Thursday, Feb 20 2020
(Talk given on 14th January 2008)
My humble pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Sairam uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters.
My name is Supriya and I am from Group 3. I am here to talk about a very joyous festival that begins today, the 14th of January. Any guesses on what festival this is?
Yes, it is Pongal, the Harvest festival. I mentioned that it begins today, as it is celebrated on three consecutive days.
This festival is also known as Lohri in Punjab, Utarayan in Gujarat & Rajasthan and Sankranthi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Makara Sankranthi is the day when the Sun God begins to enter the Northern Hemisphere.
The famous Gayathri Mantra which is chanted by us is directed to Sun – God to bless us with intelligence & wisdom.
Pongal is a festival mainly celebrated by the South Indians. It is the time when farmers express their gratitude to the Gods, the earth and their cattle for giving them a good harvest that year. This festival is celebrated over 3 days, with each day having its own significance.
The first day of Pongal is Bhogi Pongal. This day is celebrated in honour of Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of the Devas. On this day, a huge fire is lit using old and useless household articles . This is to symbolise how we should also discard the old and negative thoughts that are of no use to us anymore and replace them with positive and good thoughts.
The second day of Pongal is the main day of the festival. This is Surya Pongal, dedicated to Lord Surya, the bestower of Light to the entire Universe. On this day, the entire family will gather outside the house and cook 'pongal', the sweet rice dish in huge clay pots. Juicy sugarcanes are also eaten in abundance on this day.
The third day of Pongal is Maatu pongal, a day dedicated to the animals and birds. Cattle are very important to a farmer as the bulls help with ploughing the fields and the cows provide milk. Thus the farmers celebrate this day as thanks-giving to the cattle which work so hard all year long. The cattle are given a good bath, their horns are painted with bright colours
On the same day as Maatu pongal, the women of South India celebrate Kaanum pongal, for the welfare of their relatives.
Dear everyone, I thank for the opportunity given to me to speak . When I was given this topic I only knew that Pongal, is a dish to relish eating. I now know the inner significance of this festival.
Jai Sai Ram
SSEHV Group 3