BASANT PANCHAMI IN DAYALBAGH
ऋतु बसन्त आये सतगुरु जग में,
चलो चरनन पर सीस धरो री ।
“With the auspicious season of Basant, Most Benevolent, Supremely Merciful Satguru manifested on this earth, Let us all bow our heads in homage at His Holy Lotus Feet.”
In the month of maagh, January/February, the auspicious day of Panchmi (the fifth day of the lunar fortnight in the Hindu Calendar), which is popularly known as Basant Panchmi, is considered as a blessed and sacred day among Hindus and is welcomed as a harbinger of joy and exuberance. With the passing of the winter season, as soon as the season of Basant commences, there is an infusion of new energy in animals as well as birds, human beings and vegetation. Saints too have compared the time for the manifestation of the Supreme Lord of All Creation on this earth with the most majestic of all seasons—Basant.
देखो देखो सखी अब चल बसन्त ।
फूल रही जहँ तहँ बसन्त ।।
“Let us, dear friend (fellow spirits) rush to get the blissful vision of Basant,
Basant which is flowering with joy and bliss here, there and everywhere.”
The Basant season is of special significance for Dayalbagh, the headquarters of the Radhasoami Faith situated in the city of Agra. For the satsangis of the Radhasoami Faith, the auspicious day of Basant is one of extreme happiness and Bliss as on this sacred day, February 15, 1861, the first Revered Leader of the Faith, Param Purush Puran Dhani Huzur Soamiji Maharaj, revealed for the first time the Divine message of the salvation of all creation and mercifully opened the doors of Satsang to the general public.
घट में खेलूँ अब बसन्त ।
भेद बताया सतगुरु संत ।।
“I revel in the joy and Bliss of Basant internally within the depths of my soul,
Most Gracious, Ever Merciful, All benevolent, Sant Satguru has revealed the secret.”
On the auspicious day of Basant Panchmi, on January 20, 1915, the fifth Revered Leader of the Radhasoami faith, Sir Sahabji Maharaj, laid the foundation of Dayalbagh, the headquarters of Radhasoami Satsang by planting a Mulberry seedling. Along with this, the foundation of a new Satsang culture was also laid. At Dayalbagh, Education and Culture or a Way of Life commenced in the form of a very beautiful and delicate plant, on January 1, 1916, with a Model School popularly known as Radhasoami Educational Institute (REI). This plant slowly and gradually grew into the vast tree that it is at present, in the form of a University, the impact of which can be felt not only on different parts of the country, but also on countries abroad. The fragrance of this tree named Dayalbagh Educational Institute, is spreading in all four directions.
आज आई बहार बसन्त ।
उमंग मन गुरु चरनन लिपटाय ।।
“Today, the beauty, glory, joyous splendor of Basant is here,
With their minds filled with exuberance and Bliss, the disciple devotees embrace in adoration the Holy Lotus Feet of Ever Merciful Sant Satguru.”
The day of Basant is of extreme importance to the satsangis of Radhasoami Faith. This year is the 205th Samvat of Radhasomi Faith. This day is celebrated with much enthusiasm and pleasure by all satsangis as they sing and praise the Glory of Ever Merciful Radhasoami Dayal. Before the arrival of Basant, the preparations for its welcome begin well in advance. From very small children to adults and seniors– there is no limit to the enthusiasm and zeal. All get fully involved in the cleaning and decoration of houses, mohallas, in fact the entire Dayalbagh. Because of the collective efforts of all, one can get a glimpse of the most beautiful vision and luster of Dayalbagh on the auspicious occasion of Basant. The Festival of Basant is celebrated by satsangis with rituals steeped in the spirit of immense love and devotion, by expressing a deep sense of gratitude in the Holy Lotus Feet of their Beloved Sant Satguru with intense Faith in Radhasoami Dayal. With complete love and devotion, joy and Bliss, they pass this day in offering aarti, worship and meditation, feel Blessed and exult in their good fortune.
मोहि मिल गए रा–धा–स्व–आ–मी पूरे संत ।
अब बाजत हिये में धुन अनन्त ।।
“I have found the All-Gracious, Ever Merciful Supreme Being, the only True Ra-Dha-Sva-Aah-Mi Satguru Sant
In my heart the melodious eternal sound current reverberates in everlasting Bliss.”
On the occasion of Basant, in Dayalbagh, a variety of programmes like baby Show, Fancy dress Show, Gymnastics and different Sports events are organized. In all these programmes, children, youth and all brothers and sisters actively participate with enthusiasm and zeal.
आज आया बसन्त नवीन ।
सखी री खेलो गुरु संग फाग रचाय ।।
“Today Basant has arrived anew
Fellow devotee spirits, let us celebrate the joy and Bliss of spring with our beloved Sant Satguru.”
On the auspicious occasion of Basant, in Dayalbagh and in Satsang colonies all over the country and abroad, the most glorious and attractive decorative lighting is displayed at night. For this candles and oil lamps (diyas) which can cause pollution, are not used. LED lights, powered by solar energy are used for this lighting decoration.
Closer to home in North America, Basant is celebrated with great zeal, amongst the followers of the Radhasoami Faith. “Everyone looks forward to the Basant New year celebrations here – the energy, love, enthusiasm, and spiritual bliss are at a high and it’s great to see everyone come together!”, says a follower from San Francisco. The Toronto and Calgary chapters organize cultural programmes, involving children, youth, and elders, encompassing the history and values that the festival embodies. Basant is celebrated by the Atlanta chapter by organizing various events such as friendly games for people of all ages and cultivating a culture of sustainability through community farming.
Besides the congregational celebrations, the followers in North America view this auspicious occasion as one of many opportunities around the year to contribute to the local community. The chapter in New York recently hand knitted warm hats for kids associated with the local YMCA, while the Chicago chapter volunteers with non-profit organizations such as Feed My Starving Children. Each chapter strives to enhance the wellbeing of the community around them by embodying the ideals of universal brotherhood and service to mankind.