Bala Chaturdashi Festival
12 December 2012
A festival to appease the souls of the dead for any wrong committed against them while they were still alive, it is also one of the pious festivals of the Hindus. It falls on the 14th day of dark fortnight of Mungsir (November).
The rites of this Chaturdasi are in honor of Bala, a burning ghat laborer who accidentally ate a piece of burnt flesh and became a demon addicted to cannibalism.
Several different stories narrate the tale but the motif common to all is that Bala was tricked by a gesture of friendship and killed. His vanquisher then began the custom of scattering grains for the dead this day, to atone for the fatal subterfuge.
The mela begins at dusk the evening, prior, with devotees assembling in the vicinity of Pashupatinath for all night vigils. Ceremonies and ritual bathing begin at dawn, followed by a long, 2-3 hour procession through a rough course over which the participants scatter grains. This continues until a horn sounds the ternination in the evening.
The special importance of this festival is to offer obeisance in the commemoration of our deceased ancestors (antecedents). Antecedents are believed to be equal as the God in the Hindu mythology. Mythology explains that; though the God wishes to present us some thing; the antecedents can stop us from obtaining the things. So without appeasing to the antecedents we can’t get any fruitful awards. So that, this is the day of the Balachaturdashi to respect our antecedents. It’s believed that if we scatter the Sadbij on this day in the name of our ancestors their soul will rest nicely in eternal peace in the heaven; then we will be blessed a lot from them to get the happy life. Also it’s believed that if we scatter the Sadbij particles on this day; we will get the virtue of donating as equal to the donation of gold particles.