Monday, April 11, 2016

The Importance of Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa is the festival that enhances the  Hindu new year and is celebrated on the first day of the Indian month of Chaita according to the lunar calendar. Most of the Indian festivals have a notable and fascinating Chronicle and it is spellbinding to see the manner in which they are celebrated. This Maharashtrian festival is also no exception and provides you with many tales and events related to it. Gudi Padwa is also know as Ugadi in the Indian state of Karnataka, this is a festival, which is not only filled with vibrance and colours that is visually delightful.

The day, begins with the following ritual showers (oil bath) followed by pooja to god and Panchanga Shravana. Houses are decorated with Mango Leaves and Rangoli and everyone in the family wear new clothes and celebrate the festival by wishing each other New year greetings.
The eating of a specific mixture called Bevu-Bella (Neem and Jaggery) in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of good and bad, Happiness and Sorrow. Eating Neem and Sweet Jaggery means one need to take both Good and Bad or Happiness and Sorrow should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year.
The special mixture consists of:
Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying Sadness
Jaggery which is sweet, signifying Happiness

I would like share some of the interesting stories that show the culture and traditions of Gudi Padwa. This is a celebration of the victory march of Shivaji Maharaja the veteran Maratha leader. The festival is celebrated in honour of this great king who had a kingdom that spread across the entire part of western India. This is the reason people worship the gudi which is a cloth which flies like a flag that is usually a sign of victory in an army.

Gudi Padwa also considered as the harvest festival, which shows that the Rabi crop has ended for the season. This is the time when the king of fruits mangoes are reaped. 
Another auspicious reason why this festival is celebrated it's believed that this is the day when the universe was created. It's believed by all Hindus that this is the day Lord Brahma created the world. It is thus dedicated to the innumerable Gods we have in India. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu took the Matsya incarnation or the form of fish on this very day. This was an incarnation to save the entire earth from destruction or pralaya.

Gudi Padwa is a celebration that is much awaited for and this is a time when people pray for the well being of the people. It is believed that good wins over evil and is an auspicious day for starting new business, investments, buying property.
Steps for raising the Gudi:
Position of the Gudi : Care should be taken to raise the Gudi next to the main entrance of the house. The spot selected should be on the right side of the entrance(when facing outwards from the entrance of the home). The right side symbolizes the active state of the soul.
1. The area selected for raising the Gudi should be cleaned and then a Swastik rangoli should be drawn on the ground. Turmeric and vermilion (Haldi-kumkum) should be offered at the centre of the Swastik.
2. While raising the Gudi, the ‘Shiva-Shakti’ principle in the Universe should be invoked. This enables all the constituents of the Gudi to accept divine principles.
3. The Gudi symbolizes the ‘Sushumna nadi’ of our body. Hence, the Gudi should be raised at the entrance. And it should be kept tilted at an angle.
Prayers to say when raising the Gudi.

        ‘O Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu ! Please enable me to absorb the Principle of Creation and the Fire Principle present in the atmosphere. Let the Divine consciousness present in these principles be preserved constantly. Let the energy thus received, be used for my spiritual practice.’

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