To The New Beginnings

By: Jatin Damudre.

Many communities in India celebrate their New Year on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (First day of the month of Chaitra of Hindu Lunar Calendar). Marathi community celebrate it as Gudi Padwa, the Kanada and Telgu community celebrate it as Ugadi, Sindhi community celebrate it as Cheti Chand. Every community has their unique way of celebrating this festival, but for all it is a day of New beginning; the day when Lord Brahma created this Universe.

Jhulelal, the Ishta Devta of the Sindhi Hindus

Unlike the rest of the world, which welcomes and celebrates New year on 31st December, on cold winter nights (except Australia), the Hindus prefer the warmth of the spring celebrating, at sunrise, where the molten ice has made the soil moist, tiny blades of grass have covered the earth, trees are festooned with leaves, flowers and fruits. It is a celebration of life; however, it is not a celebration of its creator. Surprisingly Hindu’s don’t worship the Creator of Universe Lord Brahma.

12th-century Brahma with missing book and water pot, Cambodia (Wikipedia)

Throughout puranic stories, Brahma has either been cursed to never have been worshipped, or he has had his head cut off. This is a subtle reminder to each one of us, in our own way, to be the creator and maintainer of our own life-long journey, so that people find us worthy of their acknowledgement, unlike Brahma, who has been forgotten.

The seed of creation is desire and the god of desire is Kama. However, Shiva burns Kama to ashes, which I see as a subtler reminder to keep our intentions pure and genuine.

Traditional Gudhi

In a Marathi household, the day is celebrated by erecting Gudi, which stands tall on a wooden base with an offering of coconut and beetlenut. It is a wooden stick on which hangs, a sugar string, neem leaves, marigold flowers, a cloth with a border and an inverted kalash. The wooden base represents stability in life, while the coconut represents knowledge, the beetlenut is your commitment. The stick represents your strength, a bordered cloth represents prosperity, the sugar string is sweetness of life and bitter neem leaves offer health and immunity, the marigold flowers represents fruition of every task under taken and the kalash is achievement. The traditional meal of the day is Shrikhand- Puri which one relishes in the company of family and friends.

Meanwhile, as you are researching and seeking your own help, here are a couple of tips that can help you for your new beginnings:
# Let bygones be bygones – make peace with the past, ask forgiveness if need be.
# Set yourself free from guilt and self-criticism.
# Face your fears
# Let go of the things beyond your control
# Clean your clutter, it will refresh your mind
# Find time to connect with yourself and disconnect with the world, like taking a day off from your phone or the internet.

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