Sattvic Celebrations during Winter

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When December 15, 2019- January 15, 2020

Winter celebrations serve multiple purposes. For practicing Hindus, winter is a period of intense prayer and celebratory spiritual practices. World over, people usually prefer to stay indoors early in the morning during cold winter days. Devout Hindus wake up early in the morning and spend a short time outdoors. Winter is the time of intense spiritual pursuits. The quality of time, the ecosystem infused with devotion, prepares oneself for their celebrating their higher purpose in life. Spiritual breakthroughs during this time are easier. And every breakthrough we have leads us closer to achieving the purpose of human birth, to become divine.

The winter month is known as Dhanur (in Telugu, Kannada), Margazhi (in Tamil) and Maargasheersha in Sanskrit. The spiritual significance of this month has been known for centuries and various practices are included in the daily routine.

I Brihatsaama tathaa saamnaam gaayatree chandasaamaham I

II Maasaanaam maargasheersho’hamritoonaam kusumaakarah II

–Srimad Bhagavad Gita 10.35

Meaning: Of the vedic hymns, I am the Brihat sama (of Sama Veda). Of the mantras, I am the Gayathri Mantra. Of the months, I am Margashirsha, of the seasons, I am the Kusuma (Spring – flowery season).

In the Hindu calendar, the month of margazhi begins from Sukla Ekadashi to Makara Sankranti. Everyone in the family participates in the spiritual routine. People wake up during Bramhamuhurta (4-am to 6 am) and shower. Men and boys join devotional signing- Nagarasankirtanam- and go around the streets signing the divine names. Women wash the doorsteps and make grand kolams or rangoli.

Photo courtesy: Geetha Krishnamurthy

Folks in at home, the elderly, the women and children, welcome the singers by circumambulating the singers of divine names as representatives of Devas, the gods visiting them from their abodes. Imagine the depth of devotion of the devotees when they constantly experience the compassion of divine in visiting the homes of people so early in the morning and blessing everyone. That feeling of fulfillment is infused in every thought and deed throughout the day developing their non-violent ways to enjoy life, sattvic ananda.

The leela dhyanam, remembrance of experiences of the devotees, makes the days sweeter. The divine comes to the assistance of devotees in many ways. As a servant, as an object, as a help, and even as a miracle. This daily interaction and intervention provides people innumerable opportunities to experience the divine. Ultimately, it leads the way to living everyday with divinity in every interactions. Every day, special prasadam is offered to the divine. Major festival during this month are Vaikunda Ekadashi for Mahavishnu. Every moment of the day, from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, every daily activity can be infused with intense devotion and love. Being devoted to the task and infusing the love to the task itself means we pay more attention to the details. One of the greatest benefit of devotion is the richness and treasures life can opens up. Just by remembrance of someone we love can propel our state to a higher frequency. Constant remembrance keeps us longer in a profound joyful mental state. And that state is the biggest benefit of sattvic ananda.

Living sattva’s blog posts, Sattva Tattva will feature many wonderful facets of sattvic ananda as they happen in households. Join us on this journey of discovery of riches and treasures. Try our recipes. Try your hand at making kolams. Join the month long winter celebrations and the experience joy, miracle, and blessing of being alive at this incredible moment of time on Earth.

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