Today is Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year. The day is marked with celebration and rituals and needless to say that the day has its significance in the Hindu mythology!
As per the Brahma Purana, it was on this day that Lord Brahma recreated the universe after it was destroyed in a massive deluge where all life had ceased to be alive. Time started from this day and some say, it was the beginning of Sata-yuga, the era of truth and justice. Some celebrate the day as the coronation of Lord Rama on his return to Ayodhya from the 14-year exile.
A gudi is a pole on top of which an upturned pot is fixed and then the same is covered with a coloured silk cloth and hoisted at the entrance of the door. This is hoisted to ward off evil from the house. However, some call it the Brahmadhwaj, the flag of Lord Brahma commemorating his creation.
On this day, traditionally, leaves of neem tree are eaten with cumin seeds and jaggery. This is significant from a medical point of view as the weather has taken a turn towards heat and the combination can act as a good antidote to the onslaught of diseases that heat brings along with itself. To associate this with the day is only to give divine sanction for something that is good for health. A blend of religious ritual with aspects of nature which has been a staple with many a festival.
Well, here’s wishing all my Maharashtrian friends a very happy new year!!
Tomorrow is the new year of another community and we will read about the same tomorrow!