Friday, March 27, 2009

Hindu New Year

Today, March 27, 2009, with the first rays of the Sun, we begin the Hindu Lunar New Year. Hindu Lunar New Year occurs on the first day of the waxing moon of the month of Chaitra (Chaitra Shukla Pratipada), when the Sun is in sidereal constellation Pisces (Meena Rashi) between March 14 and April 14.

According to the Vikram Samvat era popular in northern India, today we begin the year 2066 and the name of the year is Shubhakrita (शुभकृत). According to the Shalivahana Shaka era popular in southern India, today we begin the year 1931 and the name of the year is Virodhi (विरोधी). Per the Kaliyuga year count, we begin the year 5111 as of today.

The associated Hindu Solar New Year, which begins when the Sun enters the sidereal constellation Aries (Mesha Rashi), will be celebrated on April 14, 2009.

We commence this new year with an excerpt from a famous Yajurvedic prayer. This prayer is particularly apt for beginning the new year because it is essentially a prayer for peace, friendship, serenity, prosperity and longevity. It asks that peace be firmly established within us, that we look upon all as friends, that our enemies (those that fight us from within) be destroyed, and that we receive light (of realization). May we live a hundred autumns (years), the prayer asks, a blissful, rich, full, long life. There is perhaps no better message for beginning a new year.

नव संवत्सर की हार्दिंक शुभकामनाएं.

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Yajurvedic Prayer

The peace in the sky, the peace in the mid-air,
The peace on the earth, the peace in waters,
The peace in plants, the peace in forest trees,
The peace in all Devās, the peace in Brahman,
The peace in all things, the peace in peace,--
May that peace come to me!

Strong One, make me strong.
May all beings with the eye of friend!
May I look on all beings with the eye of friend!
May we look on one another with the eye of friend!

Strong One, make me strong!
May I live long to look on Thee!
May I live long to look on Thee!

Welcome to Thy wrath and to Thy glow!
Our welcome to be Thy flame!
Let Thy missiles burn our enemies.
Be our Purifier, be graceful to us!

Welcome to the lightning, welcome to the thunder,
Homage to Thee, glorious Lord, who winnest us heavenly light.

Make us free from the fear of all that Thou wishest;
Give bliss to our children, security to our animals.

Friendly be to us waters and plants,
And unfriendly be they to him
Who is hostile to us and to whom we are hostile.

That Eye of the sky, divinely placed, rising bright before us,
May we see for a hundred autumns!
And may we live for a hundred autumns,
May we hear for a hundred autumns,
May we speak for a hundred autumns,
And may we hold our heads high for a hundred autumns,
Yes, even more than a hundred autumns.

Holy Shukla Yajurveda Samhita XXXVI:17-24.
Trans. R. L. Kashyap


Aum Namah Shivaya.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Hindu Lunar New Year. This day is variously known as Varsha Pratipada, Nav Samvat, Navreh, Gudi Padva, Samvatsar Padva, Yugadi, Ugadi, Cheti Chand, Nyepi and Sajibu Cheiraoba.

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