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Phagwah (Holi) messages to Guyanese people

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Today is the day that our Hindu brothers and sisters celebrate the triumph of good over evil. We at Kaieteur News fully embrace this noble celebration and pray that good will continue to prevail over our dear land. A Happy HOLI to all of Guyana!

Below are some messages in commemoration of 2016 observance of Phagwah Day.

DR. VINDHYA V. PERSAUD, PRESIDENT OF THE GUYANA HINDU DHARMIC SABHA
Holi or Phagwah is a unique and colourful Hindu festival.  It is possesses an unparalleled social dimension which is conducive to reunion, exchanges and togetherness in an atmosphere of absolute cordiality.

The social aspect of Holi does not in any way obscure its rich spiritual values and message of resistance to evil, which were demonstrated in the life of the devoted Prince Prahalad.

Phagwah is the loveliest of our festivals and is celebrated in an atmosphere of absolute equality.  Every barrier is removed and celebrants are virtually lost in the pomp and gaiety, which HOLI brings. Our celebration must match this beautiful season and all unhealthy practices which mar and pollute this unique and colourful festival must cease.  Drenching each other with water, dumping each other in trenches and dabbing noxious substances must be stamped out. Phagwah must only be played with persons who are desirous of doing so.  Celebrate and do so happily but do remember the significance of the festival which sends a clear signal of respect for human rights so bravely fought for and won by Prahalad.

Let us recapture the ancient feeling which permeates at HOLI time, and syringe it through our veins so that hate, greed, deceit and injustice which manifestly exist in today’s world can be consumed in the pyre, which is kindled and reduced to ashes on the eve of this meaningful festival, which is a harbinger of love, unity, equality, justice and peace.

May the significance of HOLI  influence and enrich your thoughts and inspire all to contribute to a fair and just system in which there exists not only equality but plenty and abundance for all.

GUYANA PANDITS’ COUNCIL – SPIRITUAL HEAD OF RADHA KRISHNA MANDIR
Phagwah or Holi is the festival of Spring. The Festival of Phagwah commemorates the regeneration of Nature from her slumber. This unique Festival found its way on these shores with the arrival of Hindus from India as Indentured Labours. Hindus after traversing thousands of miles from India brought to Guyana their many festivals among which Phagwah has a special place. The significance of Phagwah is manifold. It is a time of Gaiety, splendour and pomp when nature is converted into a beautiful garden full of colours.

The religious aspect of Phagwah gives to mankind the reassurance that evil doers, perpetrators of unholy acts, architects of injustices, and those associated with such actions are inevitably doomed to failure and extinction. In the story of Phagwah there is evidence that the dark forces of evil is eventually conquered by the forces of truth. The symbol of the burning of Holika serves to reinforce that no matter what, once our intentions and actions are malicious, the results will always remain destructive. Sowing evil will result in degeneracy and decay — wrong-doers will be punished in order to change.

Let us allow this festival to be a binding force among us Guyanese and stamp out differences and spread the message of peace and goodwill which Holi brings.

VIRAAT SABHAA GUYANA
Holi or Phagwah is a seasonal festival which predates the Vedic era. From remote antiquity, this festival was celebrated with great pomp and joy by all cross section of the Hindu community.

Phagwah symbolizes the freedom from confinement in every regard. It is a time when nature exhibits its beauty with the introduction of the spring season. With the advent of spring, Life blooms in every kingdom. The plants, animals, birds and human welcome and celebrate the freedom influenced Mother Nature’s hospitality.

The season offers many opportunities for human reflection. Every human being should aspire to be a product of Liberation. In simple, man should recognize he is more a product of divinity rather than sin. Liberation, the high point of the Hindu Life can only be achieved when the divine inherent potentialities in the individual is explored and exploited to its fullest extent. The capacity for such an exploration solely depends on the discriminate power of the aspirant i.e. to be loyal to our conscience rather than be a slave to our minds and senses.
Phagwah also sends the message of integration and cohesion. The multi colours associated with the festival is a clear testimony of varieties adding to nature’s beauty.

Holi is also a time for sharing. It is a time when farmers and peasant celebrate the harvesting of their crops and at the same time, indulge in Yagnas and Pujas, thanking God for his benedictions and also securing blessings for their future crops. Basant, therefore, sends a universal message, which has the potentialities to remove hopelessness and reinstate confidence.

May all be blessed through the significance of the festival.
The Viraat Sabhaa Guyana extends Holi greetings to all Guyanese.

INDIAN ARRIVAL COMMITTEE (IAC)
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) extends Phagwah (Holi) greetings to all the citizens
Of Guyana, especially those who are guided by the philosophical teachings of Sanatan Dharma.

Phagwah or Holi is a festival of Bharat (India) that has its roots in antiquity and celebrate the coming of a new spring season, the drawing of a new year and the Triumph of good over evil exuberance of this festival reflects the collective hope of people for progress, prosperity and the concomitant betterment of their lives.

This festival of renewal most likely pre-dated the Sarasvati Valley Civilisation, the
World’s first significant civilization which flourish between 5000 BCE and 2600 BCE
And sir Krishna of Mahabharat frame.

Even though the culture landscape in Bharat had change from time to time from the
Introduction of the Negroids followed by the Proto- Australoids,  Dravidians, Mongoloids,
Caucasians, Persians, Greeks, Shakas, Kushanas, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mughals
and Europeans, the festival of Holi emerged, survived and flourished in Bharat, the world’s
first melting pots.

Holi was brought to British Guiana by Hindus who arrived here as indentured labourers to work on sugar plantations 177years ago and was sustained by the majority of approximately 239,000 Bharatiyas who arrived on these shores between 1838 and 1917.

Phagwah was transplanted from a large sub-continent, characterize by the four season of spring, summer, autumn and winter, to Guyana a small South American land of dry and rainy
seasons and even though global warming is creating climatic havoc, the symbolism of Holi
must not be lost.

IAC, therefore, calls upon all the citizen of this multi-cultural land of Guyana to regard the great festival of Phagwah or Holi, which celebrate life and hopes regardless of demography or geography, always as a focus for national unity.

PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM (PNCR)
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) expresses Holi Greetings to the Hindu Community in Guyana in particular, and Guyanese in general, on the auspicious occasion of the celebration of the Festival of Phagwah in Guyana.

Guyana is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. Our diversity is an asset not a liability. We are proud to belong to a country of many faiths. We are proud of the mosaic of ethnicities within our country.

As we celebrate this beautiful festival we pray for greater trust and cooperation between our communities. We pray for happy families and households. We pray for better interpersonal relationships. We pray, in other words, for social cohesion at all levels of society.

As the celebrated Indian National Kulapati Vani wrote many years ago, ”festivals are gathering for refreshing spirit and enjoying life.” We urge all Guyanese to use this occasion of Phagwah to refresh their spirit and enjoy life, and to participate fully in this colourful festival and enjoy the rich elements of our religious and cultural diversity.

PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY (PPP)
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) extends warm greetings to our Hindu brothers and sisters on the occasion of Phagwah which is being observed today.

Phagwah, also known as the Festival of Colours, provides that unique opportunity for people from all walks of life to reach out to each other through worship and exchange of water and powder.

This is indeed an auspicious moment in the Hindu calendar as it serves to highlight the universal lessons of the triumph of good over evil and justice over injustice.

Phagwah is today a national festival which is embraced and celebrated not only by the Hindu community but by people from all across the ethnic and cultural spectrum of Guyana. This is testimony of our maturity as a people and our capacity to appreciate and tolerate religious and cultural diversity.

The PPP takes this opportunity to call on all Hindus to guard against those with hidden agendas who seek to divide the Hindu community out of selfish and partisan interests. Such attempts which belonged to a bygone era must be rejected   since it has the potential to undermine the very fundamentals of Hinduism.

The PPP joins with the rest of the Guyanese people especially the Hindu community in celebration of this joyous festival of Phagwah.

GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION (GAWU)
The festival of Holi – popularly known as Phagwah – is once again upon us. In Guyana, this festival is now a fixture in the country’s calendar of holidays.  While this festival is of Hindu origin and celebrated by the Hindus primarily, today’s Holi festivities attract, increasingly, non-Hindus in Guyana and elsewhere in the world.

We are drawn to Holi’s colourful expressions and the exuberance and joy that electrify the celebrations everywhere. But, Holi’s significance lies also in the embrace of life’s many positive values which provides sustenance to the human existence. Over the years, Holi has come to be seen as an enduring reminder of the triumph of good over evil.

This inspiring message where ‘good’ is promoted and embraced is as relevant as ever today. Around us, these days, are many evil-doers of various stripes and many injustices which seem to be growing rather than diminishing. As life’s burdens grow heavier for the masses, and new threats hang over their heads, the message of Holi gives us hope, strengthens our faith that wrongs can be overcome, and imbue us with the courage to go on in the face of adversities and triumph.

At this time, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) takes pleasure in wishing all Hindus, indeed all Guyanese a Happy Holi 2016. That fact that this Holi festival appeals to a cross sector of our diverse religious and cultural makeup is significant. Any event that can promote togetherness and tolerance should be encouraged. In the circumstances of today, our unity to overcome injustices and so on to a joyful and bright future is essential.

MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS OF THE CITY OF GEORGETOWN
Joyous Phagwah greetings to all our Hindu brothers and sisters, and more so to all Guyanese. Phagwah is a very special occasion in the Hindu calendar of events.

Indeed, the significance of Phagwah is dichotomous; it secular significance lies in the advent of spring and its religious significance is premised on the importance of good prevailing over evil.

Phagwah alludes to important life principles such as; love, purity of heart and spirit and the attitude of giving.

It is our sincere hope that as we celebrate this occasion, that we would indeed reflect on the importance of our local communities and together we would work to restore the beauty and glory of the aesthetics of our communities.

Also, that every boy, girl, man and woman would embrace the wider vision of making our communities more environmentally friendly so that our children, and the elderly would able to live in communities that would enhance their social, physical, mental and environmental well-being.

May we all embrace the spiritual significance of this occasion and may we resolve that at this juncture that we will strive to renew the bonds of friendship, co-operation and trust that would enable Georgetown to realize that great potential of becoming modern City.

This was first published at www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/

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  • Nikhlesh Gupta

    Nice Article Hey, i found amazing Hd Holi wallpapers,and fb status for Holi – http://goo.gl/kuqGjG

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12 Interesting Facts About Somnath Temple Probably You Didn’t Know

The Somnath Temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot.

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Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Somnath Temple is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode
  • The first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past
  • Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga

Somnath Temple is a specimen of fine architecture of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva. This place is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode, therefore it is dubbed as Eternal Shrine. This legendary temple has been vandalized numerous times in the history but with the help of some Hindu Kings, the temple was reshaped each time.

Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. The temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot. Lord Shiva has a strong connection here and also known as shrine eternal.

Somnath Temple History

According to popular tradition, the first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past. The second temple has been built at the same site by the “Yadava kings” of Vallabhi around 649 CE. In 725 CE, Al-Junayd, the Arab governor of Sindh destroyed the second temple as part of his invasions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 815 CE, the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple, a huge structure of red sandstone.

Also Read: Top 10 Famous Hindu Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Chaulukya (Solanki) king Mularaja possibly built the first temple at the site sometime before 997 CE, even though some historians believe that he may have renovated a smaller earlier temple.

Somnath Temple Attacks

Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga. Ghazni took away the wealth of almost 20 million dinars. As per historical records, the damage to the temple by was quite negligible because there are records of pilgrimages to the temple in 1038, which has no much mention of any damage to the temple.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

But claims are there that Mahmud had killed 50,000 devotees who tried to defend the temple. The temple at the time of Ghazni’s attack appears to have been a wooden structure, which is said to have decayed in time.

According to an inscription of 1169, Kumarapala rebuilt it in “excellent stone and studded it with jewels,”

Also Read: Angkor Wat: History behind Cambodian Hindu temple

Then in 1299, the Somnath Temple was invaded by Alauddin Khalji’s army, led by Ulugh Khan. They defeated the Vaghela king Karna and sacked the Somnath temple. Legends state that the Jalore ruler Kanhadadeva later recovered the Somnath idol and freed the Hindu prisoners, after an attack on the Delhi army near Jalore. However, some other sources state that the idol was taken to Delhi, where it was thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.

The Somnath Temple was rebuilt by Mahipala I, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 and the lingam was installed by his son Khengara sometime between 1331 and 1351.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage.

In 1395, the temple was again destroyed for the third time by Zafar Khan, the last governor of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate and later founder of Gujarat Sultanate.

In 1546, the Portuguese who were based in Goa attacked ports and towns in Gujarat including Somnath Temple and destroyed several of its structures.

Somnath temple to Dwarka

Dwarka is an ancient city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is very near to Somnath temple and due to its relevance to Hindu pilgrimage; people do tend to visit this place also.

Also Read: The Temple of Death: The Abode of Yamraj

The magnificent Temple of Dwarka has an elaborately tiered main shrine, a carved entrance and a black-marble idol of Lord Krishna.

Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons

The road distance between Dwarka and Somnath is 231 km and the aerial distance from Dwarka to Somnath is 210 km. One can also cover the distance through train which is almost 398km distant.

Here are some facts that are attached to this sacred and architecturally marvellous temple.

  1. The present-day Somnath Temple was built in five years, from 1947 to 1951 and was inaugurated by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
  2. Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga, the Philosopher’s stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna. The stone is said to be magical, which was capable of producing gold. It is also believed that stone had alchemic and radioactive properties and thus it remains floating above the ground.
  3. The temple finds its reference in the sacred texts of Hindus like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda. This signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India.
  4. According to records, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the junction of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati. The meeting point was called as Triveni Sangam and is believed to be the place where Soma, the Moon-god bathed and regained his lustre.
  5. According to Swami Gajanand Saraswati (a Hindu scholar), the first temple was built 7, 99, 25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skanda Puran.
  6. The temple is said to be located at such a place that there is no straight-line land between Somnath seashore till Antarctica continent. In a Sanskrit inscription, found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh is stated that the temple stands at a point on the Indian piece of land, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.

    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
  7. According to the text of Skanda Purana, the name of Somnath Temple will change every time the world is reconstructed. It is believed when Lord Brahma will create a new world after ending the one we are living, Somnath will acquire a new name of Pran Nath Temple.
  8. On the walls of Somnath Temple, the sculptures of Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu can be seen.
  9. According to another reference in the Skanda Purana, there are about 6 Brahmas. This is the era of 7thBrahma who is called Shatanand.
  10. The flag mast on the peak of Somnath Temple is 37 feet long and it changes 3 times a day.
  11. The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati.
  12. Non-Hindus doesn’t require any special permission to visit Somnath Temple. The decision was taken in view of security issues.Now, pack your bags and begin your journey to one of the most the sacred places of India.