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Thursday, Feb 20 2020  

TAMIL NEW YEAR


 
Significance:
Tamil New Year is a day of celebration for the Tamils. They rejoice with happiness. On the day of the occasion, they wake up early in the morning and pray to God and eat only vegetarian food. They also go to the temple and conduct 'poojas'.

Story relating to the festival:
The traditional new year celebrations in mid-April originated as a harvest thanks giving, the high-point of the annual production cycle. Interwoven closely with the first astrological phase of the sun, it is timed to coincide with the first partakings of the season's blessings, namely rice.

Astronomically, it is celebrated on the day on which the sun passes from Meena Rashiya (Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (Aries), when Sihalese and Tamils bid farewell to the year passed an usher in a brand new one with prayers, meritorious deeds, traditional observations and seemingly unending celebrations.

Swami's message on Tamil New Year:
"New Year does not bring new principles of truth and righteousness. They are changeless and eternal. When they are practised, the whole world will be taken care of. Hence, we have to always keep in mind these two principles. For man, truth and righteousness are his two eyes. In fact, they are his very life principles. He may undertake any activity, he may do any job or business, but he should make truth and righteousness as the undercurrent of all his endeavours."
-Sai Baba, Tamil New Year Discourse 2003

How is the Festival celebrated in India:
The month of Chitthirai has arrived and with it the Tamil New Year's Day; April 14th - an occasion for celebration for Tamilians all over the world. Greetings of "Puthandu Vazthukal", (Happy New Year), are exchanged with fervour on this day, which is supposedly the day when Lord Brahma (The Creator of the world, according to Hindu mythology) started creation.

The day starts with viewing the 'kanni' (the auspicious sight) at dawn, in the expectation that beginning the New Year by looking at auspicious or favourable things will bring good fortune throughout the year. The auspicious things include, betel leaves, nuts, fruits and vegetables, flowers, raw rice and coconuts. This is followed by the ritual bath and a visit to the temple to pray for a prosperous and happy New Year. After which, the Panchangam (almanac) is read.

The ladies adorn the entrances of their houses with 'Kolam' (design made with rice flour) and deck the doorway with mango leaves. A grand Car Festival is held at Tiruvadamarudur near Kumbakonam every year on April 14th. Also during the month of Chitthirai the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar is celebrated as 'Chitthirai festival'.

The highlight of the festival is the 'Maanga Pachadi' (a dish made of raw mangoes, jaggery and neem flowers), which is at the same time sweet, sour and bitter. This signifies all the different aspects of our life.

This is very similar to what Swami also says,' Pleasure is an interval between two pains'. He is referring to the fact that life has its ups and downs and we must accept both as and when they come.

'Life is a Game, Play It'
'Life is a Challenge, Meet It'
- Swami

How is the festival celebrated with Swami:
Tamilians and Keralites enjoy their celebration of their New Year in the Divine Presence either at Brindavan or Kodaikanal. The function usually falls on the 14th or 15th of April. Bhagawan always reminds His Devotees, that, more than the belief that the New Year brings prosperity or otherwise, it is their own actions that lead to their consequences and hence they should engage in pure thoughts, words and actions which would lead to prosperity and happiness. He also explains the inner significance of the name of the Tamil/Malayalam New Year.

Jai Sai Ram

Bro Vijayrajah
SSEHV Group 4


 

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