March 10, 2010

How does one celebrate Ugadi (Yugadi) ?

Ugadi is Chaitra Shukla Prathama,the beginning day of a Samvathsara (Year). Hence it is a New Year Day. In Khara samvatsara ( 2011-12) Ugadi is on 4th April 2011. In 2010, Vikruthi samvatsara Yugadi (ugadi) was on 16 March.
English (Gregorian) calendar year has a number alone as its name. The samvathsara has a name. The names are a set of 60 names. Therefore, Samvathsara’s name repeats after 60 years. By Vikram Saka count, Vikruthi year is Saka 2067,
Somehow, the name “Yugadi” has been attached to this day. This is a misnomer as no Yuga started on this day and therefore it is not a Yugadi. There are four Yugadis (other than this day) in each year which are beginning days of the four yugas.
One has to wake up at about 4.30 am (Arunodaya kala). While getting up, turn on your right side and get up. The usual waking up mantras has to be chanted. They are:
Utthishta Utthishta Govinda Utthishta Garudadhwaja
Utthishta Kamalakantha Trailokyam mangalam kuru
…as if we are waking up Lord Narayana
Karagre vasathe Lakshmi Karamadhye Saraswathi
Karamoole sthithe Gowri Prabhathe karadarshanam
.. rubbing the palms and seeing the palms
imagining Lakshmi, Saraswathi and parvathi’s presence in them.
Samudravasanedevi Parvathasthanamandale
Vishnupathni Namasthubhyam Padasparsham kshamaswame
.. Asking forgiveness from Bhoodevi for our stamping on her
and committing all sorts of nuisance on the Earth.
Kapilam Darpanam Bhanum Bhagyavanthancha Bhoopathim
Acharyam Annadatharam Prathah Pashyeth Pathivrathaaha
.. Looking at God’s picture, Mirror,
Cow, Sun, Acharyas (Gurus),
Anna Datharas (Giver of Food – benefactor),
Bhagyavanthas (Rich persons), Bhoopathis (Kings)
Pathivrathas (in the early morning) is a Shubha Shakuna (Good omen).

The above is actually a prescription for daily routine (not just for the New Year day).

Reflection in Ghee: On the day previous to the New Year ’s Day anytime before retiring to bed, ghee has to be kept ready in a bowl so that one can look at his/her reflection in it. [Unless ghee is in a totally molten and clear state, it will be a formality only.]

Enne [Oil] Shastra: All members of family sit together on a Mat / Jamkhana. Elderly lady(s) (sumangalis) will apply kunkum on forehead to all, give each a pair of betel leaves with betel nuts and peform Arathi (arathi from plate containing water mixed with sunna (caustic lime) and turmeric). The members normally pay a token amount (usually dropped into the Arathi plate). [The amount collected is shared by the elederly lady(s).]
The elderly person applies oil on the head (as a token) of all members.
All members do namaskara to the God.
The process is repeated to the elderly lady(s) by some other persons.
{This is the same routine as done during Deepavali.}

Abhyang: All members have to take oil bath.
New Dress: New dresses are normally worn.
Abhyang for idols of Gods also: If idols of Rama, Krishna, Srinivasa, Sathyanarayana etc. are kept in the house (the word idol here refers to murthys which are of more than 3 inches in height), they also need to be given oil bath. For idols of female deities, turmeric bath also has to be given.

Flowers of Neem: Flowers of neem, new mango, new tamarind are to be offered to God.
Pooja to God: God has to be worshipped with the usual pooja – which has Abhisheka, Alankara, Naivedya and Mangalarathi as components.
Panchanga Pooje: After pooja to God, Panchanga for the new Samvathsara has to be worshipped.
Gudi (Indra Dhwaja) Pooje: A 4 to 5 feet long stick is decorated with Sunna (caustic lime), Turmeric and Kunkuma. The stick is made to stand by suitable means. At the top of the stick, a silver vessel is inverted. One angavastra, blouse piece and flowers are tied to the stick just under the silver vessel.
This is worshipped with the mantra:
Indradhwaja namastestu sarvaabhishta phalaprada
Praptesmin vatsare nitya madgrahe mangalam kuru

Indra Dhwaja pooja is still a major event in Northern parts of the country, while it appears to have been given a go by in the South. But panchangas mention this event. In Maharashtra, this New Year’s day is called Gudi Padwa.
Decorating the Front door: As in all festivals, the front door to be decorated with Kemmannu (red earth), Rangoli (decorative art – drawing in white stone powder) and festoons of Mango leaves. For this particular festival, Neem leaves are also used in the festoons.

Bevu Bella (Neem and jaggery): In this festival, Bevu Bella is to be eaten together signifying the mixture of sweet and sour. This is to be taken with the mantra:
Shatayur vajra dehatwam sarva sampath pradam thathaa
Sarvarishta haram kurve nimbapatraashanam shubham

Oota (Meals): All festivals have Meals as a main ingredient. The usual festival dishes Kosambri, Palya, Chitranna, Ambode, Payasa and Holige are prepared. They are offered to God as Naivedya and the Prasada is taken as oota (meals). Theertha should be taken first before meals. In the meals payasa should be eaten first before any other item.
If Bevu Bella is served in the meals, it should be taken immediately after payasa.
Panchanga Shravana: Panchangas contain information about the year in general. These have details of the planetary rulers for the samvathsara, their phalas, the phala due to the occurrence of (Sun entering Makara rashi) Makara Sankranthi (Sankranthi purusha lakshana) and the phalas due to planets Guru and Shani position during the year. These are to be recited / heard (shravana).

The year’s panchanga – each days’ Thithi, Vaara, Nakshatra, Yoga, karana and the Dina viseshas has to be recited. As a token this process is done upto the Sri Rama Navami day (9th day of the year)
This is normally done in the evening.
Visiting Temples / Elders: Visiting Temples and Elders as part of the New Year celebrations to seek blessings is done.
Panchangam for Khara (2011-12) available in English, Kannada and Tamil.Panchangam for Vikruthi (2010-11) available in English, Kannada and Tamil.

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