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Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day: Let us not confine it to one day only

For Hindus everyday is Father’s Day as for us, Pitru Devo Bhav.

We worship three father figures and pay our utmost respect to them.

We start our day by paying of our respect to Para Brahma the Eternal Creator and Father of this universe, and the genetic father who gives us this precious life.

Trinity, the three forms of Ultimate (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) are also father figures.

Hindus begin their day by saluting these special figures for their blessings, love and protection.

The fundamental idea behind this is to strengthen the parental bond by paying reverence to our fathers.

Firstly, our humble gratitude goes to Brahma who is the creator of the universe and of all beings, as depicted in the Hindu cosmology.

Brahma is considered the father of the Vedas, the oldest and the holiest of Hindu scriptures and Hindu dharma.

Brahma exist more in scriptures in the form of a supreme power and treasure of knowledge and rays of enlightenment.

Brahma presides over ‘Brahmaloka,’ a universe that contains all the splendors of the earth and all other worlds.

He is the “unchanging reality.”

He is described as infinite, serene, invisible, imperishable, immutable, formless, one and eternal.

He is in our hears rather than in homes and temples.

In fact it is hard to find a temple dedicated to Brahma in India.

Although Brahma is one of the Trinity, his popularity is no match to that of Vishnu and Shiva.

One such temple is located in Pushkar in Rajasthan
Secondly, every early morning, we pay our salutation to Surya “the Supreme Light” also known as Adithya or Phra Athiti.

It is the chief solar deity in Hinduism.

Surya is the chief of the Navagraha, the nine Indian Classical planets and important elements of Hindu astrology.

Surya is also worshipped with most reverence for its life nourishing properties.

The sun is important to all of us because it supplies us with light and heat and is the main source of energy on our planet.

The sun’s gravitational pull is what holds the earth and all the other planets together.

He is living in our hearts, homes and temples and taking care of us.

Father’s Day was created to complement Mother’s Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood.

Father’s Day is celebrated for over 100 years in the present Yuga.

This is celebrated in many countries around the world, although at different times of the year.

In North America and the United Kingdom, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

It is a celebration honoring fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days.

Father’s Day is an occasion to express gratitude towards your dad for all his love and support.

How to ride a bike, how to throw a baseball, how to drive a car.

Dads never get enough credit for all that they’ve taught us.

This Father’s Day thank Dad with a lunch or dinner on board the Napa Valley Wine Train.

The concept of celebrating Father’s Day is very new in India and has been imported from Western countries mainly US, perhaps less than a decade ago.

However, it is remarkable to note that the idea of observing a day in honor of fathers has been appreciated by Indians to a large extent.

Today, millions of people in India observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June by expressing gratitude for their father or men who they revere as father figures.

The practice to celebrate Father’s Day in India is quite new and can be witnessed only in metropolitan cities due to the influence of Western culture.

People always opt for various innovative ways to observe this special day and express their gratitude to their fathers.

Sending Father’s Day greetings cards and Father’s Day gifts are some of the popular trends to celebrate the event.

To observe the day several organizations and cultural societies also organize Father’s Day-themed cultural programs.

Remembering Famous Fathers in Hinduism on Fathers Day

Indian History is replete with father characters who influenced the course of history.

On the occasion of Father’s Day, now being celebrated not only in the West but in India as well, I wish to recall some of these fathers who gave a lesson for humanity for times to come.

Dasharath

The Indian epic Ramayana portrays Raja Dasharath of Ayodhya as a father who is forced to be separated from his beloved son because of having erroneously separated another son from his father, after he shot him down, believing him to be an elephant drinking water at a river.

The rest is history.

Circumstances arise, forcing him to send his son, Prince Ram, to exile, a wish that his obedient son fulfils willingly.

Yayati

The Mahabharata tells the story of King Yayati.

When his father-in-law, sage Shukracharya, hears of his secret second marriage, he curses him to premature old age. Horrified, Yayati pleads mercy.

The sage allows him to regain his youth, provided there is someone willing to exchange his youth with him – an impossible task. Indeed, Yayati’s obedient son Puru agrees to exchange his youth with his old father.

Yayati tastes the pleasures of youth once again, till he is totally satiated and then returns it to his son, saying there is no end to human desires – the more you fan them, the more they grow.

The story is also symbolic of the younger generation totally submitting to the wishes of the older generation.

The three Fathers of Lakshmi

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, apparently has not one but three fathers.

Varuna, god of sea, Puloman, Asura of Patal, and Bhrigu, the sage who can see the future and bring fortune.

Varuna gives Lakshmi away freely without resentment and so is blessed with abundance.

Puloman resists giving away Lakshmi and keeps fighting with the Devas, who want to make Lakshmi their queen.

Bhrigu rarely shares his secret and very selectively parts with his daughter.

That is why for most humans Varuna is a generous god, worthy of worship, while Puloman is a demon and Bhrigu is the guru of demons.

Krishna 

Yes, Krishna was also a father, although most people know him on his own merit as one of the most charismatic avatars of Maha Vishnu.

Krishna had 80 sons and 8 daughters from his eight prime queens.

His most famous son is Pradyumna.

Once, the asura Nikumbha abducted a Yadava princess named Bhanumati.

The asura assumed the form of a giant bird and held the helpless female in his talons, darting across the skies.

Krishna – along with Pradyumna – mounted a rescue effort by shooting arrows at him.

Shiva

Shiva, as the father of Ganesha and Kartikeya, once found himself in a fix.

Each son wanted to get married first.

At last, Shiva said: Whoever travels to the ends of the earth and comes back first, will be married first.

Kartikeya set out on his journey on a peacock.

Meanwhile, the pot-bellied Ganesha stayed at home, knowing that he could not keep up with his energetic brother.

He then cleverly decided to simply circle his mother Parvati seven times, then claimed that he had gone around the world seven times.

Shiva was forced to accept his son’s logic.

Manu

Manu is considered the father of humanity.

He saved mankind from the great flood with the help of a divine boat and Matsya, Vishnu’s avatar as a giant fish.

Hiranyakashipu

Hiranyakashipu was Prahlada’s father and he swore to kill his own son because he chose to be a devotee of Vishnu.

Hiranyakashipu tried everything – from poisoning him, getting him trampled by elephants, putting him in a room full of venomous snakes.

However, Prahlada’s faith paid off, with Vishnu appearing as Narasimha and killing his father.

Indra

Indra, the god of thunder, was Arjuna’s father.

When he appeared as the son of Kuntī, his future greatness was proclaimed by air messages.

Indra invited his son Arjuna to visit Indraloka, his heavenly planet, and there presented him with his vajra weapon.

Chandra

In Hinduism, Chandra is a lunar deity as well as a graha.

Chandra is also identified with Soma, the Vedic lunar deity.

Chandra is described as young, beautiful, fair, two-armed and having in his hands a club and a lotus.

He rides his chariot across the sky every night, pulled by ten white horses or an antelope.

Chandra is the father of Buddh (planet Mercury).Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day celebration is observed to honour fathers, father-like figures and paternal bonds around the world.

The day is in accordance with Mother’s Day and is observed in the similar fashion.

Children and individuals showcase their love and affection to their fathers and present them with gifts and cards.

Ways to celebrate Father’s Day

The whole idea behind dedicating a particular day for celebrating and honouring Fathers and paternal bond is to showcase love and value and acknowledge contribution one’s father in life.

 Small kids to adults, everyone buys or make something for their fathers to make the day memorable.

The most common ways of celebrating Father’s Day is giving cards and men-oriented gift items like sports gear or fitness kit, video games, electronic gadgets, mobile phones, smart watches, grooming kits.

Giving coffee mugs or t-shirt with the personalized message, necktie, wallet, sunglasses, and books are also common gifts given on the occasions like Father’s Day.

Children also call and message their father on the day and take them to dinner or some trip to share some quality time together.

Father’s Day in the present era

The world is living in a digital age, thus mobile phones, computers, the internet and social media have a profound effect on the way we celebrate our festivals and special days.

Social media platforms and messaging apps are widely used to exchange and send messages on the Father’s Day also.

Children update beautiful status messages, childhood pictures reminiscing about the beautiful time they spent with their father, and so on.

Likewise, online shopping has also seen a rise in recent times, thus online retailers offer big discounts, conduct sales, and launch new products for the occasion of Father’s Day.

History and significance

Historically, day(s) dedicated to fathers and father-like figures either in honour or in commemoration could be traced back to ancient times and has been prevalent in many cultures and religions around the world.

In parts of Europe, especially in countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and others, Saint Joseph’s Day is celebrated as Father’s Day.

In India, Hindus observe ten days rituals in commemoration of deceased forefathers during ‘Pitra-Paksha’.

However, the modern version of Father’s Day was first observed with the efforts of an American woman Sonora Smart Dodd on June 19, 1910.

Her father was an American Civil War veteran and widower who raised six children as a single parent.

Dodd, taking her inspiration from Mother’s Day, began campaigning to establish a holiday in honour of Fathers and their role in the life of children.

The first celebration was held at a church in Spokane, Washington and gradually became a calendar event in America and has since been celebrated on third Sunday of June every year.

With globalization and the increasing influence of western culture, other countries including India also began celebrating the day as well.

In India, Father’s Day is celebrated on third Sunday of June and is mainly observed in metros and other big cities with a substantial population of urban youth.

In India, the day is not declared as an official holiday but is enthusiastically celebrated by the young population.

June 16 All day

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