There is something wonderful about Vedic Festivals like Pongal.
They celebrate our outer world and honor our inner selves simultaneously.
Today is Pongal – a festival we celebrate all over India as we move from winter (and longer nights) into longer days. We worship the Sun God who makes all things possible. We celebrate Pongal/ Sankranthi, in an elborate, meaningful way.
Cleaning up the past, welcoming the future
1. We clean the house, discarding things that are of no use to us anymore. Negative thoughts and behaviors are expunged as we resolve to live a positive life. We are moving away from darkness into light.
2. Along with our friends and family, we celebrate being creators. We draw elaborate Kolams, decorate our houses, and offer fruits and delicacies to God. Our Gods are thanked for a bountiful harvest and Pongal is cooked to a point where it overflows from the pot. We pray for our joys and laughter to overflow throughout the year.
3. Internally, we pledge to be aware of our thoughts, emotions, and deeds. We illuminate ourselves with the light of awareness and meditate on our inner Shakthi. When she overflows, we transcend into divinity.
Gratitude and Festivities
4. On the next day, we honor the instruments that give us our living. For farmers, it’s their plows and their livestock. For you, it may be your laptop. We similarly have agents to honor in the inner world – our 5 senses (smell, touch, sight, hear, taste), mind, and intellect. It is through these that we experience the world. Honouring is a first step to transcending – you’ll notice that great revelations start from gratitude,
5. We then finally head to the great outdoors and spend a happy day with our families and friends. It’s a fitting end to a beautiful festival. For the spiritual seeker, it’s Sathsang – a day of celebration with people on a similar path.
The festival allows you to celebrate living in harmony with the world around us. There’s no preaching here, only gratitude towards all of mother nature. We honor nature and her seasons, life ecosystems, and the God principle in each of us. And we wish that we all prosper and grow like an overflowing pot of goodness. Can you better that?