The Importance of Indian Festivals - Making Life a Celebration!
Sadhguru explains the importance of festivals in Indian culture, and how celebration can be a passageway to the most profound aspects of life. Further down is a list of articles about various festivals, where Sadhguru explains the significance of each one of them.
Sadhguru: In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year – 365 festivals in a year – because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. That was the significance and importance of festivals. The whole culture was in a state of celebration. If today was ploughing day, it was a kind of celebration. Tomorrow was planting day, another kind of celebration. Day after tomorrow was weeding, that was a celebration. Harvesting, of course, is still a celebration. But in the last 400 or 500 years, poverty has come to our country, and we have not been able to celebrate every day. People are satisfied if they just get some simple food to eat. So all the festivals fell away and only 30 or 40 festivals remain. We are not even able to celebrate those now because we have to go to the office or do something else daily. So people usually celebrate only around 8 or 10 festivals annually.[/SadhguruImage
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Make life a celebration
Nowadays, unfortunately, a festival means they give you a holiday, and you wake up only at twelve noon. Then you eat a lot and go for a movie or watch television at home. It wasn’t like that earlier. A festival meant the whole town would gather in a place and there would be a big celebration. A festival meant we got up at four in the morning, and very actively, lots of things happened all over the house.
To bring back this culture in people, Isha celebrates four important festivals: Pongal or Makarasankranti, Mahashivratri, Dussehra and Diwali. If we don’t create something like this, by the time the next generation comes, they will not know what a festival is. They will just eat, sleep and grow up without concern for another human being. All these aspects were brought into Indian culture just to keep a man active and enthusiastic in so many ways. The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration.
The Importance of festivals
If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is, if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it. If they think it is not so important, they will become lax about it – they don’t show the necessary involvement. You know, in India when someone says, “He is in a very serious condition,” that means his next step is you know where. A lot of people are in a serious condition. There is only one thing that is going to happen to them which is of any significance. The rest will bypass them because with anything that they think is not serious, they are unable to show involvement and dedication towards that. That is the whole problem. The passage, the secret of life is to see everything with a non-serious eye, but be absolutely involved – like a game. That is the reason the most profound aspects of life are approached in a celebratory way, so that you don’t miss the point.
Sadhguru looks at the significance and science behind the celebration of each individual festival.
Mahashivratri, is perhaps the most important of festivals in India, and offers a powerful possibility for spiritual growth.
Guru Purnima, which falls on the first full moon day after Dakshinayana or the Summer Solstice, honors the Adi Guru or first Guru, Shiva, and marks the day when he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis, his first seven disciples.
The Significance of Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti festival, traditionally seen as a harvest festival is a day when there is a significant movement in the zodiac – the arrangement of the earth’s dial around the sun.
Sadhguru’s Ugadi Message
Ugadi marks the Telugu new year, and also shares its date with new year celebrations in several other parts of the country. Sadhguru looks at the nature of the Indian calendar and explains why this period of the year was chosen as the new year.
The Significance of Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha
Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha is an important occasion when one traditionally honors his or her ancestors. Sadhguru explains the science behind these rituals.
Dussehra – Why Do We Celebrate It?
Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one of the most important Indian festivals. Sadhguru explains how each of the days in this 10-day period are significant, and how they can bring success and victory into our life.
Ayudha Pooja – What Is Its Significance?
Ayudha Pooja, the tradition of worshiping our tools and implements, is a powerful opportunity to bring devotion and reverence into our lives.
Diwali - Life as a Celebration
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time when we can dispel darkness and bring in the light of clarity.
Editor’s Note: If you enjoyed reading about the importance of festivals, take a look at our Indian Culture series.