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Lunar Winter Solstice Celebration

Yesterday was a day of rest and getting things ready for the coming days of the seminar. At noon time Sri Kumar came to the Retreat Centre and invited us to come to his house in the afternoon for a ceremony of blessing the children, evening prayer and dinner.We assembled in the garden of his house at Radhamadhavam, which had been covered by a canopy. A festive mood was in the air, while the talks went on. After evening prayer chairs were arranged and the smaller children seated on them. Kumari Garu, the wife of Sri Kumar, and some other ladies started blessing the children by pouring flowers and a little brown fruit over their heads. Then the ladies of the group were invited to bless the children (this ceremony was only for the ladies…). This blessing was followed by waving a camphor light before the children, singing some song.


Afterwards Sri Kumar explained the meaning of the ceremony: “According to the lunar calendar the sunrise tomorrow is the beginning of the winter solstice. Therefore this evening is already marked as the conclusion of the darkness of the night and the beginning of the light of the day. The darkness is now receding… The equinoxes are the days when the sun crosses the equator, and you have equal day and night on the equator, two times a year, once around 20th of March and then around 22nd of September. Day and night are equal. When they are equal, the soul is in its best state, equidistant to matter and to spirit. At summer solstice the day is big and the night small, this is not a state of yoga. At winter solstice the night is far bigger than the day. This is also not a state of yoga. From summer solstice, when the day is very long, the day slowly decreases until it is equal to the night, on 22nd of September… When they are equal, they agree in each other, matter-spirit equal. Then there is what is called in the scriptures synthesis, neither spirit nor matter dominates, neither female nor male dominates. The lady in us is the material energy. The lady is not the woman in the scriptures. Man means human, not male. More spirit or matter is not good. When day is too strong, night comes, when night is too strong, day comes. That is what is happening tomorrow according to the lunar calendar. According to the solar calendar it is December 21st. In India we use both calendars.

The soul now starts rising and then dominates the personality: a soul-infused personality. The personality is made small and the soul big. The ritual done to the children is to see that the soul grows, not the personality.” There is a Vedic story about it, which is told on this day, which you find enclosed as a comment. For the children the blessing is done so that the soul grows in the right way.

Afterwards a delicious dinner was served. Then a firework lighted the scene: The group members rejoiced waving sparklers, and Bengal lights flickered all over the garden veranda.


One Response to “Lunar Winter Solstice Celebration”

  1. Flowers on the Wayside Says:

    The Story of the Vamana Avatar, told at Winter Solstice:

    “There is a diabolic, he grows and grows. He grows by one virtue called giving. We also grow by giving, and he slowly grows because the king of the diabolics continues to give and conquers the kingdom of the Devas and the kingdom of man, because by one virtue he has grown so much. He became a very strong personality. He conquered the king celestial and took his throne. The king went to the supreme Lord and said that he cannot conquer the diabolic, because he is so strong. Then the Lord said, he will set it right.
    The Lord liked the diabolic because of his virtue of giving, but also saw that it is not right to occupy earth and heaven. He said: “I will set it right.” He takes the form of a seven years old boy, very beautiful, attractive. He went to the city of the diabolic king. The king is giving, it is his daily activity. And this boy taught about the Vedas. He attracted many when he taught. The king sees that the people were attracted to something else and he inquired what is happening. Someone told him that a very beautiful boy is teaching wisdom.
    The king got interested and said, “Bring the boy.” The boy came. The king could not see him because of the many people, but he could see where the boy was, so he got attracted. The boy made himself felt. He was brought to the king. The king was surprised seeing the beauty of the child – a small boy attracting the whole crowd. The king was deeply pleased and asked the boy, “What is your name?” The boy said, “I have no name. The people call me by many names.” The King was surprised and asked, “Who are your parents?” The boy said, “As far as I know, I have not parents.” The king thought, no parents, no name; maybe the parents abandoned the child. Then the king asked, “What is your address, where do you stay?” the boy replied, “I have no address, I stay at no particular place, all places are mine, all addresses are mine.” The boy has nothing, but he has wisdom. The king asked the boy, “What do you want?” The boy said, “I don’t want anything.” – “You don’t want anything?” – “Why should I have wants? I am a content person. I therefore don’t have wants, therefore I am happy. In all these three worlds I don’t want anything.” Then the king said, “No, no, you need something, you need some land, some cattle, some riches.” – “Why should I have them, I’m happy.” – “I would like to give you, please ask something.” – “If you want to give, you have a want. Because you want to give, I oblige you, otherwise I don’t want anything from you.” The king understood that he is in the state of wanting to give and the boy is giving permission to him to give him. Psychologically the situation turned. The king said, “Yes, I have a want, I think I get happiness when I give you. Today I feel if I give you even a small gift, I will be happy. There is no one equal to you in the universe.” He understood that the boy was not a normal boy. Even the king celestial cannot be like this, he cannot be without wants. He wants his kingdom. If the celestial king would have begged the diabolic, he would have got back his kingdom, but he could not beg, he has to defeat the diabolic king in a war. But the boy was greater than the king celestial, and the diabolic king had the feeling that the boy must be the Lord, because the Lord is the giver. But the truth is, the Lord is the giver and he, the diabolic, is not the giver to the Lord. The king felt, it’s o.k. So he accepted that the other is the giver and receiver. He said, “I understand the situation and still I want to give you.” – “Are you sure?” – “Yes, I’m sure. I have everything, so I can give you.” – “In that case, give me three feet of land.” – “Only three feet?” The king thought, “”It is so small, you can ask for the whole earth and heaven, it is all with me.” The boy said, “No, I’m happy with three feet, but according to my feet.”
    Then the king’s receptor / teacher knew who the boy was. The teacher was Venus, called Sukra Acharya – the lord of all subtle magic. He holds the secret of air. He said, “My king, you are in a great danger, don’t give him three feet of lang.” The king said, “Whoever he is, I want to give.” The teacher said, “He is no other than the Lord and he will take away all from you.” – “If he is the Lord to come to me, I have nothing to fear. I don’t care, whatever he does with me.”
    Then the king proceeded to the giving. From a container of water the water flows into the hands to the receiver. In this process the teacher obstructed the flow. The boy said, “something is obstructing, let me clear it.” He took a piece of grass and cleared away the obstructions, and the teacher saw he should not obstruct. Then the king said, “Take the tree feet according to your measure.”
    The boy said, “Thank you”, and grows enormously. One foot covers all the material world, the second foot covered all the celestial world. Then the Lord said, “Where is place for the third foot?” the king said, “Please keep your foot on my head, take my head also.” Then the king said, “I’m not the giver, you are the giver. I thought that I am the best giver, but you are the giver of everything. I give my body and mind and everything. I cannot grow beyond your giving. Please put your foot on my head.” So the Lord put his foot on the head. This was magic for the king. The Lord said, “How is it now?” – “It is the best in my life. I am loosing my being in you, you are filling me with your touch. I am no more I am. THAT I am.” Hen the Lord said, “I wish you to return to the infernal world.” The king said, “No problem, as long as I am in touch with you.”
    As the Lord was about to do it, the lady said, “What has my husband done that you punish him like this?” The king said, “I am not punished. I a overwhelmed with joy, anything is just nothing without his touch. This touch is worth the whole universe. Join me, wherever the Lord wants me.” So the Lord said, “Shall I push him?” The queen said, “Let me be with him.” So both are in the infernal world and rule that kingdom.
    That is the story told today, however great the personality might be, as long as it doesn’t join the super-soul, it is nothing. The soul is joining the super-soul. The Personality is joining the soul, the soul then joins the super-soul; that should be the order. The ignorance of the personality gives rise to the soul; that is what is happening tomorrow according to the lunar calendar. According to the solar calendar it is happening from 22nd of December onwards. The soul rises for 90 days and reaches its height at Aries. So the story is told today to the people so see that in 90 days the soul dominates the personality.
    From the head you can pass over to higher realms, it is the pass-over. So this time of the year gives us the possibility to rise. This is traditionally narrated today so that the aspirants to rise to the soul, the story of Vamana the dwarf. He comes as a dwarf and then grows to the full dimension, to the planetary sun, then the solar sun and the cosmic sun, and the Lord is beyond. In all dimensions the soul grows. That is the story.
    For the children we do the blessing that the soul grows in the right way. So we have to study by developing virtues. We cannot grow just by feeling we are great. The soul is greater than the personality. The foot of the Divine is bigger than the being. The Lord has put him in the right place and gives the celestial kingdom to the celestial king and the earthly kingdoms to the respective ruler. Thank you for your patient listening.”
    Sri Kumar (my notes, might contain mistakes.)

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