotion and surrender to Lord Krishna. `कृष्णः एव गतिर्ममः, Krishna is my only refuge’ as Vaishnav saint Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya had reminded.

Shamaavani - World forgiveness day today

Celebrating Day of Forgiveness with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Jain community every year celebrates a festival called Shamaavani, which falls on 22nd of September. I think this is a very very significant festival which all of us should celebrate.

Shamaavani is a day of forgiveness, asking forgiveness. You ask people around you, people whom you know or you do not know, ask them for forgiveness that knowingly, unknowingly, intentionally, unintentionally, by your thought, word did you hurt somebody, you ask them forgiveness.

Today in the world there is so much hatred, so much tension, so much war…there is domestic, societal, between the countries – in this scenario it is so significant to ask forgiveness from each other. By asking forgiveness your status will never go down. Mistakes are only perceptions. Sometimes you feel you have not done anything, but by the perception of others some injustice has been done to them if it is perceived that way. If others perceive that you are the cause for their pain or suffering, it’s only just, it’s only wise for us to ask them forgiveness. So let us celebrate 22nd September of this year as the Day of Forgiveness- Shamaavani. Ask all those people…. In your meditation. Sit in meditation in the morning, you know meditation, ask forgiveness from the whole universe, from everyone.

See, even when you sneeze, without your knowledge you are killing many germs. When you walk, when you talk, when you do any action because every action has got some flaw. Any action could have hurt somebody. So, without your knowledge if your actions have hurt someone, we say, ‘Please excuse me. Forgive us.

So this festival of Shamaavani, I feel should be practiced by people all over the world. We have to take the good thing, wherever it is. From the Jain tradition, this age old festival, custom needs to be practiced by everyone today. Then there will be less hatred, less jealousy, less of hurt, than we see in the world today. Right? Ya.

First of all, the wise would not say that others are the cause of one’s own suffering. It is the shortsighted or one who do not have a broad vision will hold others as cause for one’s own suffering. And then they suffer more and then there is hatred that is coming out in the person.

Today we all have to come together and put out this fire of hatred which is engulfing our society. So, let us take these words and put our intention for it to manifest. Knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally if any hurt has been caused by my thought, word or deed, I would ask forgiveness.  And, it is a coincidence, around this time, the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur asking forgiveness, forgiving people is also celebrated.

So let us all in the world celebrate this day of forgiveness. Let us forgive and ask for forgiveness and live together as one family.

Jai Gurudev.  

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