You should make arrangements for different types of festivity on the occasions of the ceremonial functions of the Marga. Ensure that those who enjoy the celebrations also get thereby healthy opportunities for their physical growth, mental development and spiritual progress.
Among the social functions are:
• Ánanda Púrńimá / Vaeshákhii Púrńimá. [The full-moon day of the month of Vaeshákha. It celebrates the day of Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrtijii’s birth.]
• Shrávańii Púrńimá. [The full-moon day of Shrávána. It celebrates the day of the first initiation given by Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrtijii.]
• Sháradotsava: from the sixth day to the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Áshvina. [Autumn Festival].
• Diipávalii / Kárttikii Amávasyá. [The new moon of Kárttika. As that night is the darkest night of the year, the celebration with fireworks and illumination symbolizes the forces of light or vidyá (knowledge) overcoming the forces of darkness or avidyá (ignorance).]
• Bhrátrdvitiiya: the second day of the bright fortnight of Kárttika. [Brothers’ Day.]
• Navánna: any full-moon day of the season when the major crop of the area is harvested.
• New Year’s Day: the first day of the international-calendar year (i.e., 1st January), and also the first day of the local-calendar year.
• Vasantotsava / Phálgunii Púrńimá. [The full-moon day of Phálguna. Spring Festival.]
Details of Functions:
Ánanda Púrńimá: Collective bath with snána mantra,(11) twice collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, collective noon and night meals, merry celebrations, spiritual conferences, annual meetings of workers, children’s sports, and procession with táńd́ava dance.
Shrávańii Púrńimá: Twice collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, collective noon and night meals, merry celebrations, spiritual conferences, literary meetings, procession with táńd́ava dance in the afternoon.
a. Śaśt́hii (Children’s Day): Once collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, merry celebrations, children’s exhibitions and children’s sport-exhibitions, and collective feasts for children.
b. Saptamii (Public Day – for all those who are not children): Once collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, merry celebrations, youth health exhibitions, and adult sport- and strength-exhibitions.
c. Aśt́amii (Fine Arts Day): Once collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, merry celebrations, literary meetings, and various types of fine-arts exhibitions.
d. Navamii (Music Day): Once collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, merry celebrations, music, instrumental music, and dance competition.
e. Dashamii (Vijayotsava): Procession with music and táńd́ava dance, wearing colourful dress; then collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, salutations and affectionate embraces, etc., and entertaining guests and visitors at one’s residence.
Diipávalii: Once collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, illumination, collective merry celebrations, entertaining visitors at one’s residence, and procession with táńd́ava dance.
Bhrátrdvitiiyá: The brother will receive the blessings and auspicious tilakas of his elder sisters, and salutations, garlands and sandal-paste tilakas from the younger sisters, then accept food.
Mantra: Bhrátá me ciráyurbhavatu [May my brother have a long life]. (Three times.)
Navánna: Performance of Iishvara Prańidhána with and feeding of one invited guest. Collective merry celebration is the chief feature of this function.
New Year’s Day: Collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána both morning and evening, collective merry celebrations, sports and games for all, collective noon and night meals, and procession with táńd́ava dance in the afternoon.
Vasantotsava / Dol: Those of the same age will play with colours and flowers among themselves in the morning of the full-moon day. The youngsters will offer the same at the feet of the elders, and the initiate at the feet of his/her ácárya/á. (But the elders will not offer colours and flowers to the youngsters.)
Then, in the afternoon, all will perform collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána (using áviir [coloured powder] or flowers of colours of their own choice). At the end, all will play among themselves with this áviir or these flowers without distinction between young and old, initiate and ácárya. Do not offer these colours or flowers at anybody’s feet. But if, while people are playing, they do touch anybody’s feet, that should not be considered wrong, in Ánandamúrtijii’s opinion. (Men and women should not exchange colours and flowers with each other.) Finally, there will be a collective meal.
The following day, continue merry celebrations at your residence and have a procession with táńd́ava dance in the afternoon. Continue collective merry celebrations in the evening.
Our social-cum-spiritual functions will be considered part of spiritual life.
• Programmes should be conveniently arranged and adjusted if necessary.
• In relation to Guru Pújá, one should remember that both crude and subtle offerings have equal value. Therefore one should not do anything merely for show.
• In all family celebrations, perform collective Iishvara Prańidhána. Dharmacakra should be arranged in all social functions, and spiritual discourses may also be arranged, according to convenience.