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Phagwah brings the human hearts together

By admin / Posted on 31 August 2010

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On the ancient festival of Phagwah I would like to extend best wishes to all our sponsors, supporters, contributors, caregivers, our Hindu brothers and sisters, the Government and people of Guyana and to all our Guyanese friends around the world on behalf of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc. Humanitarian Mission. May this important festival in our Hindu culture bring you and your family lots of joy, happiness, and comfort. My hope and wish is in the high spirit of togetherness and harmony, which is so conspicuous during this celebration, this tradition will live on and become a prominent feature in the life of our nation and in every human heart.

Phagwah (Holi) coincides with the arrival of spring in the month of March and is considered to be a Spring Festival; most of the celebrations centre around the joys and birth of a new season and the death of a cold harsh winter.

The burning of Holika is a very important aspect in the celebration of Phagwah. We ask God to burn all traces of impurities that exist within the chemistry of our personality; anger, creed, hatred, jealousy, malice etc; and allow us to move forward, free from traits that destroy us, hinder the progress in our society, and prevent us from moving forward. The story of Prince Prahalad should be a source of strength for all especially his ability to confront challenges.

Phagwah itself takes on such nuances that bring out the more virtuous aspects of one’s personality. There is nothing latent in Holi that makes it any better than other festive days; it is just that people have imbued Holi with the germ of reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, tolerance and other similar noble attitudes, that the festival simply works in bringing together families or friends that have been apart, and mends discontentment among societal members who have had disagreements. It is the time when many dreams can be fulfilled, when depression could yield positive thoughts and when sadness could yield joy. Our families, neighbours, and fellow citizens could enjoy the atmosphere created if we all recognize the symbolisms associated with this festival.

Phagwah in Guyana and around the world brings every human heart together in a very colourful and festive celebration. It is another occasion for the sharing of joy, love and renewed friendship. The celebrations do accentuate oneness. Therefore as leaders of various organizations let us all be reminded of the story of Bhakta Prahalad and his father Hiranyakashyapu; remind us of the virtue of being steadfast to one’s belief and courage to pursue duty. It encourages us not to use our energies and resources to project or encourage evil.

Take a look at the skies; billions of stars exist as one happy family in the solar system. We never see them fighting and shedding each other’s blood. Then take a look at men, son of the Earth, how low he has fallen – he has robbed others of their happiness and taken innocent lives. The time has come for our leaders, political or spiritual; to relinquish self-interest and work together for harmony and in the best interest of our people.

Every Phagwah, as families unite and as friends get together, we observe with oneness and joy in which all Guyanese socialize harmoniously together in oneness regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. Phagwah being an important Hindu festival is universally celebrated and helps us to appreciate the innate value and importance of human relations, across religions, class or political affiliation.

We all hear the same sounds, we see the same sky, we cry the same tears, our feelings and emotions are the same. All mothers are sisters. All fathers are brothers. All children are one. Yet there is so much hate. There is violence. There is intolerance. There is confusion among our own people. We don’t try hard enough to understand each other. We don’t seem to realize we all have the same basic needs, no matter who we are or what part of the world are we from. We must understand our differences and celebrate our similarities. We must make the world a better place; where love and true friendship dominate our hearts. Equality, respect, compassion and kindness must direct our actions. Only then will we be able to live the life we choose with love and peace, so as we celebrate once again let us all be reminded of this.

At this time of celebration I ask you to join with me as my thoughts are also with the less fortunate children and seniors, the sick and lonely in our nation and around the world. I see and read about so many wonderful demonstrations of human kindness, love and compassion to the less fortunate, that it convinces me that we are a caring people and that because of these wonderful human values we share, we shall be able to collectively respond to the cries and needs of those in want.

PANDIT SURESH SUGRIM,
President, New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir Inc. Humanitarian Mission

 

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