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Showing posts from March 14, 2008


Dolyatra, or Dolotsav, is popularly referred as the Holi of Bengal and it is celebrated on the full moon day in the Bengali month of Phalgun. Since the festival takes place in the spring season, it is also known as Basant Utsav or Vasant Utsav.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna expressed his love to Radha on the full moon night on Dolyatra day. One of the most famous paintings of Radha and Krishna is the one on the full moon night during spring.
Just as in Holi, Dolyatra is celebrated with colors. The festival begins by paying respect to the dead ancestors. People put small amount of colored powder (phaag) on the pictures of photos of dead ancestors. Next they take the blessing of elders by offering some color on the feet. Elders bless youngsters by putting some color on the forehead. The subdued celebration ends at home and then people venture into the streets and throws colors on everyone on the street.
All people, irrespective of age and social status participate in the festival. …

Mataji Vanamali on the Hindu Concept of Mother Goddess

The first word uttered by the human infant is ‘Maa’. Our first relationship with the world is through the mother. She is the embodiment of love, tenderness, security and comfort and the source of all nourishment. To the infant she is indeed God. To transfer this concept to a Cosmic Being who is the Mother of all, who nurtures and cares for all was but a step which all the ancient cultures took. Therefore the concept of the divine as the Mother is as old as life itself. She is the eternal womb of all creatures, human, animal and sub-human. Whenever you see maternal love, in a bird or animal or human being, know it to be but a reflection of the Divine Mother’s love for her creation. She is the one who has given us birth but she is also the one who can free us from this mundane existence.

In her transcendental aspect she is Para Brahma Swaroopini or the form of the Para Brahman or the Absolute. They cannot exist separately, like the dynamo and the battery which charges it, one cannot exis…