Festivals - Yugadi
Date: March - April, New Year of the Hindu calendar.
Legend: Kali Yuga started in the year Pramaadi, in the month named
Shravaana, and in the fortnight named Bahula, on the day called Ashtami.
According to the western calendar this will be described as February 20,
3102 years B.C. In order to bring this aspect of the commencement of the
new Yuga, our ancestors have been calling that day Yug-Adi, or
the day of the beginning of a new era. We should also learn a different
aspect, although not a very pleasant one. This particular day is also
the one on which Krishna gave up his mortal body in a sacred place called
Prabhas, near Dwaraka (in Saurashtra, Gujarat).
"The word Yugadi means the day of the innauguration of the Yuga
or Age. The spiritual discipline for each Age has been prescribed by
the shastras (scriptures); for the Krita or the First Age, it is Dhyana;
for the Treta, the second, it is Dharma; for the Dwapara, the third,
it is Archana or Ritual Worship and for the present, the Kali Age, it
is Namasmarana, the Repetition of the Name of God. So on the Yugadi
day, you must dedicate your life anew to the discipline enjoined, and
resolve to accept it and practise it to the utmost. This involves giving
up all the habits that interfere with the constant remembrance of God."
"The New Year comes regularly year after year. But do you have
any new thoughts? You do not shed your old, mistaken ideas. They should
be given up, yielding place to new, sacred and sublime thoughts. Of
what use is it to celebrate new year days if you do not change your
old ways of thinking and behaving?...
Today the nation needs unity above everything else. It is through faith
in God that unity can be promoted. Look at the diversity of people in
this hall, the different creeds they profess, the different nationalities
to which they belong. All are united in their common allegiance to Swami.
By this single feeling of faith in the Divine, unity can be achieved.
It is the absence of this faith that is the cause of division.
All of you are embodiments of the Divine. All of you are embodiments
of love and peace. You are the Divine in human form. Develop that conviction.
Immerse yourselves in Divine love. Offer that love to the Divine. Thereby
you will have love for all. It is only when you develop this love principle
you will be realising the meaning of festivals like these. Stand up
for your belief in God, even as you stand up for your father or mother.
Render service to society, without which you cannot exist. Your welfare
is bound up with that of society. Develop the feeling of oneness with
all, loving all as members of one Divine family."
Last updated: Jul 17, 2000
Legend from Summer Roses on the Blue Mountain, pp 86-87
Quotes from Discourses: The New Year Dress, Yugadi, Mar 27, 1971
The Triple Purity, Prashanthi Nilayam, New Year Message, Jan 1, 1996