Gudi Padwa, Padva or Parva falling on March 28, 2017 (Tuesday) is one of the most celebrated festivals especially in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Considered as the significant traditional festival, Gudi Padva is known my various names across the country such as Gudhi Padava in Marathi, Ugadi in Telugu and Yugadi in Kannada. ‘Padva’ or ‘Padwa’ originates from the word paddava which means ‘the foremost day’ or ‘the first day’. It is marked on the first day of Chaitra Month (March-April). In general, major Vedic festivals and cultural events mark the welcome ceremony of March month as it is the spring which is closely associated with agriculture.
Gudi Padwa Festival time:
Pratipada Tithi: 08:26 on 28th March 2017 to 05:44 on 29th March
Why We Celebrate Gudi Padwa: Significance of Gudi Padwa
Just like there are reasons behind the occurrence of natural events, every cultural festival of India has a reason behind its celebration. The entire celebration of Gudi Padva revolves around three major reasons. First, it is believed that Lord Brahma created the cosmic universe on this day. Second, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after the war against Ravana. And third, it underlines the beginning of spring for the sun planet being above the intersecting point of Equator. In Maharashtra, locals celebrate by honouring Shivaji Maharaja and his victory over his enemies.
People raise ‘Gudhi’ (Gudi) on the right side of their houses on the outside. It is made of a long wooden bamboo covered with an overturned copper pot called Kalasha and a brocade-filled yellow piece of cloth (green or saffron at times). Atop are the sugar crystals, neem leaves and a twig of mango leaves with a garland of flowers is kept.
Kalash means ‘pot. In the revealed scriptures Kalash is called purnakalash. ‘Purna’ means ‘complete’. So it is a complete pot with purity used for keeping holy waters or other ceremonial liquids.
Colours of the cloth used are generally are yellow, green or saffron. Yellow color represents sato guna. It symbolizes Agni the Fire god and Surya elements and kills tamaic energies or the darkness (ignorance). Green and saffron represent ‘life’, ‘beginning’ as Lord Brahma had created the cosmos on this day and the fire element (divine) that leads the intense yellow (pure fire), respectively. A twig of Mango leaves represents immortality.
Red flowers used in the Gudi epitomize the qualities of passion against the negative elements. In the Vedas, all the aggressive deities such Goddess Kali signify red colour that intimidate the survival of the evil spirits.
Sugar crystals: Panchamrit has Sugar as one of the ingredients. It represents sweetness. Being sweet, humble and respectful is the first quality of people in the mode of goodness (sato guna). In the entire Ramayana, Lord Rama never used harsh languages against any of His subjects including His enemies.
In its entirety, the Gudhi (gudi) symbolise a celestial tool against all negative vibes.
How to Make Gudi at Home:
Keep ready a bamboo stick of medium length.
Tie a bright green or yellow cloth with gold border at the end of this stick.
Tie some mango and neem leaves around this cloth.
Add a flower garland along with mishri (sugar crystals) around this cloth.
Place an inverted silver or copper lota (pot) at the top of the stick. Place this Gudi (in a slight tilted position) on the right side of your home doorway.
Hoist this Gudi, considering it as a flag of Bramha. Invoke the blessings of Bramha and Vishnu by chanting their mantra and address the Lord in this way:
“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.”
People prefer to chew the neem leaves. Also, a paste made of neem leaves, coriander seeds, jaggery and tamarind is taken. The paste of these ingredients purifies blood and regulates its circulation. People generally spring-clean their homes and create multi-hued rangolis with natural colors on the floor outside or inside their homes.
Gudi Padwa Festival Puja and Vidhi
After you oil bath in the morning, make a simple rangoli design at the threshold of your house. Make another design or a swastika sign in haldi and kumkum in your puja place.
If you are unable to perform puja at home, order an online Gudi Padwa Puja from Rudra Centre.
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