Ugadi: A new beginning a new hope

The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): "the beginning of a new age".

Yugadi specifically refers to the start of the age we are living in now, the Kali Yuga. The Kali Yuga began when Lord Krishna left the world. Maharshi Vedavyasa describes this event with the words "Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam.” (wikipedia)

On Ugadi, the day starts with the whole family waking up before the break of dawn and then indulging in a leisurely head-bath (Abhyanjana-snana). The house entrance is decorated with  mango leaves which in Hindu custom marks general well-being of a community. The Hindu calendar (Panchangam Almanac) is then worshipped by performing pooja.

The calendars are read in temples with the priests making predictions for the coming year.

Perhaps the most important custom observed on Ugadi is  sharing of Bevu-bella (Neem and jaggery). People visit family members and friends and the mixture is shared, indicating that we should overcome our sorrow and seek happiness, take failure in our stride and maintain balance of mind regardless of the circumstances.

The neem is extremely bitter tasting, while jaggery is very sweet. Together, they signify the two conflicting aspects of human life - joy and sorrow. The essence of life is to  accept the sweet and bitter moments in equal measure and with equanimity and gratitude.Ugadi is all about taking the rough with smooth and moving on in life, but learning some valuable lessons in the bargain.

The health benefits of neem are well known. In the olden days, a neem tree was a regular feature in most backyards. Neem is known to be a natural disinfectant, scoring over chemical disinfectants on every scale from effectiveness to price. Try placing a few dried neem leaves in your wardrobe where you have stored your most valuable silks and see the results for yourself. It is also known to boost the immune system and purify blood.

Similarly, jaggery is considered  a better option when compared to sugar as it is made from a natural process and largely free of chemical and artificial substances.

It would be apt to quote the noted Kannada poet Da Ra Bendre (D.R. Bendre: Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre), on the occasion of Ugadi,  the festival marking the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar, with these lines from his poem:

“Yuga Yugadi Kaledaru,
Yugadi marali barutide,
hosa varushake hosa harushava,
hosatu hosatu tarutide …

These immortal lines gladden the hearts of people of state of karnataka, for whom ugadi is a festival like no other, and the best possible way to usher in a brand new year with optimism and hope.

Mount Litera Zee School wishes everyone a prosperous and joyous time throughout the year and beyond.

“Ellarige ugadi habbada shubhashayagalu”