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"The Ultimate Guide to Hindu Festivals: Books That Illuminate the Rich Cultural Celebrations"


Q1. What are some questions about Hinduism?


Hinduism, also known as the Sanatan Dharma, is the oldest known religion on earth. According to the Vedic scriptures, it has neither a beginning nor an end. Rather, it is the very intrinsic nature of the soul. Many people ask various questions about Hinduism. Some are: What is the main message of Hinduism? Why are there so many Gods in Hinduism? Is Hinduism a religion or a way of life? What does Hinduism say about the real identity of living beings? What is the philosophy behind the four Varnas mentioned in the Vedas?


Q2. What is the central message of the Hindu festival?


Hinduism is full of festivals and celebrations that come throughout the year. The main festivals are Diwali, Holi, Dussehra, Janmashtami, Ram Navami, and many more. All these festivals have one common purpose which is to transform our hearts, free from anger, greed, envy, illusion, and false ego, so that we can remember God at every moment. Dussehra, for example, is celebrated as the day on which Lord Ram killed the demon Ravan in Lanka. Ravan is the personification of the Anarthas (negative tendencies) residing within our hearts. Hence, only when we take the shelter of the Lord, can we be freed from them.

Q3. Which is your favourite Hindu festival?


Among many festivals in Hinduism, my favorite is Balaram Jayanti, the appearance day of the elder brother of Lord Krishna. The Vedic scriptures and the Acharyas mention that there is no difference between Krishna and Balaram. Balaram Ji is the Adi Guru or the original spiritual master and thus, whoever takes His divine shelter, definitely achieves the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna very easily. Balaram Jayanti is celebrated by performing Abhishekam of Krishna-Balaram and the devotees observe fast and perform their Sadhna with love and devotion to please Balaram Ji.


Q4. Which is the biggest & most important festival of Hindu?


Of all the major festivals celebrated in the Hindu community, the most important is the celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. On this day, Lord Ram along with His eternal consort Sita and brother Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after the end of 14 years of exile. For welcoming the Lord with utmost enthusiasm and to please Him, all the inhabitants of Ayodhya, out of their pure love for Him, decorated the entire city with flowers, flags, festoons, and lit ghee lamps. In this remembrance, Hindus celebrate Diwali in the mood to please Lord Ram. They prepare different sweets and offer them to Him.

Q5. Why do Hindus celebrate so many festivals?


Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma is more than a faith or religion. The Vedic scriptures mention different deities (Ganesha, Chandra, Indra, Varuna, Durga, Shiva, etc) and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu or Krishna. They also mention the form, pastimes, and qualities of them all. Festivals in Hinduism are always centered on one or the other deities; celebrating their appearance and pastimes that come throughout the year. Not a single month goes by without celebrating a festival. Therefore, Hindus always get a chance to remember God in one way or the other.


Q6. What is the most important festival in Hinduism?


Hinduism is full of festivals and celebrations that come throughout the year. Most festivals celebrate the form, qualities, and pastimes of the demigods and the Supreme Lord. Other days mark the appearance and disappearance days of the empowered Acharyas such as Madhavacharya, Ramanujacharya, Shankaracharya, Nimbarkacharya, Rupa Goswami, Bhaktivinod Thakur, etc. Out of all the festivals, Diwali is celebrated as the most important festival. On this day, Hindus decorate their homes with lights and flowers, and in the evening, they light up ghee or oil lamps and worship Lord Ram to welcome Him into their homes and hearts.