My diaries on introspection 14102008

I have written a previous post about the importance of systematic and consistent habits in my life. I would like to take this forward in a different thread.

It is common knowledge that we have a lot of festivals. For that matter India is a country with a lot of festivals and this is multiplied by the fact that different sects in India have different dates for an event which has the same cultural explanation to it.

The thing is that these festivals have a very practical significance which bears relevance to habit making. Most of the festivals emphasise on remembrance of concepts like ‘good over evil’, ‘repentance’ and ‘fresh beginning’. an example of event which would fall in the first ctaegory would be ‘Diwali’, that of the second category would be ‘Sabarimala pilgrimage’ and that of the third category would be ‘new year celebrations’.

The reason why I am quoting these examples would be the fact that they repeat once in a year and to me they are more like the reminders that we have in our outlook calendar. They are spiritual reminders which have very interesting significance. The festivals in the first category seem to be pusing us in the direction of ‘supposed’ socially good practises. The festivals in the second category seem to give us a chance to make ado for what is ‘supposed’ socially unacceptable practises through activities which esentiallly focus on controlling the senses/ immediate gratification. While the festivals which fall in the third category are meant to help us tide over crises. 

Let me digress for a brief moment and talk about habits now. It is common knowledge that we are a bundle of habits. Given that we took atleast 20 odd years to mould ourselves, we cannot bid to change ourselves overnight. It will take time and the path to work on our habits will be a path strewn with obstacles and personal set-backs. the moot point is to never lose heart in this personal and emotional journey.

Now come back to festivals and particularly those of the third category and it is easy to realise that they help when there are repeated failures when we work on ourselves and our habits. When all is else is lost, the best to do would be toi forget the past and open a fresh chapter in life. This, I believe is a very interesting way to look at festivals in our country.

The festivals are meant to remind us of such concepts to egg us forward on our spiritual journey. But things seem very different in the popular space with commercial elements and abject superstition taking the place of reason. Think about it the nect time you celebrate a festival. It really adds a spin to something which you might have been doing mechanically for all your life.



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