Celebration of Work and Charm

The third place in the four Purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, is considered to be the best among all the efforts. Since ancient times, in India, the work has been recognized as Kamdev, not considering it as bad, giving it a divine form. The entire ancient Indian literature accepts the power of Kama, and recommends living life by accepting the important role of Kama in life. Spring is the companion of work, and in ancient India, spring used to be the period of festivals.

In Indian culture, Purushartha Chatushtaya, which is considered to be a strong pillar or ideal of human life, that is, the third place in the four Purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, is considered the best among all efforts. Since ancient times, in India, the work has been recognized as Kamdev, not considering it as bad, giving it a divine form. A sense of ease towards work is found everywhere in the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas. The entire ancient Indian literature accepts the power of Kama, and recommends living life by accepting the important role of Kama in life. Spring is the companion of work, and in ancient India, spring used to be the period of festivals. Since ancient times, there has been a wonderful, vast and beautiful tradition in India of celebrating the day of Basant Panchami as Madonotsav and Basantotsav. The day of Basant Panchami i.e. spring festival was the day of worship of Kamadeva, and after Vasantpanchami, the program of Vasantotsav i.e. Madonotsav continued for two whole months. On the day of Basant Panchami, women worship their husbands in the form of Kamadeva.

It is believed that on the day of Vasant Panchami, Kamadeva and Rati infused love and attraction in the human heart for the first time, and since then this day was celebrated as Vasantotsav and Madonotsav. This festival of joy, gaiety and Lokanuranjan is mentioned in ancient literature under the names Madonotsav, Vasantotsav, Kamdevotsav, Kaumudi Festival, and Sharadotsava etc. Kalidas also called it the festival of seasons. Kamadeva, the presiding deity of Madonotsav, is considered to be the god of love, sex and attraction. Young and attractive in appearance, Kamadeva is married, and Rati is his wife. Cupid is said to be so powerful that no armor has been conceived for him. His other names are Ragavranta, Ananga, Kandarpa, Kama, Vishwaketu, Manmath, Manasija (Manoj), Madan, Pradyumna, Meenketan, Makardhwaja, Ratipati, Ratinayaka, Darpak, Panchasara, Smar, Shambari, Kusumeshu, Ananyaj, Ratikanta, Pushpawan, Pushpadhanva. etc. are famous.

In the mythological texts, there is a detailed description of the festivals of Kamdev to be held in the spring season of festivals in India. The great poet Kalidas has also given a comprehensive description of spring and spring festivals in all his works. One such festival was named Madonotsav i.e. the festival of love performance. In this festival, which lasted for several days, the king used to enjoy the gaiety by sitting on the highest place in his palace. In this, beauties hurt by Cupid’s words used to dance intoxicatingly. The whole environment used to become colorful with gulal and colours. All the citizens danced in the courtyard and sang and threw colors on each other with pichkaris. Kalidas has addressed this with the word Shrangaka in Kumarasambhavam. The beautiful gold ornaments on the bodies of the townspeople and red flowers of Ashoka on their heads added to this golden aura even more. Girls also used to participate in it, and in this water game she would shudder – Shrangak Jal Prahar MuktSitkar Manoharan. An interesting story related to Kamadeva is mentioned in the Kumarasambhavam of Kalidasa itself. A very lively description of the touching lament that Kamadeva’s wife Rati had when Lord Shiva had burnt Kamadeva to ashes is found in it. There is also a mention of the worship of the idol of Cupid placed under the Ashoka tree. For beautiful girls, Kamadeva was the favorite deity. It is also mentioned in Kalidasa’s Ratnavali that the hostesses of Antarpur used to sing and dance with mangoes in their hands. She used to play so much that it seemed as if the weight of her breast would break her thin waist. Kalidas has described Madonotsav in a vivid form in his texts. In the sixth canto of Ritusanhar, Kalidas while describing the spring is very beautiful and has said-

vasantotsav festival

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These days, Cupid also sits in the fickleness of women’s drunken eyes, pale in their cheeks, deep in the waist and obesity in the buttocks. Women get tired of work. It becomes difficult to speak even walking from the head, and the crooked eyebrows make the chitwan appear to be thorny. Madonotsav was later celebrated in Shantiniketan in the form of Dolotsav in the presence of Gurudev. According to the priests of Kamadeva, Krishna gave a new dimension to this festival in the form of Rasleela. Every blonde has become Radha.

According to Shmalati-Madhava of Bhavabhuti, special Madonotsav was made to celebrate the spring festival, in which there was a temple of Kamadeva. There all men and women used to gather, choose flowers and make necklaces, put abir-kumkum on each other and organize dance music etc. Later, he used to go to all the temples and worship Kamadeva. A similar festival is also mentioned in the Sanskrit drama Bhasa’s Charudatta. In this, a grand procession of Cupid was taken out with musical instruments, in which many citizens are involved in dancing to music with a picture of Cupid. It is here that the first meeting of the courtesan Vasantasena with the hero Charudatta is mentioned at the time of Kamotsav. Vasantasena also participates in a similar procession in the play Mrichhakatikam. According to Varsha-kriya Kaumudi, in this festival, morning songs, playing of mud, throwing mud are done. In the evening, people get dressed and meet friends. According to the Dhammapada, a fair of great fools is celebrated. Abuses were exchanged for seven days. According to the Bhavishya Purana, the idols of Kamdev and Rati are established and worshiped during the spring period. Madonotsav has also been described in the book Ratnavali, Harsh Charit and Dashkumar Charitra.

The king and the common citizen are all equal on this festival. The Sanskrit book Kuttanimatam also has a vivid description of celebrating Madanotsav with courtesans and prostitutes. In a book called Avadan Kalpalata, there is a description of the family of King Kalbhu of Varanasi, Vasantkal-vihara and Van Keli. It is said that after playing prodigy for a long time, he fell asleep exhausted. Meanwhile, his beloved queen Manjari went away plucking flowers. There Mahamuni Kshantivadin was doing penance. Seeing them, she was stunned. Then the king came there searching for her and seeing the queen in that state went mad with anger. He cut off the hands and feet of the sage. As a result, there was a severe famine in the state. Later the Muni got the king out of this objection. An interesting story is found in the Sanskrit text Pind Appointi regarding the Vasant Vihar of King Chandravatans of Chandranana city. To the east and west of the city were two gardens named Sunrise and Moonrise. In the spring, with the intention of sports prodigy, the king decided to have a vihara in the Suryoday Udyan and made a declaration that the citizens should not go to the Suryoday Udyan on that day. Suryoday gardens were guarded. At night, suddenly the king thought of the morning sun, so the itinerary of the journey was changed to Moonrise Udyan instead of Suryoday Udyan. In Chandrodaya Udyan, many citizens unknowingly saw the queens of Antarpur playing prodigy with the king. These civilians were caught by the guards. On the other hand some citizens who were already hiding in Suryoday Udyan to see the sports prodigy of the king were also caught. In the end those who disobeyed the order were punished, the rest were released.

In the Jataka texts, there is a very lively and beautiful description of the celebration of Shalabhanjika festival in Lumbini garden by the queens of King Shuddhodana. Every leaf and flower was trembling at the touch of spring in the dense shalvan between the cities of Kapilavastu and Devdah. Every branch was bowed with newly blooming flowers and flowers. Seeing such an enchanting scene, the ladies could not stay away and Mahadevi along with her friends left for Vasant Vihar. When he raised his hand to hold the branch of a happy shawl tree, the branch bent itself. Mahadevi held him. In such a state, Mahadevi experienced labor pain. In the epic of Shishupal slaughter, there is a very detailed description of the forest keli of the Yadavas on the Raivatak mountain. In Prakrit’s book Naya Dham Kahao, there is a detailed and elaborate description of the garden journey of two rich merchant sons of Champanagari, Jindutt and Sagar Dutta, along with a very beautiful and prosperous courtesan named Devadatta. In Padmachudamani, there is a panoramic description of the garden journey including the Ranivas of Kumar Gautam. Sometimes women used to choose flowers and leaves for recreation, sometimes made their ornaments, sometimes they would strike Ashoka with their feet and sometimes they used to rinse the sura on Maulshree.

Sometimes she used to decorate her hair with flowers, plucked mangoes, applied tilak to Shefali and vermilion, and sometimes she put flowers in the ears of the beloved and applied it to her heart. Jain Harivansh, the text of Jains, says that garden trips, forest vihars and picnics were usually held only in the spring, while men and women gathered together and drank alcohol. A variety of spring entertainments related to picking and decorating flowers are found in Indian literature. It is written in Jain Harivamsa that citizens used to sing Hindol raga while swinging. In the Uttara Purana of the Jains, there is a description of swinging on a swing in the spring to amuse the mind. In Kalidasa’s Malavikagnimitra play, Mahadevi Dharini entrusted Malavika with the task of making the Ashoka tree blossom with a foot strike and promised to give a reward if she was successful. In Banabhatta’s book called Kadambari, Kadambari tells her friends that the Ashoka tree that I had reared by kicking should not be broken by anyone. The description of the Kumkum sport is mentioned in the Uttarkhand of Padma Purana. It has been said in praise of Kashmir that due to the abundance of saffron, saffron flies in the courtyards of the house in such a way that the sun and the moon also turn red from them. In Kumar Pal Charit, the live and decorative description of Dola festival has been described as follows – Sitting on the same swing, husband and wife were singing songs fearlessly. The women were intoxicated, their nupurs ringing with the tempo of the swing. Whenever she touched the Ashoka trees with her feet, her buds started blooming.

In Sanskrit literature, there are beautiful descriptions of celebrating Magh Shukla Panchami as Madonotsav. A very vivid description of Madonotsav is written in the Ratnavali drama of Shri Harsha. The citizens scattered so much fragrant saffron and kumkum that the whole city turned yellow like gold. Madanotsav seems to have been celebrated publicly in North India before the 6th century. While celebrating it, people used to forget about age, gender and social status. After decorating the hair with flowers, they spread turmeric, rice and kumkum powder and played colours. There is a mention of Suvasantaka or Madonotsav celebrated on the day of Magh Shukla Panchami in Rajashekhar’s Poetry and Bhojraj’s Saraswati Kanthabharan. From the descriptions of pouring colors and throwing mud in these descriptions, it appears that the festival like the present Holi used to start from Vasant Panchami and since then this festival of color and gulal continued till Falgun Purnima. Emperor Harsha, in his plays Ratnavali and Nagananda, has given a vivid description of the season-festival i.e. Madonotsav. A play named Nagananda has given a vivid and interesting description of the marriage of an old lady.

The description of Vasantotsav is also found in Valmiki Ramayana. Dandi in his play Dashakumar Charit has told the seasons necessary for the worship of Kamadeva. Every husband is a Kamadeva and every woman a Rati. In the play Vasavadatta, Subandhu has described the festival of spring through King Udayana and Princess Vasavadatta in the joy of the arrival of spring. There is also a description of the season in the poetry of Rajasekhar. If swings are put on this occasion, then women become peaceful by swinging. In other Sanskrit texts, events of humor, drama, farce, folk dance, songs etc. have also been described on these occasions. Raas dance is also described. Singing, Comedy, Drugs and Dancing, Singing, Playing, Promiscuous women and limited time. which was limited by the time limit. Most importantly, it was pure-natured and fun. Not a blatant display of sexuality like today. In fact, work is the best of all efforts. Every male is Kamadeva and every female is Rati. According to ancient Indian texts, life becomes hell due to the curse of Kamadeva by not worshiping Kamadeva.

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