Friday, Dec 8 2023
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
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'
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
Jai Sai Ram
SSEHV Group 4